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    Beef Cows Under Dry Conditions: Water sources and quality

    When thinking about beef cows on pasture we oftentimes figure that what they drink is all the water they get. There are however three additional moisture sources cows rely (excluding snow!) which, by increasing order of biological and practical significance are: Metabolic water (water generated in the body particularly from fat depots), Plant surface water (such as dew), and Embedded water (water contained in the plant structure itself).

    Read More »

    Handling Basics: Is time on your side?

    Cattlemen can have a positive impact on the amount of stress cattle experience by planning ahead, choosing the best time for required tasks, and allowing adequate time to get things done. Implementing low-stress handling techniques from the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program can minimize stress on both cattle and people, improve handling efficiency, and subsequently be beneficial to limit potential losses.

    Read More »

    2016 South Dakota Oral Leases Renew September 1st

    On September 1, 2016, all oral leases for agriculture ground in South Dakota will automatically renew. The automatic renewal includes all the current terms and conditions in the existing lease, including but not limited to: who the land is rented to, when payment is due, the per acre rate, stipulations for grazing, hunting or other land use restrictions, and any weed control or fencing agreements, etc.

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    Minimizing Hay Storage Loss from Heating or Fires

    Successful hay storage is essential to preserving high quality forage, while ensuring desired performance from livestock and deterring economic losses from unwanted hay storage fires.  The predominant reason that fires occur in hay is because of excessive moisture in the plant residue that results in heating when it is baled or stacked for long term storage.

    Read More »

    Large Concern Over Poor Quality Livestock Water

    Little to no runoff from snow or spring rain along with hot, dry, windy conditions have led to an early detection of poor quality livestock water in Western South Dakota. Livestock water samples from Northwestern South Dakota have already indicated high levels of total salts. High levels of sulfates in the water have already caused polioencephalomalacia (“polio”) this year in some herds with blindness being reported. Poor-quality water is not limited to Northwestern South Dakota, but to all of Western South Dakota and possibly portions of Eastern South Dakota.

    Read More »

    Heat Exhaustion & Stroke: Protecting yourself and your employees

    For those whose livelihood depends upon working outdoors or in less than favorable conditions, the coming weeks look to be quite difficult with higher than normal temperatures and humidity predicted. For example, cows still need to be milked and fed, barns are not air conditioned, even though there is emphasis on cow comfort through ventilation and cooling, we sometimes get lax on also protecting ourselves and employees from the effects of heat.

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    Preventing an Unwanted Baler Fire

    Dry conditions this year have reminded many how quickly fires can ignite causing damage, destroying equipment, future feedstuffs and hopefully NOT injuring you in the process. We need to be cognizant at all times of the potential for fires to start while baling hay or straw and take measures to minimize the potential of a fire occurring.

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    NRCS Cropping Systems Inventory: Landowner & agency cooperation important for soil health

    Late last year South Dakota NRCS State Conservationist Jeff Zimprich announced the release of the latest South Dakota Cropping Systems Inventory (formerly referred to as the “CTIC residue management survey”) at the joint annual meeting of Ag Horizons and the South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts.   The data contained in this inventory is valuable to anyone participating in agriculture and natural resource conservation in South Dakota.  

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    Understanding the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship

    By now, livestock producers are becoming aware of soon-to-be-implemented changes in how feed grade antibiotics are used, in the form of expanded use of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Producers using feed grade medications such as chlortetracycline and tylosin will need to obtain a prescription-like VFD form from a veterinarian before they’re able to purchase and feed those medications.

    Read More »

    Feeding Drought-Stressed Crops to Cattle

    As drought conditions continue to expand across South Dakota, a number of producers will be considering harvesting failed grain crops as forage as a way to salvage some value from those fields. Besides considering crop insurance and other considerations, another factor that has to be considered during the process is the potential for nitrate toxicity.

    Read More »

    Maximizing Silage Value

    If beef producers lose 20% or more of their herd, how upset would they be? How about a corn farmer that lost 20% of a standing cornfield to pests or some other natural disaster? In both cases, it would be fair to say that there would be many questions about why those losses occurred, and how to prevent them in the future. Yet similar losses occur every year in silage bunkers and piles across the U.S. Losses of 15% of more of the harvested dry matter commonly occur, representing significant financial costs.

    Read More »

    Handling Basics: Is time on your side?

    Cattlemen can have a positive impact on the amount of stress cattle experience by planning ahead, choosing the best time for required tasks, and allowing adequate time to get things done. Implementing low-stress handling techniques from the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program can minimize stress on both cattle and people, improve handling efficiency, and subsequently be beneficial to limit potential losses.

    Read More »

    Feed Assistance for South Dakota Livestock Producers

    Dry conditions across the state will likely cause forage shortages in many areas. The Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) includes a program designed to assist livestock producers facing extended drought conditions. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) is available to eligible producers facing grazing losses due to drought or fire.

