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    Five Tips on Time Management

    Have you ever heard anyone say they are not busy? I am guessing not. No matter how much technology we have at our finger tips or improved ways to complete an agricultural related task, you won’t find many people saying they don’t have their plate full or even over-flowing. Heavy workloads, and the feeling of being overwhelmed or stressed does not may our days very enjoyable. Is the reason for always seeming busy a time management issue? and learning some important tips to help your organize your time and help with focus.

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    Farm Animal Antibiotic Resistance and Stewardship

    During the February 1st Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, we heard one of the leading experts discuss the challenging social concerns of antibiotic resistance. Michael Apley, Frick Professor of Clinical Sciences with the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, challenged listeners to better understand the difference between judicious use and stewardship of antibiotics by reviewing the many factors involved in epidemiology (study of incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases).

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    Hands-on Cattle Handling Workshop: A recap from Beresford, SD

    The March 9th “Low Stress for Safety and Success” workshop near Beresford, SD was a full-day of presentations and hands-on activities. This workshop was hosted at the South Dakota Southeast Research Farm and The Opportunities Farm. “This workshop is the second of three producer workshops that was originally postponed from February 24th because of snow storms, so participants were thankful for fair weather and sunshine,” said Heidi Carroll, SDSU Extension Livestock Stewardship Associate.

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    Three ways to understand difficult people

    Managers and supervisors have many challenges to deal with daily in order to strive to help their company reach goals, be productive, and profitable. One of these challenges is dealing with difficult people. Their ability to lead difficult employees, which create an unproductive working environment and shift the employee into a high performing worker is an important skill for managers.

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    Four Steps to Clear Communication

    The greatest challenge with communication is remembering to do so! Busy times around farms, ranches and agri-business companies, lend us to often forget to actually communicate with those we work with. We think— I’ll just send a text and they will know what project I’m working on. A text can definitely provide an update, but when communication calls for a face-to-face discussion, how can one build an environment conducive to effective communication?

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    Agricultural Generational Communications: Part 3

    In my series of articles on ‘Agricultural Generational Communications’, focused around a mock farm, “ABC Farm” to illustrate generational issues, this article is going to focus deeper on communications. How many times have you heard someone say, “If only they would have communicated that point to me,” or “the main problem around here is communication, no one knows what is going on”, and “why does communication have to be so hard.”

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    Online Beef University: Beef up on beef

    Leaders are learners, always striving to learn more and not settling for the status quo. An excellent learning opportunity is now available for beef producers to learn more about the product they produce, or brush up on some of the production facts, beef labeling issues, beef inspection and grading along with the latest knowledge available to the beef industry. As a result you not only become more knowledgeable about the latest data and industry insights of beef production, but learning more about your product will enhance your ability to be a well-spoken beef industry advocate with the ability to inform consumers on their critical current questions and issues.

    Read More »

    Cottonwood Fire Recap

    Four months have passed since a large grass fire started along Interstate 90 between Wall and Cactus Flat, and was later named the Cottonwood Fire. With the combination of dry conditions, temperatures in the upper 80’s and a high wind warning that day, it was the recipe for a perfect storm. The fire burned over 41,000 acres within a matter of hours and was deemed the 5th largest fire on record in South Dakota history.

    Read More »

    Adding Value to Beef for Both the Producer and Consumer

    Getting more bang for your buck is always a goal in life. This holds true for both beef producers and consumers. Almost everyone likes a good steak, but good steaks are generally considered expensive. One way to lower the cost of a steak dinner is to find the “value added” cuts. Not only do these cuts stretch budgets farther, they also help the producer realize more value from the beef they raise. Steaks such as the flat iron, chuck eye, and the Denver cut are a great way to save money and still have an excellent eating experience.

    Read More »

    U.S. Beef Trade: Who? What? Why?

    Beef producers and consumers often ask about beef trade, why we import and export? The simple answer is we are trying to receive the highest value for the product produced. The following facts might be helpful to understand the beef industry: the U.S. is the largest producer, largest consumer, fourth-largest exporter and the largest importer of beef in the world according to USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service.

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    Feed Bunk Management

    When it comes to nutritional management of growing and finishing cattle, the scientific aspects tend to get the most attention. Hours are spent getting the formulations right and debating the merits of different ingredients and additives. In truth, feeding cattle successfully is as much art and judgment as science. Judgment is required to balance between over- and under-feeding. Under-feeding limits performance and possibly Quality Grade. Feeding too much increases feed waste and more importantly can trigger acidosis, poor performance, and increased death loss.

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    Caring for Animals When the Power Goes Out

    The power outages experienced in areas of South Dakota might make animal caretakers wonder, “How did we ever raise livestock in the days before electricity?”  Electric lights, hot water heaters, and mechanical ventilation are all items that are taken for granted, except when weather events interrupt their supply of “juice.”

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    Year-End Review & 2017 Planning

    The holiday season and the end of 2016 are upon us. Many newsworthy things happened in the beef cattle industry in 2016 that affected everyone in the beef business. Some were good and some were not so good, but all affected the successes of beef cattle producers throughout the year. The end of a year of managing any business, including beef cattle production, provides an opportunity to assess and evaluate how well management plans and practices worked throughout the year.

