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A color-coded precipitation probability map of the United States. The majority of South Dakota is predicted to have wetter than average precipitation, with the highest likelihood being in the southwest corner of the state. For a complete description, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.

May 2020 Climate Outlook

On April 16, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center released their climate outlook for May and the coming three-month period of May through July. There is a lot of uncertainty in the temperature outlook for the next one-to-three months in the Northern Plains Region.

Teardrop shaped tick with a dark brown body and legs and an elongate white patch behind its head.

Ticks Becoming Active in South Dakota

The arrival of spring in South Dakota means warmer weather and more outdoor activities. However, it also brings an increase in tick activity.

A glass of water being filled from a kitchen sink tap.

COVID-19 and Home Water Use

There have been questions regarding spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 through drinking water.

A small black bug with tan margins on the wings. This insect is resting on a grass seed head.

Drought Conditions Magnifying Impact of Black Grass Bugs

With much of South Dakota continuing to experience moderate-to-extreme drought conditions, black grass bugs could become a concern in some areas. Large populations of black grass bugs can cause severe damage to pasture.

a dried up watering hole on the open prairie

Protect Livestock with Water Testing

May 04, 2021

South Dakota State University Extension is offering on-site livestock water testing service at all SDSU Extension Regional Extension Centers and several SDSU Extension County Offices throughout the state.

Herd of black-beef cattle being moved in drought-stressed rangeland.

Trigger Dates: Critical Decisions for Drought Management

Having a drought plan in place ensures that you can overcome the inhibitions surrounding a drought response, the basis of which is figuring out trigger dates.

hereford beef cattle drinking at dam during drought.

Hot Days Ahead and the Need for Water

Hot summer days are still ahead, and we need to account for water. The amount of water a cow requires varies depending on a variety of factors, including environmental temperature, lactation status and weight.

Winter wheat field with extreme soil erosion due to drought.

Impacts of Drought on Soil, Water, Forage and Livestock Grazing Systems

Grazing systems are complex, because soil, water, forage and livestock components are interconnected and affect each other. Producers can put themselves back in the driver’s seat by developing annual systems-level grazing plans for favorable and unfavorable situations.

Three grassland insects. From left: white grub, dung beetles and Dakota Skipper Butterfly.

Rangeland Insects Are Critical Indicators of System Health

Insects, in general, may offer more indication of rangeland health than any other type of organism. They serve as key building blocks that other organisms depend on.

Hereford heifers feeding from trough during drought.

Livestock Tools for Managing Through Drought

As drought conditions continue, ranchers are faced with making some difficult decisions. South Dakota State University Extension offers multiple tools and resources that can be used to help make the best management decisions for your operation.