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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 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 thick patch of yellow, flowering leafy spurge plants growing in a pasture.

Spot Treatment Options for State Noxious Plants

When controlling grassland weeds, the mindset of row crop weed control may be put into practice too often. In most cases, broadcast control of weeds in grasslands is rarely necessary. Most often, spot treatment can be used more effectively to manage the noxious and invading weeds.

Black caterpillars with white stripes feeding on green Canada thistle.

Thistle Caterpillars Showing Up on Canada Thistle

This week we received reports of caterpillars feeding on Canada thistle. After taking a look at the caterpillars, we determined that they are thistle caterpillars. However, we typically don’t see thistle caterpillar activity in S.D. until July or August. So why are they showing up so early this year?

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 shiny caterpillar with a light brown head, dark brown body, and three yellow stripes down the length of its back.

Watch Corn for Bronzed Cutworm Activity

Bronzed cutworms are not a common pest of corn in South Dakota. However, they can become an issue when corn is planted into areas that were previously grassland. Like its name implies, bronze cutworms feed on corn above the soil surface, which often results in cutting or clipping.

Microscope analyzing a slide.

How the Veterinary Lab Diagnoses Anthrax in a Beef Herd

Anthrax is a serious disease of cattle that pops up somewhere almost every year in South Dakota. It’s caused by a bacteria that survives as a very tough spore form in the soil. Knowing whether a death on pasture has been caused by anthrax is important for several reasons.

an image of outdoor weather monitoring equipment in a field

SD Mesonet, SD Wheat partner to Bring Weather Station to West River Research Farm, Sturgis

May 22, 2019

The South Dakota Mesonet has installed a new weather station at the West River Research Farm near Sturgis with the support of the South Dakota Wheat Commission.

Beef Cattle, Sheep, Corn, Soybean, Wheat, Cover Crops, Forage, Field Pea, Flax, Oats, Oilseed, Pulse Crops, Sorghum, Sunflower, Dairy Cattle, Dairy Goats, Goats, Horse, Poultry, Rabbit, Swine, Pasture, Range, Grassland, Soil Health, Wildlife, Developing Communities

healthy rangeland with a diverse variety of grasses and plants throughout

2019 S.D. Rangeland/Soils Days Give South Dakota Youth Opportunity to Learn about Natural Resources

May 21, 2019

The 36th annual South Dakota Rangeland Days and 15th annual Soils Days will be held June 18 & 19, 2019 in Redfield, South Dakota.

Beef Cattle, Sheep, Pasture, Range, Conservation, Grassland, Soil Health