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Drought: Livestock

All Drought: Livestock Content

Drought-stressed cornfield.

Valuing Drought-Stressed Corn Silage

Salvaging failed crops as silage for livestock can be a “win-win” for both crop growers and livestock owners. Learn how you can use data to improve the odds of finding a value that is fair to both parties.

Group of beef calves in a pen.

Managing Earlier Weaned Calves

Weaning calves at an earlier-than-normal age is a proven strategy to reduce grass demands by 25% or more during drought conditions. Learn some key management considerations for getting started.

Small group of cattle grazing a vast, well-managed rangeland.

Holistic Ranch Management Helps With Economic and Climate Resilience

Holistic ranch management offers ways to think about ranching as part of a diverse ecological system. Learn how two South Dakota operations have leveraged it to generate multiple income streams from shared resources.

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.

White goat resting in a drought-stressed pasture.

Heat Stress in Small Ruminants

The Upper Midwest provides periods of extreme heat during summer and shorter periods of heat stress potential during spring and fall. Are your sheep and goats cool enough in their environment?

Skidloader outside being used to turn compost pile.

Guidelines for Livestock Carcass Disposal in South Dakota

Everyone who works with animals tries their best to keep all animals alive. In turn, they also know there will always be normal mortality. Proper carcass disposal is crucial in preventing the spread of disease and protecting the environment.

Producer reviewing an aid application with a USDA FSA agent.

Livestock Loss Assistance Available

Has your operation experienced a sudden catastrophic loss of livestock due to weather? Financial assistance may be available through the USDA Livestock Indemnity Program.

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.