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Drought: Livestock

All Drought: Livestock Content

an image of outdoor weather monitoring equipment in a field

Climate and Weather

View resources to predict, prepare and recover from weather-related events year-round, including the latest drought and flood information.

Pregnant black angus cow standing in a dry pasture.

High Nitrates and Pregnant Cows

Drought poses many challenges to the beef cow herd. Nitrates in feed is one of the challenges that producers need to be aware of, especially in the reproductive herd.

Mother cow with calf in a dry, drought-stressed rangeland.

Planning for Breeding Season in Dry Conditions

Drier-than-normal conditions present added stress to producers and their herds in preparation for breeding season. During this critical period, producers should focus on making sound management decisions to maintain performance and profitability.

Two black cattle being isolated in a pen.

Cull Cows and Trichomoniasis

With increasing amounts of cows being sold at the sale barn with reproductive years left, there are some precautions to be aware of prior to bringing females home to re-breed.

Dry, winter rangeland with minimal snow cover.

Can You Break the Hydro-illogical Cycle?

Regardless of the time of year, it is critical to start thinking about the next drought before we are in it. Learn some key strategies for breaking the Hydro-Illogical Cycle by leveraging drought motioning resources and creating a plan for your operation.

From left: Meadow deathcamas in a South Dakota prairie rangeland. Silvery Lupine in a rangeland in South Dakota.

Poisonous Plants on Rangelands: Deathcamas and Lupine

With prolonged drought conditions throughout many areas of South Dakota, there is an increase of invasive weeds and poisonous plants on rangelands. Identification of poisonous plants is crucial to ensure livestock production is not compromised.

Two poisonous rangeland plants. Left: Woolly Locoweed.  Right: Lambert Crazyweed (Purple Locoweed).

Poisonous Plants on Rangelands: Locoweed and Crazyweed

Locoweed and crazyweed are found throughout South Dakota rangelands, and both can cause livestock poisoning.The names locoweed and crazyweed are often used interchangeably. However, there are notable differences between the species.

Producers surveying a rangeland site.

Five Range Management Principles: #1 Adaptive Management

Adaptive management is a process that livestock producers can incorporate into their operation to increase operation flexibility and adjust to changing conditions.

Group of mixed, brown cattle being moved into a feed yard.

Culling Decisions Due to Drought

Learn some key considerations for developing culling strategies that align with the goals and objectives of your operation when facing potential prolonged drought conditions.

Several bales of hay stacked in a shed.

Planning Forage Needs

Inventorying and planning for hay and other forage feed needs is essential every year, especially when production is uncertain due to drought or excess moisture.