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Range

All Range Content

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.

A pasture containing a mixture of grasses and alfalfa.

Scouting for Grasshoppers in Pasture and Alfalfa

For 2019, we have either received reports of very high grasshopper numbers or of very low or nearly absent populations. Most reports of high populations have originated from areas near rivers and other waterways. This suggests that the rich foliage along the banks of waterways has provided excellent habitat for grasshoppers and has boosted their populations in those areas.

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 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.