Student Research

ABS 475/475L Final Written Reports - Fall 2007
Plant Science Department
College of Agricultural and Biological Sciences
South Dakota State University

Earth Wind and Fire Opportunities Farm Proposed Plan
Granerma Resource Management
Innovative Agriculture
Midwest Agriculture Enthusiasts
Minnkota Natural Resource Consultants
New Beginning Coop

Heat Stress on Feedlot Cattle

During hot summer months high temperatures and high humidity can reach critical levels for feedlot cattle. This can lead to reduced performance and in some cases death of feedlot cattle.

The objective of this study is to assess the performance and physiological parameters of feedlot cattle housed in confined and partially confined pens during the summer months.

Simone Holt, Robbi Pritchard and John Gaughan





Feedlot Runoff

To maintain a clean environment we must understand what comes off a feedlot in the form of runoff. The runoff from a feedlot can also be a resource used to benefit the cattle feeder and farmer.

The objective of this project is the characterize the runoff leaving the feedlots after it has been through a settling basin.

Kaitlynn Krack, Todd Trooien






ABS 475 Final Projects

The following are examples of student projects from ABS 475. The ABS 475 class concentrated on management efficiencies of the Opportunities Farm. Four-person groups examined the operation in detail and provided recommendations to increase the farm's efficiency.

ABS 475-475L Final reports - Fall 2006:

Central Ag solutions by - William M. Allgaier, Lance E. Kuehl, and Scott A. Link.
Dakota Consulting - Brian Butler, Chris Clelland, and Kip Rowe.
Tri-State Ag Consultants - Brad Remily, Aaron Prunty, Ryan Ransom, and Jason Larsen.
Waste Irrigation Ag - Adam Leitheiser, Tracy Lundquist, Jamie Noble, and Melissa Olsem.
Wetland Solutions - Jared Hendrickson, Steve Kuecker, Sarah Swanson, and Tracy Stoterau.

Examples of student projects from 2005:

Housing for Feedlot Cattle: Drs. Simone Holt, post-doc research associate, and Robbi Pritchard, distinguished professor, both in the SDSU Animal and Range Sciences Department, and Dr. John Gaughan of Queensland University in Australia assessed performance and physiological parameters of feedlot cattle housed in the confined and partially confined lots at the Opportunities Farm.

Internship: Nick Strehle, senior animal science major from West Point, Neb. assisted with the heat stress study and the general farm operation during the summer months.

Civil Engineering Project: Gravel extraction feasibility study; Dr. Allen Jones, Civil Engineering Department assistant professor; led a team of senior engineering students to examine the feasibility of extracting gravel from a 40 acre pasture.

Characterization of Feedlot Runoff: Kaitlyn Krack (Ag Engineering student from Hayti, S.D.) worked with Dr. Todd Trooien, Ag and Biosystems Engineering Department associate professor, to examine the quality and quantity of runoff.

Feedlot Surface Chart: Dr. Gregg Carlson, Plant Science Department professor, has mapped the entire feedlot. Elevation and contour of the lots are now precisely revealed.

Crop Yield Monitoring System: Crop yields are recorded to help us perform further studies in soil amendments for nutrient management and drainage to enhance future crop production.

Brief summary of crop and livestock prodution results for 2005 - 2005:

  • 576 acres corn: average 145 bu/ac, range 80-240 bu/ac
  • 383 acres beans: average 39 bu/ac, range 30-45 bu/ac
  • Silage - 600 tons on 29 ac
  • Corn - 80,000 bu
  • Beans - 13,500 bu
  • Alfalfa: 40 acres with yield of about 4 tons/ac
  • Total Cattle Fed in 2005: 2,007


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