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    Hammering Out the Details as the VFD Rule Approaches

    As the January 1, 2017 implementation date approaches, livestock producers, veterinarians, and feed distributors are gearing up to start complying with new rules regarding feed-grade antibiotics. Among some producers and veterinarians, a recent sentiment has been that the VFD rules are “changing,” leading to confusion. In reality, the VFD rules have not “changed” at all since becoming final. The rules as published, however, aren’t heavy on details. When different people interpret these details on the basis of a specific farm’s needs, different answers to the same questions can emerge, unfortunately creating more uncertainty.

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    Net Wrap: A New Barrier

    Since the mid-1900’s, large round balers have been utilized to store hay and other forages as winter feedstuffs on cow/calf operations in the Upper Midwest. Today there are many baler options for producers to choose from with variations in size and shape of bales, as well as the type of binding. Binding has evolved from wire to twine, net wrap and even plastic bale wrappers. With advancements in binding technology, efficiency has increased when compared to twine binding.

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    What to Expect if You Retain Ownership into a Feedyard

    Many cow-calf producers have always sold their calves at weaning. It’s fairly common to hear about retaining ownership and the opportunity it provides to add value to your cattle when market conditions are right. In fact, there have been several articles in the ag press lately suggesting that this might be a good fall to retain ownership at least through the backgrounding phase because low feed costs suggest the opportunity to feed cattle at economical costs of gain.

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    Alfalfa Winter Kill: What is next?

    This year lack of snow coverage along with up’s and down’s in temperatures have caused several issues with alfalfa stands in several locations in South Dakota. Where the damage has occurred, it is concentrated in areas of fields where ice sheets formed, water ponded, poor drainage, and not enough snow cover to insulate alfalfa against extreme temperatures. Late harvested stands that are three or more years old are showing more damage than younger ones’ under moderate management.

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    Effects of Nutrition Changes Following Artificial Insemination

    Nutritional stress following artificial insemination (AI) has been reported to have negative effects on conception rates. This decrease in conception rates could be from an increase in embryonic mortality due to nutritional stress following breeding. When considering heifer development strategies, it may be important for a producer to consider nutritional stress from changes in the diet following breeding, and this nutritional stress could be initiated by how you manage heifers between weaning and breeding?

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    Building Your Genetic Base Webinar Series

    “Building Your Genetic Base” was the topic of the 3rd Annual Heifer Development Webinar Series conducted during February and March 2017. The three-part webinar series was hosted by SDSU Extension with invited speakers to provide their knowledge and expertise in the area of genetic selection pertaining to genetic decisions for beef operations. Registered participants from 11 states received links to join in on live webinars, as well as links to access recorded sessions available to be watched at their convenience.

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    Dairy Trainings: Expectations & Impact

    SDSU Extension has the purpose to foster a learning community environment that empowers citizens to advocate for sustainable change that will strengthen agriculture, natural resources, youth, families, and the communities of South Dakota. For the dairy industry, we ensure that all sources of information has direct knowledge and offer scientific-based information that is concise, easy to understand, and vetted through unbiased sources to our clientele.

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    Finding Females for the Cowherd

    Finding females for the cowherd to either replace cull cows or increase herd size can be done in many ways. The type and kind of females chosen is an important decision which can have long-term implications and great impact on the economic viability of the operation. With that being said, we have the unfortunate circumstance of living in a short-term world where profitability varies widely from year to year influencing our daily decisions.

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    Preparing Bulls for the Breeding Season

    Winter is a stressful time for cattle in the Northern Plains. They are regularly exposed to extended periods of cold stress and snow. Producers often pay less attention to the bull battery through the winter than the cow herd. After all, the cows are pregnant and obviously need some TLC. However, bulls that have been carried through the winter have been impacted with the stress of winter weather as well.

    Read More »

    Online Beef University: Beef up on beef

    Leaders are learners, always striving to learn more and not settling for the status quo. An excellent learning opportunity is now available for beef producers to learn more about the product they produce, or brush up on some of the production facts, beef labeling issues, beef inspection and grading along with the latest knowledge available to the beef industry. As a result you not only become more knowledgeable about the latest data and industry insights of beef production, but learning more about your product will enhance your ability to be a well-spoken beef industry advocate with the ability to inform consumers on their critical current questions and issues.

    Read More »

    Adding Value to Beef for Both the Producer and Consumer

    Getting more bang for your buck is always a goal in life. This holds true for both beef producers and consumers. Almost everyone likes a good steak, but good steaks are generally considered expensive. One way to lower the cost of a steak dinner is to find the “value added” cuts. Not only do these cuts stretch budgets farther, they also help the producer realize more value from the beef they raise. Steaks such as the flat iron, chuck eye, and the Denver cut are a great way to save money and still have an excellent eating experience.

    Read More »

    U.S. Beef Trade: Who? What? Why?

    Beef producers and consumers often ask about beef trade, why we import and export? The simple answer is we are trying to receive the highest value for the product produced. The following facts might be helpful to understand the beef industry: the U.S. is the largest producer, largest consumer, fourth-largest exporter and the largest importer of beef in the world according to USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service.

