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Goats

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Red angus cattle gathered in a feedlot in winter.

Livestock

South Dakota is home to a dynamic livestock industry.

small group of sheep standing in a pasture

Sheep & Goats

South Dakota ranks fifth nationally in sheep and wool production. And the industry is growing.

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.

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.

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 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.

small group of cattle in a flooded pasture. FEMA News Photo

Livestock Loss Assistance

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) is designed to provide a payment to livestock owners or contract growers who experience excess livestock deaths due to adverse weather, including winter storms, floods, extreme cold and blizzards, eligible disease and eligible attacks.

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.

man with rubber gloves inspecting cell-based food product

Cell-Based Meat Products: Background and Current Status

There is ongoing development of cell-based or lab-grown meat products by numerous companies around the world.