Dustin Oedekoven, DVM, State Veterinarian June 3, 2019 PIERRE, S.D. –
South Dakota cattle producers are encouraged to include anthrax vaccine in their vaccination program when they turn out cattle to summer pastures. Recent flooding may increase the risk of cattle encountering anthrax this season, according to Dr. Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota State Veterinarian. Anthrax is caused by bacteria that can develop into an environmentally resistant spore form when in the soil. Under the right conditions, these spores can become available for cows to graze. Once ingested by cattle, the spores become activated and produce toxins that cause rapid death. Anthrax can be prevented in cattle by administering a vaccine which is widely available, inexpensive, and very effective. While the anthrax risk has been well-documented in many parts of South Dakota, and anthrax vaccination of cattle is routine in those areas, it is not always possible to predict where cases may occur. Flooding is an environmental factor which may aid in making anthrax spores available to livestock. Cattle going onto pastures that have previously experienced flooding or into areas where anthrax has been documented in the past, should be considered prime candidates for vaccination. If Anthrax is Suspected Contact Your Local Veterinarian or the Animal Industry Board “During the summer, producers should take time to check all cattle frequently,” says Oedekoven. “Cattle producers need to promptly investigate any unexpected deaths on pasture, whether in cows, bulls or calves,” continues Oedekoven. “With anthrax and many other diseases, treatments and preventive measures are available, and prompt action can help prevent excessive losses.” If a producer suspects anthrax, the case should be reported immediately to local veterinarians or to the State Veterinarian at 605-773-3321. Suspect carcasses should not be moved or disturbed until a diagnosis has been made. “Local veterinarians are excellent sources of information for cattle producers regarding anthrax,” Oedekoven said. For more information on anthrax, contact the South Dakota Animal Industry Board.
SOUTH DAKOTA SOIL HEALTH COALITION (SDSHC), Pierre, S.D. May 17, 2019- SDSHC has officially released a new online portal and accompanying educational resources, created to connect livestock producers and those with available cropland or forage to graze. Integrating livestock onto cropland and proper grassland management are both key steps in increasing overall soil health. The website https://sdgrazingexchange.com is a completely free, publicly accessible map, developed through a grant agreement with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. The site offers a platform for producers to connect throughout the state of South Dakota and the surrounding region. Do you own land or have pasture, native grass, crop residue or cover crops available to be grazed? Are you a part of an organization whose membership or clientele would be interested in knowing about this type of tool? Or do you need extra grazing land or forage for your livestock this year? Take a look at the South Dakota Grazing Exchange! Getting started is easy, simply access the website address listed above, click the “Create Account” button in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and connect with other producers to work out the details and improve your soil health. The map overlay shows sites where fields are available for grazing as well as producers who are willing to move livestock to grazing sites. Additional educational resources included on the site include fact sheets on a variety of topics related to livestock integration, crop residue, and cover crops, contracting resources, as well as the contact information or links for organizations that can provide additional technical assistance. Integrating livestock onto cropland and proper grassland management together form one of the five basic principles of soil health. It is the SDSHC’s hope that this new website will provide the tools for producers, landowners and operators across the state to effortlessly connect with others interested in incorporating this principle. For additional information or questions about the South Dakota Grazing Exchange please contact the SDSHC at firstname.lastname@example.org or (605) 280-4190.