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    Checking in on the Checkoff: Get Your Grill On!

    Summer remains the peak season for beef sales. On average, 30% of yearly beef dollar sales are captured between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Typically, the 4th of July Holiday has the highest weekly sales (in pounds and dollars) throughout the year. With the summer season accounting for more than $7.9 Billion in 2015, it is important the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) to gear our efforts to meet those consumer demands. What will you see from us this summer?

    Read More »

    Should S.D. Beef Producers be Thinking About Drought Trigger Dates?

    Many parts of South Dakota have experienced warmer and drier than normal conditions since last fall, although other areas have not. Despite overall dryness, occasional precipitation events have kept most producers from becoming overly concerned about drought. Over most of the last two months, the U.S. Drought Monitor has shown normal conditions in South Dakota except for areas of short-term, abnormal dryness in the Black Hills and the extreme northeast corner of the state.

    Read More »

    Managing Stress To Reduce Early Embryonic Loss in Beef Cattle

    The last thing producers want to hear at pregnancy check time, is the call of “Open!” from their veterinarian. It is often assumed that open females failed to conceive; however, fertilization rates in beef cattle typically range between 90-100%. Nonetheless, only around 70% of fertilizations result in conception. Studies indicate that in domestic livestock embryonic loss during early pregnancy may account for around 30% reduction in pregnancy rates.

    Read More »

    Beef Quality is Everyone’s Responsibility

    Summer is nearly here and as cattle move to grass, we have a few considerations for you to keep in mind. From the pasture to the plate, we are all responsible for assuring consumers can take pride in the beef they purchase, and have trust and confidence in South Dakota’s beef industry. Your checkoff investment provides the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program that collaborates common sense husbandry techniques and accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under the best management and environmental conditions to provide safe, wholesome, quality beef to the consumer’s plate.

    Read More »

    Save the Date: SDSU BBQ Bootcamp June 12

    The South Dakota State University Meat Science program will be hosting a BBQ Bootcamp at Strawbale Winery in Renner, SD on June 12 from 1-3:30 p.m. BBQ Bootcamp programs are designed to educate consumers about cut selection, grilling and BBQ techniques, use of marinades and rubs and safe handling of meat products. Attendees are guided through these topics by SDSU professors, graduate students and staff in a fun and interactive setting

    Read More »

    Using Growth Implants in Yearling Stockers

    Implants have been an effective tool to economically improve rate of gain and feed conversion in growing cattle for decades. Generally, implants are expected to increase rate of gain by 10 to 20% for yearling cattle on grass. Because implants are inexpensive, this can create a return on investment exceeding 20 to 1, depending of course on cattle prices relative to implant cost.

    Read More »

    Who Are Agricultural Leaders?

    Researchers have proven anyone can be a leader, leadership is not just for the select few — like CEO’s of major corporations, celebrities, political leaders and those with other major titles. Traditional thought was leadership has always been something for those with added charisma but leadership is for those who have passion and purpose to make a difference.

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    Beef Quality is Everyone’s Responsibility

    Summer is nearly here and as cattle move to grass, we have a few considerations for you to keep in mind. From the pasture to the plate, we are all responsible for assuring consumers can take pride in the beef they purchase, and have trust and confidence in South Dakota’s beef industry. Your checkoff investment provides the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program that collaborates common sense husbandry techniques and accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under the best management and environmental conditions to provide safe, wholesome, quality beef to the consumer’s plate.

    Read More »

    Using Growth Implants in Yearling Stockers

    Implants have been an effective tool to economically improve rate of gain and feed conversion in growing cattle for decades. Generally, implants are expected to increase rate of gain by 10 to 20% for yearling cattle on grass. Because implants are inexpensive, this can create a return on investment exceeding 20 to 1, depending of course on cattle prices relative to implant cost.

    Read More »

    Proper Sampling of Hay and Forages

    You have heard it said many times before, “the results are only as good as the sample that was taken”. This is a reality for all feedstuffs especially where forage sampling is concerned. Let’s first start with “why” we want accurate results. As dairymen and livestock caretakers we are trying to optimize the performance of our livestock, whether it is producing milk or meat.

    Read More »

    Integrated Crop Livestock Systems: Enhancing economic profit & soil health

    Introducing livestock into arable cropping systems can improve soil health and provide economic benefits. In the integrated crop livestock systems, cover crops and crop residue provide feed to livestock, while plants capture nutrients from the livestock waste. Potential economic benefits include reduced fertilizer cost for the cash crop, yield/profit increase from subsequent cash crop, and additional cost savings from supplemental hay.

