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Grassland

All Grassland 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.

Small herd of mixed cattle grazing rangeland in late fall.

S.D. Producers’ Willingness To Adopt Patch Burn Grazing vs. Winter Patch Grazing

Patch-burn grazing and winter patch grazing are heterogenous rangeland management practices that aim to increase the diversity of grass composition to benefit wildlife and maintain livestock production. To learn about producers’ desire to adopt these practices, we conducted an online survey between November 2019 and January 2020.

Small herd of mixed cattle grazing rangeland in late fall.

Producer Views on Patch Burn Grazing vs. Winter Patch Grazing in S.D.

Traditional rangeland management promotes uniform forage utilization, yet causes detrimental effects on the richness of plant species and wildlife habitat. Therefore, management practices that increase heterogeneity in vegetation play an important role in developing diverse habitat types and preserving grassland wildlife species.

Female FSA employee reviewing paperwork with a male producer.

Counties Designated as Disaster Areas and Qualify for Other Programs

Five South Dakota counties have been given disaster declarations due to dry summer conditions. This declaration gives producers in these counties and those in contiguous counties access to USDA-FSA emergency loans.

A yearling heifer grazes on Canada thistle after a mid-October snowfall.

Plan Now to Control Weeds With Grazing Next Season

Livestock will graze Canada goldenrod, Canada thistle and perennial sow thistle. At certain times of the year, these plants have crude protein, total digestible nutrients, and invitro dry matter digestibility concentrations similar to alfalfa and other common forages.

A series of beaver dam analog structures built to limit rangeland erosion.

Range Roundup: Riparian Health Project Started in Western South Dakota

Riparian health is critical to prairie systems. Over the last five years, federal, state, NGO and university partners and producers in Northwest S.D. were involved in a needs assessment that identified riparian health as an area of significant concern across Western S.D.

A small herd of cattle grazing a hilly pasture in early fall.

Barriers To Rotational Grazing: Perceptions From Ranchers in the Dakotas

Despite the potential benefits of rotational grazing, its adoption rate has stagnated in recent years. To help understand major barriers faced by producers towards rotational grazing, we conducted a survey among ranchers in the U.S. Great Plains.

Two ranchers in a pasture reviewing a mangement plan.

The Importance of Math in the Art of Grazing: Part 1

It might seem a bit silly to check in on your stocking rate calculations, but it is something that is undoubtedly worth your time, whether you’re a seasoned rancher or you’re still trying to get your feet under you.

Dormant pasture in Tripp County with adequate residual cover.

Getting Ready for Winter on the Range

During periods of summer and fall drought, winter grazing opportunities may be limited or not available at all. Ranch managers must ensure that enough residual plant height and vegetation cover of the soil surface is available through the winter to aid in recovery of the rangeland.

Group of angus cattle grazing winter pasture.

Rotational Grazing During Winter

Winter feed represents one of the largest costs for a livestock production enterprise. Grazing pasture that has been stockpiled for winter use is a rational alternative to limit costs resulting from both harvest and feeding of hay.