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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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    Marketing and Testing Your Hay

    After an abnormally cool spring and a frost across South Dakota in mid-May, the weather started to warm up, and the hay crop has taken off growing. Some hay will stay with the operation however there is a fair amount through the area that gets sold. If you are one of the producers who are deliberating selling your alfalfa or grass hay, there are a few things to consider before marketing it to optimize the price you receive.

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    Foaling Part 3: The Stages Of Parturition

    Last week we discussed preparations of the mare and foaling area in anticipation of Impending foaling. This week we will cover the 3 stages of parturition and what you can expect as your mare moves through these stages. Many mares will foal in the night or early morning. Generally, this is a more calm and private time of the day without the disturbances of daily activities. In the wild, mares foal at night to avoid predators.

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    Foaling Part 1: The Foaling Kit & Foaling Area

    Preparing for parturition, or foaling in the case of the mare, is an important part of horse production. If the signs of parturition are noticed early, many complications may be prevented which saves horse owners time, money, and potentially, their horses’ wellbeing.  This is the first of a series of articles that will cover important information regarding preparation for, and care during foaling.

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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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    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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    Hay Inventory

    With the weather finally taking a turn towards warmer days, many farm operators are turning their thoughts to cutting hay. It is also a good idea for horse owners to focus their attention on this matter as well. Horses need a substantial amount of forage to meet their nutrition needs and to aid in sustaining health. Now is the perfect time to take an accurate inventory of hay on hand and to invest in forages for the upcoming cold season.

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    Leafy Spurge is Rapidly Developing

    It appears leafy spurge is showing up in areas of north-central South Dakota that have not traditionally had problems with it in the past. Since these new patches are developing SDSU Weed Extension program is encouraging landowners and producers statewide to keep an eye on pastures, hay lands, ditches and shelterbelts for this aggressive noxious weed.

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    Cool Temperatures Slow Leafy Spurge Flea Beetles for Redistribution

    Normally the Leafy spurge flea beetles would start emerging on leafy spurge in the next two to three weeks. Mid June is the normal time of the year when we start collecting the flea beetles for distribution in South Dakota. The cooler than normal spring temperatures most likely will delay normal emergence of this bio-control agent because their life cycle is based on growing degree days much like plants.

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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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    Livestock Husbandry & Handling Workshop: Dr. Temple Grandin in Watertown, SD

    South Dakota is a strong agricultural state with large numbers of livestock being raised by farmers and ranchers. On August 5, 2014, Dr. Temple Grandin will be back in South Dakota for the second Raising the Best: Livestock Husbandry and Handling for Today’s Market workshop this summer held in Watertown, SD. This workshop is hosted by South Dakota Farmers Union in partnership with SDSU Extension. The workshop is made possible by a grant through the USDA.

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    Livestock Husbandry & Handling Workshop: Dr. Temple Grandin in Rapid City, SD

    South Dakota is a strong agricultural state with large numbers of livestock being raised by farmers and ranchers. On July 1, 2014, Dr. Temple Grandin will be the feature speaker in Rapid City, SD as part of the Raising the Best: Livestock Husbandry and Handling for Today’s Market. This workshop is hosted by South Dakota Farmers Union in partnership with SDSU Extension. The workshop is made possible by a grant through the USDA.

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