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five beef cows standing in a pasture

Livestock Newsletter

SDSU Extension publishes the Livestock Newsletter to provide South Dakota producers, industry professionals and consumers with timely research-based recommendations.

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.

A statue of a dairy cow on a landscaped terrace in front of a long dairy barn.

Being Vigilant of Livestock Property Security and Surveillance

Livestock producers have many daily responsibilities when it comes to caring for and protecting their animals. One responsibility is to remain vigilant regarding individuals that oppose the use of animals for food or other purposes.

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.

Several portions of ground beef being inspected at a meat processing facility.

Meat Inspection in South Dakota: Requirements and Resources

Market volatility and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have left many producers searching for alternative strategies to market their livestock. Many have inquired about selling directly to consumers, which has generated many questions about meat inspection rules and regulations.

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.

Oat plants exhibiting crown rust symptoms.

Does Crown Rust in Oats Cause Problems for Livestock?

The weather conditions during the spring and summer of 2019 contributed to many challenges for farmers and livestock producers. For crop producers, one of those issues is crown rust in oats. The abundance of this crop disease has raised questions for livestock producers.

A green cut alfalfa field dries as the sun sets.

Forage Resources Available to S.D. Farmers and Ranchers

Forages are a very important part of the South Dakota livestock and cropping industries. Often, producers have difficulties finding enough forage for their herd or locating a fellow producer to buy, sell or rent forages and grazing acres too. South Dakota now has two widely-recognized, free resources to aid in these connections.

Dutch Dakota Dairy at Lake Preston South Dakota is inundated with snow after a recent blizzard that has made farm facility access very difficult due to extreme snow depth. Courtesy: Truus Schukking

Available Disaster Resources Given Recent Weather Events

Given the recent havoc endured by producers in the upper mid-west by the spring blizzard or even prior flooding we are aware that many producers have incurred losses. There are several programs available through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to help provide assistance.

a father and son inspecting a show goat in a competition.

Bringing Home Your 4-H Goat Project

Sales and transport is a stressful time for any animal. Reducing stress factors due to transitions start before the actual purchase of your new project. Managing proper nutrition and disease management are just a couple factors to help your project get off to a great start.