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    Laminitis

    Laminitis is a disease in horses which can lead to a crippling lameness. To best understand it, we must first have knowledge of what is normal, and then how it changes to abnormal. The lamina suspends the coffin bone within the hoof capsule. The lamina is the connecting structure between the hoof [which contacts the ground] and the coffin bone [where the weight of the horse comes down]. By definition laminitis is inflammation of the lamina.

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    Growing in Agriculture: The Blizzard and Lessons Learned

    Article by Lucas Lentsch, Secretary of Agriculture, SDDA. Life and death are intertwined with animal agriculture. It’s a harsh reality, but as the old saying goes, “those who do not lose any livestock are the ones who do not have any livestock.” Our farmers and ranchers are prepared for that reality, but nothing could prepare us – or our livestock – for the devastating early season blizzard of Oct. 4 – 7, now called “Winter Storm Atlas.”

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    Understanding What Happened

    The high death loss from the early October blizzard in South Dakota has producers and the public wondering “How could this happen?” We tend to think about winter storms, extreme cold and other stressful conditions that cattle, horses and sheep on western range often successfully cope with and ask “Why was this storm so much worse?”

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    Animal Well-Being Amidst Weather Disasters

    South Dakota weather poses challenges to animal owners in every season of the year. Following the substantial weekend snowfall on the western half of the state, animal owners are rising to the challenge to provide proper care and relief to the weather-stressed animals. Those of us not directly affected by the snow empathize with those affected by the snow and the hard truth of the losses sustained.

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    Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a neurologic disease in horses caused by the protozoan Sarcocystis neurona. Clinical signs include abnormal gaits, incoordination, loss of sensation to face, muscle weakness and wasting. The neurological exam scale ranges from 0 to 5, where 0 represents a clinically normal horse and 5 represents a horse unable to move. S. neurona has a complex life cycle that requires two hosts.

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    Limping Livestock: Two Perspectives

    Lameness can be attributed to many factors yet the physical response to favor a limb is likely related to the animal’s pain threshold. The presence of pain is a critical well-being concern, and can have many secondary impacts on the animal’s overall health, production, and functional lifetime. Some examples of secondary impacts known in livestock include: a decline in feed intake or grazing ability, loss of body condition, reduced reproduction rates, or chronic lameness.

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    Absinth Wormwood Or Wormwood Sage

    More Wormwood Sage has been showing up around the countryside this spring. Noxious weed reports show that it is on the increase. The silver color makes it stand out easy to spot. Wormwood Sage is a local noxious weed in most eastern South Dakota counties. Infestations are limited to pasture and grass areas. However, no-till farming has contributed to it spreading into crop ground.

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    Detection of Estrus in Mares

    A critical factor in the success of a breeding operation is determining the correct time to breed a mare.  Mares have reproductive cycles that average 21 days in length.  The adjective estrous is used to describe these cycles.  The length of the estrous cycle in a mare is 21 days.  As the mare develops a large dominant follicle she will exhibit signs of “heat”, or “estrus” which is when she is receptive to being bred by a stallion.

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    SDSU Student Spotlight: Helen Lauth

    Helen Lauth is a Park Management Major from Eyota, Minnesota. Helen is in her fourth year of competition on the South Dakota State University Equestrian Team. She has a minor in Business Management and Equine Management and is involved in a variety of other organizations. She competes in reining and is proud of showing as a youth competitor in the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and earning not only two saddles, but 800 youth points and three Top-Ten world titles on a horse that her family raised and bred.

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    SDSU Student Spotlight: Jenna Boscardin

    English major, Jenna Boscardin, comes from North Kingstown, Rhode Island. She is working towards minors in Spanish and Journalism, and currently serves as Team Co-Captain on the South Dakota State University Equestrian Team. When she came to visit the campus, she fell in love with the atmosphere and friendliness of the team and school and decided to stay. Jenna currently competes in the “fences” competition, but used to compete in “flat” her freshman year on the team.

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    Fire in South Dakota: An Introduction

    Its early march in South Dakota and winter hasn’t loosened its grip as this article is being written. We are used to working around the weather, but as we flip the calendar to March, we are forced to start planning for spring activities, regardless of spring’s travel plans. Along with calving and planting for many; at least for some spring planning also includes the use of fire.

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    Keeping Livestock Water Open

    It may seem obvious to provide clean and abundant water to your livestock, especially on hot days. However, frequent attention to water sources is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer. For horses, lack of water intake can cause a myriad of issues, the most common threat being impaction colic. When the weather is cold or extremely windy, livestock may not want to leave a shelter to go for a drink.

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    October Storm Impacts On Public Health

    In the context of the catastrophic loss of livestock experienced during last weekend’s blizzard, questions arise about the public health risks due to the carcasses of animals that perished in the storm. Whenever possible, proper disposal methods of burying, burning or rendering should be employed.

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    Document Livestock Death Loss

    As South Dakota livestock owners begin to dig out from one of the worst recorded blizzards to hit western South Dakota, reports of animal losses are just coming in. Producers and family members are busy trying to recover from the results of this terrible blizzard. At the present time, we don’t know what, if any governmental program will be available to assist ranchers.

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    Bright Future For Grassfed Beef Industry

    Grassfed and grass- finished beef are enjoying an increasing share of the consumer beef market. While direct marketing to customers is the primary outlet for smaller grassfed producers, larger operations are finding success in marketing their product through more traditional chain grocery and restaurant outlets.

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    Pricing Options For Hay Harvest Agreements

    As our summer growing season progresses, we are receiving many calls regarding hay and forage harvest and management. On the heels of drought, many are surprised by the excellent growth year for grasses, especially in the east. Consequently, landowners are being approached by hay contractors interested in harvesting hay in various grasslands or pastures.

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