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Pasture

All Pasture 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.

Vast, rolling rangeland near the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Pasture

Pastures and rangelands are a valuable resource for owners of equine and livestock.

Red angus cattle gathered in a feedlot in winter.

Livestock

South Dakota is home to a dynamic livestock industry.

a prescribed burning taking place in a field

Fall Fire Safety

The moisture and cooler temperatures of fall make it easy to become lax about fire danger, however, conditions can still lead to easy ignition and rapid growth of wildfires.

Wildlife and the Bottom Line

As the fall harvest wraps up and this year’s calf crop is weaned, many producers may be nervous about what their paychecks will look like for 2016. In tough market conditions, it can be tempting to try to squeeze just a bit more production out of the land.

A green front-end-loader pulling a hay mower with a flushing bar.

Haying With Wildlife in Mind

Anyone who has spent time cutting hay knows that hayland can be a magnet for wildlife in late spring and early summer. Hay fields are often considered an “ecological trap” for wildlife; that is, they appear to be high quality habitat for nesting or feeding due to tall, dense grass and legumes, but often lead to increased mortality once harvesting is under way.

A group of cattle grazing in fall pasture.

Grazing in the Shoulder Season

There has been an increasing push towards lengthening the grazing season in order to feed less hay, and with good reason. Winter feed is often one of the most expensive components of the cow-calf year.

A lush, native South Dakota pasture with a variety of grasses, flowers, and plants growing throughout.

Is Whole Pasture Spraying Necessary?

Broadcast spraying is a common means of controlling undesirable, or perceived weedy plants in a pasture in South Dakota. Although well-intentioned, broadcast spraying can have many negative consequences, some of which are not immediately apparent.

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.

a creep feeder unit in a pasture. Photo by Alice Welch, USDA

Considering Creep Feeding

Despite what Mother Nature seems to think the summer months are approaching and for some that means rolling out the creep feeder and for others considering whether creep feeding is a necessary investment.