    Read More »

    Beyond the Plate: Using research to guide healthy lifestyle practices

    Our last South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), “Beyond the Plate” article identified the importance of beef checkoff research like the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet (BOLD) study and its impact on healthy lifestyle choices. Supportive research continues to build and expand on the national research through the recent completion of, “Let Them Eat Beef,” a recent study conducted by South Dakota State University’s Dr. Kendra Kattelmann.

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    Beyond the Plate: Research’s role

    Research is the basis of virtually every checkoff program, which therefore makes it very important you know the “why” behind it. Checkoff funded research projects completed to date have likely saved the industry more than once from possible ruin, often brought on by beef information previously based on assumption, rumor, propaganda, and non-scientific studies.

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    Adding Value to the Beef Carcass: Getting to know the value cuts

    A typical beef animal can produce a carcass that weighs between 700 and 900 pounds. Approximately 50% of that weight consists of the chuck (fore quarter or shoulder portion) and the round (hind quarter). Traditionally the chuck and round are fabricated into either 1) roasts that require slow, moist heat cookery, 2) steaks that require some type of tenderization to improve palatability or 3) trim for ground beef.

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    Beyond the Plate: Your Beef Checkoff’s role in creating a foundation for beef demand

    Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. You’re likely familiar with the slogan, because after more than two decades, it still resonates. The well-known words are part of the message the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) has worked for nearly 30 years to share with the goal to increase beef demand, and generate positive attitudes about beef while improving profit opportunities for beef producers.

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    Bring Beef to the Party!

    Tis the season for delicious cooking and while the parties are almost over, we have some ideas to help ensure you are well-equipped to bring the cheer to your New Year’s Eve party. Whether you have a date for a big bash or will ring in New Year a little more low-key with family and friends, when you arrive with a delicious beef appetizer recipe in hand, you’ll be sure to put the “happy” in “Happy New Year!”

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    Prime Rib Roast: Mastering a Holiday Classic

    It is a holiday classic and creates an amazing centerpiece for a holiday meal. But cooking a prime rib roast can be unnerving at best for some. Especially if they feel the added pressure to impress guests. The good news is – prime rib’s “wow” factor doesn’t mean it cooking it must be complicated or difficult.

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    Grasshopper Problems: 2017 Potential

    There are several species of grasshoppers that can negatively affect rangeland conditions in South Dakota. Grasshoppers tend to be more serious than other rangeland insect pests, and they occur most frequently. Each summer, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) conducts surveys throughout the Western counties to monitor grasshopper population densities. These surveys focus on collecting adult grasshoppers, and the data can be used as a prediction of areas where grasshoppers may be an issue during the following year.

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    Time to Revisit Drought Plans for the Ranch

    The South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently released two maps highlighting the current grass production estimates and projected peak grass production estimates for South Dakota. These maps updated monthly by the NRCS indicate dry conditions spreading east into areas of North-Central and South-Central South Dakota. Ranchers in Central and Western South Dakota need to start re-visiting their drought management plans and making adjustments if needed.

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    Pasture Bugs N’ Grubs Road Show Coming to South Dakota

    Spring is arriving throughout South Dakota and it signals the return of insects to the landscape. As the snow melts, it is a time when many tasks such as calving, pasture management, and fence maintenance begin in earnest. With many pressing needs to tend to, many ranchers may not find the time to consider the role insects play on their ranch.

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    Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association Holds Annual Meeting

    South Dakota’s first ever prescribed burn association held its first annual meeting March 3 in Bonesteel, SD. The Mid-Missouri River Prescribed Burn Association (MMRPBA) was initially formed by ranchers and landowners in Gregory County and now comprises roughly 35 landowners in Gregory, Lyman, Charles Mix, and Brule Counties. The primary goal of the MMRPBA is to control cedar tree infestation and improve grassland health by conducting prescribed fires mainly in land along the Missouri River and surrounding areas.

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    Cottonwood Fire Recap

    Four months have passed since a large grass fire started along Interstate 90 between Wall and Cactus Flat, and was later named the Cottonwood Fire. With the combination of dry conditions, temperatures in the upper 80’s and a high wind warning that day, it was the recipe for a perfect storm. The fire burned over 41,000 acres within a matter of hours and was deemed the 5th largest fire on record in South Dakota history.

    Read More »

    2017 Pest Management Guides Released

    The South Dakota 2017 Pest Management guides are available online as free PDF downloads or as hard copies at SDSU Extension Regional Centers, offices, and events. The guides provide recommendations for herbicides, insecticides, seed treatments, and fungicides that are available in South Dakota to control weeds, insects, and diseases in a variety of crops.

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    Prairie Dog Management in South Dakota

    Prairie dogs are highly social animals belonging to the squirrel family. There are five species of prairie dogs in North America. It is the black-tailed prairie dog with its tan color and short black tipped tail, that resides in South Dakota.

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    Give the Gift of Conservation This Christmas

    The SDSU Natural Resources Management Department and SDSU Extension would like to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and remind everyone that if you are shopping for a late holiday gift, consider giving the gift of conservation to yourself or someone else.

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