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Pasture

All Pasture Content

A male and femail dung beetle rolling a ball of dung in a pasture. Courtesy: Beverly Skinner/USFWS (CC BY 2.0)

Managing Livestock for Dung Beetles and Other Beneficial Species

South Dakota researchers have taken a closer look at the function of dung beetles in Eastern South Dakota over the last few years. This article summarizes findings related to management of livestock grazing and chemical pesticides in relation to dung beetle and insect community health.

A patty of dung with several holes in it and grass growing through it. It has been broken down by dung beetles.

Dung Beetles and Other Insects Can Help Breakdown Dung and Control Pests

This article summarizes findings related to dung beetle ecology and how dung beetles advance the breakdown of dung pats.

A stock pond with noticable blue-green algae bloom throughout.

Blue-Green Algae and Livestock

With warmer temperatures, the conditions are right for blue-green algae blooms. Different species of blue-green algae contain various toxins, which can poison livestock, resulting in rapid death.

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.

A field of flowering alfalfa.

Precautions for Grazing Weevil-Infested Alfalfa

Alfalfa weevil populations are high this year, creating challenges for producers. Questions have arisen on how to get some value out of the forage by grazing it rather than putting it up for hay.

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 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.

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.