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.
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.
One proposed way to cut fall/winter feeding costs is to extend the grazing season and allow the livestock to harvest the resource instead of relying on mechanical harvest.
After oats have been harvested, options exist to keep a living root in the soil. This can be done through growing cover crops. In 2018 an on-farm trial was preformed near Salem, South Dakota to observe how cover crops grown after oats would germinate after common herbicides had been applied.
This article summarizes findings related to dung beetle ecology and how dung beetles advance the breakdown of dung pats.
South Dakota researchers have taken a closer look at the function of dung beetles in Eastern South Dakota over the last few years. This article summarizes findings related to management of livestock grazing and chemical pesticides in relation to dung beetle and insect community health.
Smooth bromegrass is a cool-season introduced grass with an advanced root system that tolerates temperature extremes and drought exceptionally well.
Grazing land occupies 54% of rural land and accounts for a key portion of land use in South Dakota. Many grassland problems can be avoided by using efficient grazing management practices.
Hay that contains sweet clover can be an excellent feed as long as the dicoumarol level is known and feeding management is used to prevent poisoning.
To better understand producer perceptions on rotational grazing, we sent out 1,500 surveys to South Dakota ranchers inquiring about adoption status and perceptions of rotational grazing.