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    Planning Ahead for Summer Feedlot Maintenance

    The performance and cost of gain of backgrounding or finishing cattle depends in large part on the quality of their feeding environment. For many cattle feeders in South Dakota, especially backgrounders, the summer months represent a great time to address and correct any problems that might be present in open lots. There is usually some time during the summer when the pens are drier and empty, providing the opportunity to do some prep work before fall.

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    Toe Abscess (Toe Tip Necrosis) in Feeder Cattle

    Toe abscess (toe tip necrosis) is most commonly seen in feedlot cattle and is likely subsequent to excessive abrasive damage to the hoof, especially the toe tip. Affected animals may be moderately to severely lame, depending on the extent of the infection into the sensitive tissues Untreated cattle may develop joint infections and ascending leg infections, which significantly limit productivity and the likelihood of recovery.

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    Grass-Fed Beef Labeling Issues

    In early January there was a short flurry of media activity focused on the announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) that the agency was foregoing it labeling policy for grass fed beef. What was a reasonable attempt at clarification of labeling authority spawned a great deal of initial confusion.

    Read More »

    Should S.D. Beef Producers be Thinking About Drought Trigger Dates?

    Many parts of South Dakota have experienced warmer and drier than normal conditions since last fall, although other areas have not. Despite overall dryness, occasional precipitation events have kept most producers from becoming overly concerned about drought. Over most of the last two months, the U.S. Drought Monitor has shown normal conditions in South Dakota except for areas of short-term, abnormal dryness in the Black Hills and the extreme northeast corner of the state.

    Read More »

    Managing Stress To Reduce Early Embryonic Loss in Beef Cattle

    The last thing producers want to hear at pregnancy check time, is the call of “Open!” from their veterinarian. It is often assumed that open females failed to conceive; however, fertilization rates in beef cattle typically range between 90-100%. Nonetheless, only around 70% of fertilizations result in conception. Studies indicate that in domestic livestock embryonic loss during early pregnancy may account for around 30% reduction in pregnancy rates.

    Read More »

    Tips for Breeding Tricky Two-Year-Olds

    Keeping cows in the herd long enough for them to pay for themselves, is often easier said than done especially when brining young cows into the herd each year to replace cull cows. This is because in order to get young females into the brood cow herd, we must first succeed at breeding them back after they have their first calf. Two-year old cows are the most difficult group to rebreed because they are still growing while raising their first calf, thus requiring extra groceries in order to meet nutrient demands and resume normal estrous cycles.

    Read More »

    Managing Heat Stress in Dairy Cows: Is genetic selection a solution?

    The summer season is just around the corner, and the knowledge and understanding of the effects of heat stress on cow production and how to mitigate these effects are important for dairy operations. The combined effects of high heat and high humidity make a very uncomfortable environment for both farmers and lactating dairy cows. The decrease in milk production as a result of heat stress is readily seen, but there are less immediate negative effects of heat stress such as reduced fertility.

    Read More »

    Checking in on the Checkoff: Get Your Grill On!

    Summer remains the peak season for beef sales. On average, 30% of yearly beef dollar sales are captured between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Typically, the 4th of July Holiday has the highest weekly sales (in pounds and dollars) throughout the year. With the summer season accounting for more than $7.9 Billion in 2015, it is important the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) to gear our efforts to meet those consumer demands. What will you see from us this summer?

    Read More »

    Beef Quality is Everyone’s Responsibility

    Summer is nearly here and as cattle move to grass, we have a few considerations for you to keep in mind. From the pasture to the plate, we are all responsible for assuring consumers can take pride in the beef they purchase, and have trust and confidence in South Dakota’s beef industry. Your checkoff investment provides the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program that collaborates common sense husbandry techniques and accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under the best management and environmental conditions to provide safe, wholesome, quality beef to the consumer’s plate.

    Read More »

    Save the Date: SDSU BBQ Bootcamp June 12

    The South Dakota State University Meat Science program will be hosting a BBQ Bootcamp at Strawbale Winery in Renner, SD on June 12 from 1-3:30 p.m. BBQ Bootcamp programs are designed to educate consumers about cut selection, grilling and BBQ techniques, use of marinades and rubs and safe handling of meat products. Attendees are guided through these topics by SDSU professors, graduate students and staff in a fun and interactive setting

    Read More »

    Livestock Shows & Drug Testing: Procedures & best practices

    State and county livestock shows may require drug testing of exhibited animals to ensure a level playing field and food safety. During the May 4th Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Mike Anderson, Iowa State University’s State 4-H Livestock Program Specialist, shared his experience with youth livestock shows, and provided practical procedures and best practices for individuals implementing, or considering drug testing for livestock shows.