    Read More »

    Minimizing Hay Storage Loss from Heating or Fires

    Successful hay storage is essential to preserving high quality forage, while ensuring desired performance from livestock and deterring economic losses from unwanted hay storage fires.  The predominant reason that fires occur in hay is because of excessive moisture in the plant residue that results in heating when it is baled or stacked for long term storage.

    Read More »

    Pricing Options For Hay Harvest Agreements On Conservation Lands

    As our summer growing season progresses there is ample grass in many regions of the state.  Consequently, landowners may be approached by hay contractors interested in harvesting hay in various grasslands or pastures.  Determining a “fair” pricing system for haying CRP grass, prairie grass, or old field forage can be a challenging and sometimes intimidating for landowners with little experience.

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    There’s No A or E in Drought!

    When facing a drought one usually thinks first about forage and water shortages. Protein, energy, and minerals are the nutrients most often considered. There are other highly essential nutrients however that may be critically short under these conditions and that we are seldom worried about. We oftentimes take vitamins for granted for example, but truth be told, not all vitamins are going to become a problem.

    Read More »

    Understanding the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship

    By now, livestock producers are becoming aware of soon-to-be-implemented changes in how feed grade antibiotics are used, in the form of expanded use of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Producers using feed grade medications such as chlortetracycline and tylosin will need to obtain a prescription-like VFD form from a veterinarian before they’re able to purchase and feed those medications.

    Read More »

    The Value of Wheat Hay

    This year has posed some significant challenges for wheat producers in South Dakota. In some areas the wheat is not making grain due to various issues including drought and diseases, such as rust. In addition to production being compromised, wheat prices have been steadily declining. The decline in the wheat market is a combination of multiple things, with the most significant being large world-wide wheat supply along with an abundant last year’s crop supply in the U. S.

    Read More »

    Feeding Drought-Stressed Crops to Cattle

    As drought conditions continue to expand across South Dakota, a number of producers will be considering harvesting failed grain crops as forage as a way to salvage some value from those fields. Besides considering crop insurance and other considerations, another factor that has to be considered during the process is the potential for nitrate toxicity.

    Read More »

    Maximizing Silage Value

    If beef producers lose 20% or more of their herd, how upset would they be? How about a corn farmer that lost 20% of a standing cornfield to pests or some other natural disaster? In both cases, it would be fair to say that there would be many questions about why those losses occurred, and how to prevent them in the future. Yet similar losses occur every year in silage bunkers and piles across the U.S. Losses of 15% of more of the harvested dry matter commonly occur, representing significant financial costs.

    Read More »

    Chopping Corn for Silage is on its Way

    Dry conditions are still affecting forage production throughout the state of South Dakota. Dealing with drought conditions when feeding dairy and beef cattle can bring serious challenges to production including a short or unavailable hay supply in Western areas of the state.

    Read More »

    Beef Cows Under Dry Conditions: Water sources and quality

    When thinking about beef cows on pasture we oftentimes figure that what they drink is all the water they get. There are however three additional moisture sources cows rely (excluding snow!) which, by increasing order of biological and practical significance are: Metabolic water (water generated in the body particularly from fat depots), Plant surface water (such as dew), and Embedded water (water contained in the plant structure itself).

    Read More »

    Handling Basics: Is time on your side?

    Cattlemen can have a positive impact on the amount of stress cattle experience by planning ahead, choosing the best time for required tasks, and allowing adequate time to get things done. Implementing low-stress handling techniques from the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program can minimize stress on both cattle and people, improve handling efficiency, and subsequently be beneficial to limit potential losses.

    Read More »

    Dairy Tool Box Talks: An educational pilot project reaches dairy farm workers

    The “Dairy Tool Box Talks” program was conducted in a 10-week period which included nine, 30 minute weekly sessions according to each farm’s various employee work shifts. A tenth session of 1 hour duration provided hands-on stockmanship training and proper cow handling with live cattle. Participants also received handouts in Spanish with detailed information on the week’s topic at each session.

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    Discussing the Dart Delivery Method for Treating Cattle

    Cattle ranchers strive to minimize the stress of handling and disease on their animals. One way they can do this is by implementing new technologies for delivering medications to sick animals while out in remote pastures. During the July 6th Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Rob Eirich, Nebraska BQA Coordinator, discussed considerations and challenges of using remote delivery devices for administering medication to animals.

    Read More »

    Grain-Fed Vs. Grass-Fed Beef

    The nutritional makeup of an animal’s meat by-products is determined by the diet composition, genetics and the breed of an animal. Most beef cattle in the U.S. are fed a grain-based diet typically consisting of corn and grain by-products, after spending the several months of life consuming a forage-based diet. However, recently beef produced from cattle fed exclusively forage or grass has been gaining popularity.

