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Pasture

All Pasture Content

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.

A color-coded map of the united states indicating temperature outlook for August 2019. South Dakota is mostly covered in blue.

August 2019 Climate Outlook: Cool and Wet

According to the latest climate outlook update, odds are favoring that August 2019 will be cooler than average. The update was released by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center on July 31, 2019.

A field of yellow sweet clover in bloom.

Yellow Sweet Clover: Information and Management

Sweet clover is an opportunistic plant that is going to be abundant in pastures and hay fields when growing conditions are favorable, ideally for two consecutive years. Although it can cause problems, it is valuable to wildlife and pollinators and is a nutritious forage source.

Two flies side-by-side. The left fly is a Western horse fly. The right fly is a deer fly.

Horse Flies and Deer Flies Becoming Abundant

The above-average precipitation this year has led to increased numbers of horse flies and deer flies across South Dakota. Widespread flooding and an overall abundance of available water has made conditions perfect for these flies.

A color-coded map of the United Statees showing the precipitation outlook for August through October 2019. All of South Dakota is light green. Parts of Western South Dakota are a darker green.

Wet Conditions Likely Into Fall Season

Many locations in South Dakota have already received as much precipitation this year as they do in an entire average year. The latest climate outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center shows increased chances of wetter than average conditions to continue into the fall season.

Color-coded map of the United States indicating predicted precipitation for July 2019. South Dakota is set to experience above normal precipitation.

July 2019 Climate Outlook: Challenges Continue

This year’s seasonal pattern of wetter than average conditions is projected to continue through July and the rest of the summer season. The latest climate outlook, released June 20, 2019, shows an increased chance of wetter than average conditions in the next one to three months for the state of South Dakota.

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

2017 Weed Control: Pasture and Range

There are 24 million acres of native and tame pasture and range as well as 1.4 million acres of grass hayland in South Dakota.

A color-coded map of the United States indicating precipitation outlook for June 2019.

June 2019 Climate Outlook for South Dakota

As South Dakota emerges from the wettest 12-month period in 124 years of climate recordkeeping (June 2018-May 2019), June has started warmer and drier than average. The outlook, however, turns towards cooler and wetter than average again for the middle of the month.