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Content by Alexander "Sandy" Smart

Professional headshot of Sandy Smart

SDSU Extension program leader receives Society for Range Management Fellow Award

March 13, 2023

The Society for Range Management recently named SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Senior Program Leader Sandy Smart a 2023 Fellow Award winner.

Color-coded map showing rainfall accumulation at the locations of the four hub study sites in South Dakota. For assistance reading this graphic and data set, please call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.

Range Roundup: Precision Agriculture Range Project With Producer Participation

SDSU Extension researchers started a new precision agriculture range project using remote sensing, machine learning, and ground-collected vegetation samples to develop an application to measure forage quality and quantity throughout the state in near real-time.

Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, receiving an award on-stage at the 2022 Soil Health Conference.

Anthony Bly Receives Friend of Soil Health Award

May 16, 2022

Anthony Bly, SDSU Extension Soils Field Specialist, received the 2022 Friend of Soil Heath Award at the 2022 Soil Health Conference.

Two producers and a conservation agent moving cattle in a grassland area.

Drought Assistance From USDA: CRP Haying and Grazing

As this year’s drought intensifies, folks are quickly running short of forage. Due to the D2 Drought Monitor classification, most South Dakota counties qualify for Conservation Reserve Program haying and grazing for emergency and non-emergency use.

Smart to Lead SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program

July 06, 2021

South Dakota State University Extension has named Alexander “Sandy” Smart as the new Agriculture and Natural Resources Senior Program Leader.

Group of black cattle near a stock dam that’s drying up under drought conditions.

Drought Planning

A drought plan will be an essential component to your overall grazing plan, as it provides guidance in making decisions during critical times when forage may be lacking.

An upland sandpiper bird nestled in a healthy grassland area.


Not only will well-managed grasslands provide habitat for native wildlife; the presence of these often-overlooked species are a great indicator of a well-managed (and likely profitable) grassland system.

Group of ranchers on horseback surveying a vast, rolling rangeland.

Managing and Protecting Grasslands for the Future

Grasslands are a valuable resource for South Dakota, and many of our core industries rely on the perpetuation of healthy grasslands for agriculture, recreation and tourism. Regardless of goals and objectives, many grassland landowners desire assistance with short and long-term grassland management goals.

Herd of cattle grazing in a pasture rotation.

General Principals of Grazing Management

Grazing involves a number of variables, including land carrying capacity, type and distribution of the livestock, water distribution and number of pastures. A combination of proper grazing techniques and grassland management will improve harvest efficiency and lower production costs.

Small group of cattle grazing a well-managed grassland area.

Grazing Systems

According to rangeland and pasture specialists, there are four basic types of grazing systems, including: continuous grazing, deferred rotational grazing, rest rotational grazing and management-intensive grazing.