Skip to main content

Search

A herd of sheep foraging on leafy spurge in a grassland.

Multi-Species Grazing as an Alternative to Pasture Spraying

Broadacre spraying of pastures is intended to reduce undesirable plants and increase grasses for livestock. This practice often results in unintended consequences, including damage and reduction of native forbs and reduced profitability. One approach to managing perceived “weedy” plants is incorporating different species of livestock into a grazing operation.

A field of flowering alfalfa.

Precautions for Grazing Weevil-Infested Alfalfa

Alfalfa weevil populations are high this year, creating challenges for producers. Questions have arisen on how to get some value out of the forage by grazing it rather than putting it up for hay.

Two dandelions side by side. The left has a bee foraging on it. The right has a hover fly foraging on it..

Why Those Dandelions in Your Yard Aren’t So Bad

While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.

Grassland with a large amount of dried brush and fuel for burning.

Removing Young Trees From Grasslands Will Save Money and Effort

Volunteer trees can hinder the development of desirable wildlife habitat and livestock resources. Early control of volunteer woody species is the simplest and most cost-effective option for maintaining open grassland habitats.

A shlterbelt near a grassland with several volunteer trees growing in it.

Removing Mature Shelterbelts From Grasslands

Under what circumstances would removal of mature shelterbelts be warranted? This is a common question often asked in wildlife and conservation circles.

Several wrapped bales of hay lined up near a barn.

Round Bale Storage Conservation

Fact sheet discussing conservation of round bale storage.

A yearling heifer grazes on Canada thistle after a mid-October snowfall.

Plan Now to Control Weeds With Grazing Next Season

Livestock will graze Canada goldenrod, Canada thistle and perennial sow thistle. At certain times of the year, these plants have crude protein, total digestible nutrients, and invitro dry matter digestibility concentrations similar to alfalfa and other common forages.

Rancher surveying pasture in an offroad vehicle.

Use Caution When Fall Spraying Noxious Weeds in Pastures To Avoid Harming Desirable Plants

Noxious weed control is often a long-term process. In some cases, chemical application may be deemed necessary, but it should always be considered in the context of appropriate management and an integrated best management framework.

Field with field peas and blue sky with fluffy white clouds

Weed Control: Pulse Crops

Weed competition can cause significant yield reduction in pulse crops. Pulse crops are weak competitors with weeds, therefore planning an effective weed control program is one of the keys to profitable production.

Rangeland covered with dense thickets of maturing cedar trees.

Cedar Trees and Rangeland Loss

The issue of cedar tree invasion into South Dakota’s rangelands tends to be a regional conversation. There is generally broad agreement among most resource professionals that these trees are in fact changing our landscape in a negative way.