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Forage

All Forage Content

An orange plastic hoop placed around a portion of tall grass on a range to provide a measurement.

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure: Range Record Keeping

Range record keeping helps detect and demonstrate landscape changes that have a direct impact on your ability to maintain or grow your herd.

aerial view of South Dakota farm and surrounding land

Crops

During the growing season, SDSU Extension provides weekly production recommendations.

A green front-end-loader pulling a hay mower with a flushing bar.

Haying With Wildlife in Mind

Anyone who has spent time cutting hay knows that hayland can be a magnet for wildlife in late spring and early summer. Hay fields are often considered an “ecological trap” for wildlife; that is, they appear to be high quality habitat for nesting or feeding due to tall, dense grass and legumes, but often lead to increased mortality once harvesting is under way.

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 creep feeder unit in a pasture. Photo by Alice Welch, USDA

Considering Creep Feeding

Despite what Mother Nature seems to think the summer months are approaching and for some that means rolling out the creep feeder and for others considering whether creep feeding is a necessary investment.

Mixed cattle in feedlot

Effects of Nutrition Changes Following Artificial Insemination

When considering heifer development strategies, it may be important for a producer to consider nutritional stress from changes in the diet following breeding.

Several wrapped bales of hay lined up near a barn.

Importance of Proper Forage Sampling

As dairymen and livestock caretakers, we are trying to optimize the performance of our livestock, whether it is producing milk or meat. Without knowing the quality of the feedstuff or forage we are feeding, it becomes difficult to balance a ration to ensure the animal is receiving the proper amounts of needed nutrients.

A large square bale of Alfalfa hay that has been put up for storage.

Understanding Hay Inoculants and Preservatives on ‘Dry’ Hay

As haying season approaches, producers across South Dakota will begin preparing to get out the baler. In recent years, it has been quite difficult for many producers to put up quality, dry hay. This often results in growers considering using inoculants and hay preservatives.

Hay with a brown, carmelized color.

Minimizing Hay Storage Loss From Heating or Fires

Successful hay storage is essential to preserving high quality forage, while ensuring desired performance from livestock and deterring economic losses from unwanted hay storage fires.

Three, four-wheel drive John Deere tractors, pushing up chopped corn silage into a drive over pile on a dairy farm.

Harvesting Silage on a Wet Year: Moisture is Critical

Fall is on its way in South Dakota. However, with many flooded and saturated fields, some producers are growing concerned that there will be little opportunity to harvest silage before corn dries down past desired moisture levels or frost occurs.