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Group of calves grazing in a fenced-in area.

Weaning Calves on Cover Crops

What do we do if it is time to wean calves, but the pen isn’t ready? That can be a real concern during wet fall seasons, such as 2019. Putting calves into muddy pen conditions is far from desirable, but holding calves on the cows deep into fall increases the risk of adverse winter weather and tends to pull body condition off the cows.

A patch of western wheatgrass with ergot fungus growing throughout.

Ergot in Western Wheatgrass and the Potential Effects for Winter Grazing

2019 has been a year fraught with challenges for ranchers across South Dakota. Abundant precipitation is usually a blessing, however, wet conditions coupled with a cool spring followed by warmer temperatures has caused another problem across the rangelands of South Dakota: ergot poisoning.

Group of adults and children playing doubleball game in a field

Dakota & Lakota Traditional Games Resource

Play these games to promote the development of physical endurance, coordination, dexterity, quickness and strength.

A heard of cattle grazing in a snowy pasture.

Nutritional Needs Prior to Calving

Nutrition during late gestation plays a large role on the future calf as well as the dam. It is during the last 60-90 days of gestation, or the pre-calving period, that impacts the calf’s survivability, long-term health and overall production.

Black angus cattle feeding in a feedlot.

What Goes Into Calculating Yardage?

Yardage cost is the non-feed cost per head for every day that an animal is fed harvested feed in some form of confinement. Yardage is usually associated with calves and yearlings in the feedlot, but this concept can apply to drylotted or wintering cows as well.

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.

A pork carcass that has been cut in half. There are black lines demonstrating where to cut the carcass into its primal cuts. White arrows call out the tenderloin section and the aitch bone. For a complete description, contact SDSU Extension at: 605-688-4792

At-Home Hog Slaughter

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused supply chain disruptions for nearly every commodity, including the swine industry. This has left many producers searching for alternative strategies to market their livestock and consumers seeking alternative options for sourcing meat. One option that can be considered is butchering pigs at home.

A man in a blue apron trimming the fat off the back of a pork loin cut.

Pork Carcass Fabrication: Primal and Retail Cuts

This article is intended to provide guidance on the proper techniques for fabricating a pork carcass at home.

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.

A rancher inspecting the water quality of a small stock pond.

How Do Sulfates in Water Affect Livestock Health?

Poor-quality water will cause an animal to drink less. As a result, they also consume less forage and feed, which leads to weight loss, decreased milk production and lower fertility.