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A man in a pickup truck picking up a bag of farmers market food at a pickup table being serviced by two women in personal protective gear.

Farmers Markets and COVID-19

Farmers markets are a very important sector in South Dakota. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised a great deal of concern on trying to keep these markets open, while providing a safe environment for consumers to shop. This article is a guide to help farmers markets set up their operation in a manner that will best protect consumers and allow for continuation of operations.

An aerial view of a series of swine finishing facilities.

Methods to Slow Finishing Pig Growth

In abnormal situations, like with the packing plant closure we’re currently dealing with, pork producers may need to “hold” their pigs past normal marketing dates in order for other processing options to open up. We can accomplish that in two ways: altering internal barn environment and changing diets.

Two blue feed buckets filled with distillers grains.

Evaluating Feedstuffs on Nutrient Cost-Comparison Basis

Feed costs in dairy diets typically make up half or more of the input expenses of a ration. Thus, it is imperative to keep a handle on input costs by comparing ingredients on an apples-to-apples basis when looking for cost-effective diet solutions.

A woman holding a frozen pork cut next to an open freezer.

Pork Carcass Fabrication: Packaging and Meat Safety

This article is intended to provide guidance on the proper techniques for packaging meat and storing meat at home.

Round hay bales loaded on transport trailers.

Haul the Feed or the Cows

Reduction in pasture forage availability may require producers to decide between hauling feed or hauling cows. Learn how to decide which option is best for your operation.

Stacked, round hay bales.

Comparing and Pricing Forages

Drought and generally dry conditions across South Dakota have challenged the feed availability for many livestock producers. With this challenge is the potential increase in demand for forage products and a wide range in the nutritional quality of the forages for sale.

Newborn black angus calf with mother cow.

Beef: Best Management Practices for Cow-Calf Production

This comprehensive book provides producers with insight and education into the latest beef management, handling practices and technology.

Producer and USDA Farm Service Agency agent reviewing forms on a desk.

Qualifying Livestock Forage Program Applications

As drought conditions worsen, livestock producers will find feed assistance from the Livestock Forage Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency. Learn how to qualify, apply and certify your application for assistance.

A green cut alfalfa field dries as the sun sets.

Forage Resources for South Dakota Farmers and Ranchers

Producers often have difficulties locating fellow producers to buy, sell or rent forages and grazing acres too. South Dakota now has two widely recognized, free resources to aid in these connections.

Producer unloading fresh, farm-grown produce from a delivery truck at a super market.

Requirements for Selling Food to Retail in South Dakota

Now more than ever, we are seeing food processors and entrepreneurs in South Dakota bringing their food products, not only to farmers markets, but also to retail stores. This article provides regulatory guidance and outlines the necessary steps required to allow for the sale of foods to retail stores.