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Content by Warren Rusche

A loader depositing soil into a trailer being pulled behind a tractor.

Summer Maintenance in Outside Yards

Spring mud and poor drainage are two of the biggest production drags associated with feeding cattle outside. Summer months represent an opportunity to address and correct any problems that might be present in open lots.

A small group of black angus cattle in a feedlot.

Bigger Cattle. Warmer Weather. What Can Go Wrong?

The disruptions in the beef processing sector caused by COVID-19 continue to interfere with the orderly marketing of finished cattle. While we all hope that the situation is resolved quickly, the reality is that because the shipment of so many harvest-ready cattle has been delayed, there will be increased numbers of heavier cattle on feed for the foreseeable future.

a red shed with grain stored inside

Managing Through Feed Supply Disruptions

April 23, 2020

One of the latest issues to result from the COVID-19 pandemic is the changes in the distillers grain marketplace.

Beef Cattle

A group of mixed heifers in a feedlot.

What Now? Alternative Cattle Feeding Strategies in the COVID-19 Era

The last few weeks have witnessed market volatility and disruptions that few, if any cattle producers have ever seen. That uncertainty is leading cattle producers to question the best strategy to market any cattle they have on inventory.

A red, three-stall feed shed with a dwindling supply of livestock feed.

Managing Through Feed Supply Disruptions

Availability of distillers grains may be limited in some locations because of production slow-downs related to COVID-19 and changes in the supply-demand picture for fuel.

hay bales lined up in a spring field

Resources and Options When Feed is Short

SDSU Extension offers resources to help producers find and evaluate feedstuffs to help meet their livestock’s needs.

Black angus cattle feeding in a feedlot.

What Goes Into Calculating Yardage?

Yardage cost is the non-feed cost per head for every day that an animal is fed harvested feed in some form of confinement. Yardage is usually associated with calves and yearlings in the feedlot, but this concept can apply to drylotted or wintering cows as well.

herd of cattle in a muddy feedlot with serious flooding. FEMA News Photo

Dealing With Spring Mud and Flooding

As the snow melts, we are going to be left to deal with mud at a minimum and extensive flooding as a possible worst-case scenario. While we can’t control the pace of melting or the possibility of additional precipitation, we may be able to take a few steps to mitigate the negative impacts.

A steer standing in a feedlot. Its middle back has a visible bald spot due to lice.

Winter Lice Control

Seeing cattle rubbing hair off due to lice infestations can be extremely frustrating. Not only are the cattle damaging fences and equipment, there also can be performance losses and health issues not to mention that the cattle are simply not as visibly appealing, which can be very important for seedstock producers or feeders selling backgrounded feeders.

A South Dakota Mesonet station in a snow-covered field.

SDSU Extension and South Dakota Mesonet team up to release the Livestock Stress Tool

February 07, 2020

Weather conditions in the Northern Plains can present many challenges for livestock producers. Farmers and ranchers need to be prepared for rapidly changing conditions to provide the best care for their livestock and minimize their risk of losses.

Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Sheep, Animal Health, Blizzard & Extreme Cold