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    Why We Have FARM on the Farm

    In a time when people are increasingly concerned about food safety and how animals are cared for, farmers continue to demonstrate their commitment to stewardship. During the June 1st Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Kim Clark, Nebraska Dairy Extension Educator, discussed the ins and outs of what occurs on a dairy farm when a FARM (Farmers Assuring Responsible Management) Evaluator conducts an on-farm assessment.

    Read More »

    National Grilling Month

    July is National Grilling Month. It also marks the beginning of summer produce season! For anyone who loves to cook, it’s a no-brainer that summertime provides some of the most delicious fruits and vegetables to experiment with in the kitchen, or on the grill! Summer produce such as sweet corn, cucumbers, avocados, tomatoes and green beans are all great choices.

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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?

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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 »

    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.

    Read More »

    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 »

    The Value of Wheat Hay

    This year has posed some significant challenges for wheat producers in South Dakota. In some areas the wheat is not making grain due to various issues including drought and diseases, such as rust. In addition to production being compromised, wheat prices have been steadily declining. The decline in the wheat market is a combination of multiple things, with the most significant being large world-wide wheat supply along with an abundant last year’s crop supply in the U. S.

    Read More »

    Feeding Drought-Stressed Crops to Cattle

    As drought conditions continue to expand across South Dakota, a number of producers will be considering harvesting failed grain crops as forage as a way to salvage some value from those fields. Besides considering crop insurance and other considerations, another factor that has to be considered during the process is the potential for nitrate toxicity.

    Read More »

    Maximizing Silage Value

    If beef producers lose 20% or more of their herd, how upset would they be? How about a corn farmer that lost 20% of a standing cornfield to pests or some other natural disaster? In both cases, it would be fair to say that there would be many questions about why those losses occurred, and how to prevent them in the future. Yet similar losses occur every year in silage bunkers and piles across the U.S. Losses of 15% of more of the harvested dry matter commonly occur, representing significant financial costs.

    Read More »

    Beef Cows Under Dry Conditions: Water sources and quality

    When thinking about beef cows on pasture we oftentimes figure that what they drink is all the water they get. There are however three additional moisture sources cows rely (excluding snow!) which, by increasing order of biological and practical significance are: Metabolic water (water generated in the body particularly from fat depots), Plant surface water (such as dew), and Embedded water (water contained in the plant structure itself).

    Read More »

    Natural Resources: The Ranch Foundation During Drought

    As drought conditions persist in areas of South Dakota, ranchers are faced with many critical decisions. Do we purchase hay and feed through the drought? Do we reduce stocking rates and sell animals? Do we wean calves early? Do we dry lot our breeding animals? Do we supplement the forage available? How are we going to market our animals? All are very important decisions with their own financial implications unique to every ranch and must be carefully evaluated.

    Read More »

    Feed Assistance for South Dakota Livestock Producers

    Dry conditions across the state will likely cause forage shortages in many areas. The Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) includes a program designed to assist livestock producers facing extended drought conditions. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) is available to eligible producers facing grazing losses due to drought or fire.

    Read More »

    Rotational Grazing and Land Conversion in South Dakota

    Grassland to cropland conversion raises concerns due to its many potential environmental implications. First of all, the conversion is damaging for many grassland-dependent species, which include North American duck species that nest in the area, grassland songbirds and prairie butterflies. In addition, increased use of fertilizers and chemicals on cropland, and elimination of buffers that ­filter farm runoff could cause secondary effects such as downstream water pollution

    Read More »

    It’s really dry. Now what?

    Conditions reported on June 28 for the U.S. Drought Monitor indicated deepening drought conditions in Western and Northeastern South Dakota. Management of pasture and rangeland to provide livestock feed always involves a balance of supply with demand. Uncertain moisture makes anticipation of vegetation supply difficult. Drought further complicates the balancing act, but demands a decisive response.

    Read More »

    Large Concern Over Poor Quality Livestock Water

    Little to no runoff from snow or spring rain along with hot, dry, windy conditions have led to an early detection of poor quality livestock water in Western South Dakota. Livestock water samples from Northwestern South Dakota have already indicated high levels of total salts. High levels of sulfates in the water have already caused polioencephalomalacia (“polio”) this year in some herds with blindness being reported. Poor-quality water is not limited to Northwestern South Dakota, but to all of Western South Dakota and possibly portions of Eastern South Dakota.

    Read More »

    SDDA Sensitive Site Registry: Protecting sensitive areas from chemical drift

    The SD Dept. of Ag. recently announced updates to the Sensitive Site Registry. First launched in 2013, the Sensitive Site Registry is designed for producers and applicators (private and commercial) to better understand where chemical and fertilizer drift and misapplications are to be avoided. This registry has the potential to be an excellent tool in fostering positive communications between those who apply chemicals and those who are concerned with drift, and SDDA specifically created the registry to provide information about farms and ranches that would be adversely affected by accidental fertilizer or pesticide application or drift.

    Read More »

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