Harty, A.1; Block, J.2; Olson, K.C.3
2Livestock Specialist, Hettinger Research and Extension Center, Hettinger, ND, 58639
3Beef Specialist, SDSU Extension, Rapid City, SD, 57703


Participants in the South Dakota Grazing School shared a desire for more training and education related to cattle mineral nutrition.  In 2017, this program was developed to assist producers in understanding mineral composition of their forages, water and other feedstuffs and how to develop a mineral program that would improve cattle health and performance.  The first class was held in 2017 at the SDSU Cottonwood Field Station.  In 2018, the program expanded to include North Dakota with classes held in Dickinson, ND and Selby, SD.  In 2019, locations included Mandan, ND and Hot Springs, SD.  To date, at total of 48 beef cattle operations and 27 Extension and Industry professionals have participated in the program.

Each year, the program begins in May with a 1 day face-to-face workshop focusing on general mineral nutrition, tools to monitor consumption and tips for collecting forage and water samples for laboratory analysis.  Throughout the summer, individual ranch visits are conducted to gain insight into current management of the mineral program and address specific challenges/questions participants may have.  All participants are encouraged to submit samples of standing forage, additional feedstuffs or supplements, and water for laboratory analysis.  A second workshop is held in the fall to discuss the applied components of how to interpret results from their analyses, reading mineral tags, and determining the best mineral supplement for their operations. 

Impacts from the program range from gaining a better understanding of an operation's mineral program to seeing a significant improvement in herd health when as specific deficiency or interaction was identified and corrected by selecting a different mineral supplement.

This program will continue in 2020 with multiple county locations in North Dakota and a location in western South Dakota. Forage and water sample data is being collected for future analysis and mapping of forage mineral content in the Dakotas to further assist in mineral program development.

All Accepted Posters