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    Show Animals: Challenges at the packer

    Why do youth livestock show animals require extra paperwork when marketed to a packer? The April 6th speaker for the Animal Care Wednesday Webinar was Paula Alexander, Project Manager of Tyson’s Sustainable Food Production and Food Safety Quality Assurance. She outlined some of the basic challenges and what steps a packer takes to address the challenges.

    Read More »

    Celebrate May Beef Month

    The recent cool, wet weather brings some much needed moisture for many regions of the state promising us a vibrant spring for many of our South Dakota ranchers and families. The process of raising safe, quality beef begins on the land where farmers and ranchers work to meet a variety of consumer interests and needs. May continues to be the month when the covers come off the barbecue grills and the aroma of beef cooking in backyards and parks across the state signals that summer is on the way.

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    Easy Beef Breakfast

    April is full of school activities, including standardized tests and increased outdoor sporting events. Parents may be interested to know that many studies show a direct link between nutritious family meals and academic success. Daily family meals start with breakfast. Breakfast kick-starts students’ metabolism and fuels their bodies which helps them stay focused during school activities.

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    The Power of Meat Labels and Marketing

    We all have bought meat products of some kind from a grocery store or local butcher. However, were you aware of all the statements and logos on that package and what they meant in terms of their impact on the dollar value of the product you purchased? During the March 2nd Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Dr. Bryon Wiegand, a Professor and Meat Science Extension Specialist at the University of Missouri, discussed the value of meat products and their label claims.

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    Beef and National Nutrition Month

    The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) were released in January, and March is National Nutrition Month! What better time to revisit your New Year’s resolutions and check your nutrition status to help guide better eating habits, reach wellness goals and sustain a healthful lifestyle. The Dietary Guidelines refers to lean beef as a nutrient-rich food, which means it is high in nutrients, yet low in calories. Lean beef is a wholesome, high-quality protein that is a good or excellent source of 10 essential nutrients, including Zinc, Iron, Protein and B vitamins.

    Read More »

    Should S.D. Beef Producers be Thinking About Drought Trigger Dates?

    Many parts of South Dakota have experienced warmer and drier than normal conditions since last fall, although other areas have not. Despite overall dryness, occasional precipitation events have kept most producers from becoming overly concerned about drought. Over most of the last two months, the U.S. Drought Monitor has shown normal conditions in South Dakota except for areas of short-term, abnormal dryness in the Black Hills and the extreme northeast corner of the state.

    Read More »

    Updated SD Drought Tool: Drought planning made easier

    Drought is an ever-present threat to grazing operations throughout South Dakota and always seems like it is ‘just around the corner.’ There are several excellent resources for monitoring drought status for rangelands. The South Dakota Drought tool is an extremely user-friendly drought and pasture planning resource designed specifically for monitoring the current and near future drought status of grasslands.

    Read More »

    Leafy Spurge Biocontrol Season is Here

    Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) is a state-level noxious weed in South Dakota that can be found in nearly every corner of the state. Landowners are obligated to control noxious weeds, and the best strategy for weed control is an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. Some of the most successful IPM programs for controlling leafy spurge rely heavily on biological control.

    Read More »

    Proper Sampling of Hay and Forages

    You have heard it said many times before, “the results are only as good as the sample that was taken”. This is a reality for all feedstuffs especially where forage sampling is concerned. Let’s first start with “why” we want accurate results. As dairymen and livestock caretakers we are trying to optimize the performance of our livestock, whether it is producing milk or meat.

    Read More »

    True White Grub & June Beetle Update

    Throughout South Dakota, there are continued reports of grub injury in pastures and rangeland. After visiting additional sites, we observed that nearly all of the true white grub populations are currently in their adult form (May or June beetles). June beetles normally move from the lower soil horizon towards the surface as air and soil temperatures warm up. We found beetles in the root zone of the grasses, just below the soil surface.

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    Soil Stewardship for Healthy Landscapes

    During the middle of the 20th Century, a European visitor asked an Iowa farmer, “how deep does your black soil go?” to which the farmer is reported to have answered “All the way, I guess.” This rich, black topsoil, that has supported agriculture and, indeed, national prosperity since the time of settlement in the nineteenth century, resulted from long-term development beneath the extensive Great Plains prairies.

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    Alfalfa at the Start of the 2016 Growing Season

    Alfalfa is considered one of the most important forage-legume species in South Dakota. It is a deep-rooted legume that grows best in moderate to well-drained soils. In South Dakota, under optimum growing and soil conditions, along with proper management, yields can exceed 3 to 4 tons DM/acre of hay when irrigated, and 1 to 2 tons DM/acre on dryland.

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