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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.

man holding a small pile of soil in his hands

Transitioning to Soil Health Systems in Eastern South Dakota Intended for beginners: Where do I start?

Fact sheet for beginners on where to start transitioning to soil health systems in eastern South Dakota.

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.

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.

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.

Rancher standing in a vast, rolling grassland.

Grassland Fertilization: Terminology and Economics

This article is the first in a series of six focused on helping producers understand the pros and cons of grassland fertilization. We begin by learning some of the basic terminology and information related to fertilization.

A native pasture community with noticable invasive plant issues.

Grassland Fertilization: Native Pasture Case Study - Hamlin County

Whether fertilization pays or not depends on the species present, the past management history and the type of grazing strategy. This study compares two very different plant communities that represent typical pastures and management schemes in this area.

Cattle grazing a high-diversity, native pasture.

Grassland Fertilization: Native Grass Planting Case Study - Codington County

Management goals of planted grasslands are an important driver in the consideration of whether fertilizer applications will be beneficial or harmful. Here, we will discuss various plant communities and the impact of fertilization on each.