Skip to main content

Forage

All Forage Content

aerial view of South Dakota farm and surrounding land

Pest & Crop Newsletter

SDSU Extension publishes the South Dakota Pest & Crop Newsletter to provide growers, producers, crop consultants, and others involved in crop production with timely news pertinent to management of pests, diseases, and weeds in South Dakota.

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

Moisture is Critical When Harvesting Silage During a Wet Year

October 09, 2019

With many flooded and saturated fields in South Dakota this fall, harvesting silage before corn dries past desired moisture levels or frost occurs may be a challenge for some producers.

Silage, Crop Management, Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Corn, Forage

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.

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.

Color-coded map showing the October precipitation outlook for the United States.

2019 October Climate Outlook and Missouri River Forecast

The chances of a wet October increased with the latest climate outlook update, released on September 30, 2019. In the first few days of the month, rain or snow has scattered across much of the state. There hasn’t been a heavy rain or snow event this month. The outlook shows odds leaning towards much of the same pattern in the weeks ahead.

Canada thistle growing in a pasture.

Fall Noxious Weed Control

September 30, 2019

Fall is the time to control tough perennial broadleaf lawn weeds. Good moisture in most places in August will have set up good fall growth of perennial weeds.

Forage, Range, Grassland, Pasture, Crop Management, Crop Treatments

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 group of brown cattle foraging in a green field.

Prussic Acid Poisoning

As the first frost date approaches, producers often have concerns about the risk of prussic acid poisoning in livestock. Certain forage plants, especially sorghums and related species are associated with an increased risk of death loss because of prussic acid poisoning.

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

Maximizing Silage Value

October 09, 2019

Significant losses happen every year in silage bunkers and piles across the United States.

Silage, Beef Cattle, Range, Forage, Dairy Cattle, Animal Health, Corn, Crop Management

a map of the United States with different colors showing the precipitation outlook variations.

Fall Frost and September Climate Outlook for 2019

September 2019 has been pleasantly warmer than usual, and our crops need every bit of that warmth to reach maturity before our first frost arrives. Fortunately, temperatures have cooled slightly this week but just to near average for this time of year.