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Content by Sean Kelly

Tom Hausmann gives a briefing before the burn, while Greg Schmitz listens with the rest of the burn crew.

Range Roundup: Partnership Between Absentee Landowner and Rancher Allows for Pasture Renovation

Properly maintained pastures require ongoing, cooperative and mutually beneficial processes planned by landowners and renters, especially if the owners are absentee. Learn some key considerations for starting the process.

Three producers discussing a grazing plan in a pasture.

Five Range Management Principles: #2 Creating a Grazing Plan

Creating a grazing management plan can be overwhelming. Learn the basic steps for outlining a plan, along with several resources to help identify the right strategy for your operation.

Rain gauge on a fencepost along a well-managed rangeland.

Five Range Management Principles: Overview

The goal of the Regenerative Rangelands program is to educate landowners and producers on grazing management and other decisions that impact the sustainability of their ranching operation.

Producers surveying a rangeland site.

Five Range Management Principles: #1 Adaptive Management

Adaptive management is a process that livestock producers can incorporate into their operation to increase operation flexibility and adjust to changing conditions.

Rolling, drought-stressed pasture with new, green growth emerging in early fall.

Be Careful Grazing the Green this Fall

With fall grazing on the horizon, nearly all of South Dakota is still experiencing drought conditions. Regardless of where your ranch is located, a rancher must be very careful when grazing the fall green-up of cool-season grasses.

Dormant pasture in Tripp County with adequate residual cover.

Getting Ready for Winter on the Range

During periods of summer and fall drought, winter grazing opportunities may be limited or not available at all. Ranch managers must ensure that enough residual plant height and vegetation cover of the soil surface is available through the winter to aid in recovery of the rangeland.

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

Range Improvements, Grazing Systems and Net Present Value, What is the Right Balance?

As farms and ranches across South Dakota continue to endure increasing costs of production while receiving less cash for grain and livestock marketed; ranch managers must be extra diligent when implementing new range improvements and grazing systems on their ranches.

A father and daughter working on a fence along rangeland.

Strategic and Scenario Planning in Ranching: Conducting a Ranch Inventory

During times of belt-tightening, it’s imperative to make sure all the resources of the ranch are being utilized as efficiently as possible. Conducting a complete ranch inventory is a perfect time for ranch managers to take an in-depth look at their operation.

A small herd of cattle gathered around a pond on an open range.

Financial Considerations With Livestock Grazing Distribution

With spring turnout to grass here for some ranchers and just around the corner for others, proper livestock grazing distribution is a key aspect of a comprehensive grazing management plan.

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.