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Grassland

All Grassland Content

herd of beef cattle grazing in a pasture

Structuring Grazing Leases

Fact sheet including ranch resource goals to improve landowner - lessee relationships.

A herd of mixed cattle grazing in a vast, open rangeland.

Biodiversity on Rangelands: What Role Does Grazing Have?

Livestock producers have a direct role in maintaining and creating biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, by choosing when, where, and how long to graze.

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.

healthy rangeland with a diverse variety of grasses and plants throughout

Importance of Plant Biodiversity in Rangelands

We often think of biodiversity in the context of animals, such as those that are threatened or endangered. However, biodiversity is equally important among plants, which are found throughout South Dakota, and in particular, in our rangelands.

A herd of cattle gather around a stock pond on a vast, lush grassland. Courtesy: USDA [CC BY 2.0]

Range Improvements, Grazing Systems and Net Present Value, What is the Right Balance?

As farms and ranches across South Dakota continue to endure increasing costs of production while receiving less cash for grain and livestock marketed; ranch managers must be extra diligent when implementing new range improvements and grazing systems on their ranches.

A father and daughter working on a fence along rangeland.

Strategic and Scenario Planning in Ranching: Conducting a Ranch Inventory

During times of belt-tightening, it’s imperative to make sure all the resources of the ranch are being utilized as efficiently as possible. Conducting a complete ranch inventory is a perfect time for ranch managers to take an in-depth look at their operation.

A small herd of cattle gathered around a pond on an open range.

Financial Considerations With Livestock Grazing Distribution

With spring turnout to grass here for some ranchers and just around the corner for others, proper livestock grazing distribution is a key aspect of a comprehensive grazing management plan.

A black angus cow walking through pasture being followed by two calves.

Lessons From Alternative Calving Workshops

Recently, the South Dakota Grassland Coalition and SDSU Extension held workshops across the State focused on sharing information from experienced livestock producers who have switched to a calving date more in sync with nature.

A small black bug with tan margins on the wings. This insect is resting on a blade of grass that is green with white spots.

Black Grass Bug Activity Expected in Coming Weeks

Spring green-up is the time to be watching for black grass bug activity. Large populations of this early-season pest can cause severe damage to pasture (up to 90% forage reduction) and infest the edges of wheat fields.

Teardrop shaped tick with a dark brown body and legs and an elongate white patch behind its head.

Ticks Becoming Active in South Dakota

The arrival of spring in South Dakota means warmer weather and more outdoor activities. However, it also brings an increase in tick activity.