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Range

All Range Content

A red angus cow with two unweaned calves attempting to suckle from it.

Alternative Calving Considerations

Structuring a calving program that best suites farm and ranch operations can be challenging. Of primary concern are: weather, labor, market timing, and animal health considerations, with weather possibly being the most volatile factor, as it ranges from challenging to catastrophic in some years.

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

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 black tailed prairie dog resting on a mount

Prairie Dog Management in South Dakota

Prairie dogs are an important component of the grassland ecosystem. They feed on grasses and forbs, as well as seeds and some insects. They can consume large amounts of vegetation. This is a problem for livestock producers as they compete with livestock for forage.

A patch of western wheatgrass with ergot fungus growing throughout.

Ergot in Western Wheatgrass and the Potential Effects for Winter Grazing

2019 has been a year fraught with challenges for ranchers across South Dakota. Abundant precipitation is usually a blessing, however, wet conditions coupled with a cool spring followed by warmer temperatures has caused another problem across the rangelands of South Dakota: ergot poisoning.

Canada thistle growing in a pasture.

Fall Noxious Weed Control

September 30, 2019

Fall is the time to control tough perennial broadleaf lawn weeds. Good moisture in most places in August will have set up good fall growth of perennial weeds.

Forage, Range, Grassland, Pasture, Crop Management, Crop Treatments

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.

six men in a pasture analyzing the types of grasses.

Range Workshops Held at Rosebud and Kyle this Summer

September 26, 2019

Youth and adults of the Sicangu Oyate (Rosebud Sioux Tribe) and the Oglala Lakota Nation participated in range workshops this summer put on by SDSU Extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and partners.

Range, Conservation, Youth Agriculture, Pasture, Grassland

Three, four-wheel drive John Deere tractors, pushing up chopped corn silage into a drive over pile on a dairy farm.

Maximizing Silage Value

October 09, 2019

Significant losses happen every year in silage bunkers and piles across the United States.

Silage, Beef Cattle, Range, Forage, Dairy Cattle, Animal Health, Corn, Crop Management

Canada thistle growing in a pasture.

Fall Noxious Weed Control

Fall weed control can give the best weed control, but it also can be a poor time. If the noxious weeds were sprayed or clipped earlier this summer and there is good weed growth now, this would be a excellent time to spray these weeds and get a good kill.