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Rancher surveying pasture in an offroad vehicle.

Use Caution When Fall Spraying Noxious Weeds in Pastures To Avoid Harming Desirable Plants

Noxious weed control is often a long-term process. In some cases, chemical application may be deemed necessary, but it should always be considered in the context of appropriate management and an integrated best management framework.

A dirt road leading to a winder energy station in the middle of a grassland area.

Understanding Contract Language and Restoring Native Grassland Damage after Energy Development

Energy development on private lands can result in locally heavy land manipulation. Of particular concern is the manipulation of native grasslands and other sensitive areas and how it will affect those areas in the short-and-long-term.

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 an excellent time to spray these weeds and get a good kill.

Field with livestock grazing with a crane and wind turbine in the background

Best Management Practices Guide for Restoration of Native Grasslands and Sensitive Sites Resulting from Energy or Industrial Development

A general guide to South Dakota landowners who are considering or who have allowed energy or other industrial development on their property.

Flowering Canada thistle distributing seed in a pasture.

Dense Seeding Can Reduce Canada Thistle in Planted Grasslands

Canada thistle is a common invader in grassland plantings. Over the past decade, researchers and land managers have experimented with controlling Canada thistle in planted grasslands through increasing competition from desirable plants.

A pasture containing a mixture of grasses and alfalfa.

Start Scouting for Grasshopper Activity in Crops and Grasslands

Most of Eastern South Dakota is experiencing very low grasshopper populations. However, this is not the case for many areas in Central and Western South Dakota.

A shlterbelt near a grassland with several volunteer trees growing in it.

Removing Mature Shelterbelts From Grasslands

Under what circumstances would removal of mature shelterbelts be warranted? This is a common question often asked in wildlife and conservation circles.

Grassland with a large amount of dried brush and fuel for burning.

Removing Young Trees From Grasslands Will Save Money and Effort

Volunteer trees can hinder the development of desirable wildlife habitat and livestock resources. Early control of volunteer woody species is the simplest and most cost-effective option for maintaining open grassland habitats.

A male and femail dung beetle rolling a ball of dung in a pasture. Courtesy: Beverly Skinner/USFWS (CC BY 2.0)

Managing Livestock for Dung Beetles and Other Beneficial Species

South Dakota researchers have taken a closer look at the function of dung beetles in Eastern South Dakota over the last few years. This article summarizes findings related to management of livestock grazing and chemical pesticides in relation to dung beetle and insect community health.

A patty of dung with several holes in it and grass growing through it. It has been broken down by dung beetles.

Dung Beetles and Other Insects Can Help Breakdown Dung and Control Pests

This article summarizes findings related to dung beetle ecology and how dung beetles advance the breakdown of dung pats.