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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.

A large swine barn at the edge of a field.

Pork Producers and the One Health Movement: Actions at the State Level

The term “One Health” has been coined to describe the concept that the health of people, animals and their environment are inextricably linked. The most commonly considered examples of One Health in practice are zoonotic diseases. For pork producers, influenza strains that originate in pigs, but pass to people are a pertinent example.

A black, crossbred calf standing in a feedlot.

Choosing Beef Genetics for Use in Dairy Herds

Combinations of new technologies and economic challenges often usher in sweeping changes and opportunities. The use of beef genetics on dairy cows is the most-recent example.

Woman at a booth demonstrating beef sustainability.

New “AgriCulture” Event in Rapid City Connects Urban Families to Ag Community

Rapid City’s Main Street Square featured all-things agriculture on Saturday, September 21, 2019 allowing urban consumers an opportunity to meet the farmers and ranchers who produce their food and learn how they care for crops, livestock and rangelands.

Six black cattle grazing a field with patches of snow.

Considerations for Cull Cows

The last year was difficult to say the least, from a wet, muddy spring and late planting to an early, wet fall and difficult harvest. Unfortunately, for cow calf producers, the repercussions were seen during pregnancy detection this year, as the number of slaughter cows within the state were abundant due to open cows.

A herd of cattle gather around a stock pond on a vast, lush grassland. Courtesy: USDA [CC BY 2.0]

Weed Control: Pasture and Range

There are 24 million acres of native and tame pasture and range as well as 1.4 million acres of grass hayland in South Dakota.

A close shot of a black and red cow's face. A blurred white cow's head is in the foreground.

Testing Your Beef Cattle for Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus

Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) is among the most important pathogens affecting today’s beef and dairy cattle operations. Associated with reproductive, digestive, and respiratory illnesses in cattle, the virus can also create a congenital, persistent infection in calves, greatly aiding the virus’ spread within and between herds.

Frost-covered grass in a winter pasture.

SWOT Analysis for Your Ranch (And Don’t Forget About Yourself)

A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is something that you can sit down and complete during this first month or so of 2020 so that you can set your operation up for success as we move into the more hectic times that spring brings.

A pair of hands wearing garden gloves holding tomatoes. A white text overlay reads "2018 Farm Bill." This image is courtesy of the USDA Farm Service Agency.

Time to Sign up for 2018 Farm Bill

This winter it is time to study up on the Farm Bill elections and make an appointment with the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) in order to put the program in place for the farm. The deadline to make the election is March 15, 2020.