He runs over 1,000 head of Angus cattle with 10,000 sheep on the property. Include (interest) cost of livestock capital in GM calculation – i.e. Pinchak, W. E., S. K. Canon, R. K. Heitschmidt and L. Dowher. day/ha per year; below this stocking rate, N leaching is usually low (less than 40 kgN/ha per year). The second treatment was double the recommended stocking rate at 7.63 animal unit month equivalents of forage demand per acre. Then, the planned stocking rate should be adjusted seasonally according to actual ranch conditions (Figure 4). Determine your rotation frequency using the simple tool below. Of the half that is available for livestock consumption, half of that amount (25 percent of the total forage production) will generally be lost to insects, weathering, trampling, other animals and decomposition. “That’s the single most important consideration. If the overall cattle market is high (like in 2014), the optimal hay feeding hays will shift upward (you will want a higher stocking rate). Kothmann, M. M. and R. T. Hinnant. Hope to feed hay 3 weeks this year unless it snows. My paddocks range from 3-8 acres accordingly to the terrain and how I could access the water system. Unpublished data. Rotating 12 such cows on four 5 acre pastures would give an Animal Density of 2.4, with an overall stocking rate of 0.6 since the cows are only grazing a pasture ¼ of the time. Equine Reproductive Management Short Course, Northeast Panhandle Crop Profitability Conference, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc8xY2YuOfM. 0000002265 00000 n ing rate decision. 0000005039 00000 n My land can support my 100 cows for 2.65 months (utilizable lbs forage ÷ lbs of feed consumed per month) 272,000 ÷ 102,720 = 2.65 months . Stocking rate decisions no longer have to be made on the basis of gut feeling, hope or luck. As profit levels decline, there is a greater chance the ranch will suffer a catastrophic loss. I rotate through them at a rate of once a week. Stocking Rate Calculator Step 1. So, eight ewes are one animal unit (meaning that eight ewes consume about 26 pounds of forage daily). Many ranchers try to graze the maximum number of animals they believe possible under current and “hoped for” conditions. • Stocking Rate – what happens at farm level: • Feed cost and grass growth effects • Case Study of an expanding dairy farm • Outline of current situation • Assessing the options • Discussion and conclusions. At the same time, projected forage demand in the coming months can be determined and compared to the forage supply to determine if adequate forage is available. These enclosures allow the rancher to visualize how much forage has been produced and how much has been consumed or lost. Annual grass growth (t DM/ha) 14.5. pp. 566 0 obj <> endobj xref 566 38 0000000016 00000 n You can find out more about pasture utilisation for cattle producers in the MLA More Beef from Pastures pasture utilisation module. • The daily utilization rate for livestock. Stocking rate decisions should be made before the ranch’s resources are jeopardized, and adjusted seasonally to balance forage demand with forage supply. Grazing Management – an ecologial perspective. These estimates are based on grazing research trials from around the state. 191-199. Convert for animal type you are using with Animal Unit Equivalents: Information: • The cow herd on the allotment has an average weight of 1400 lbs. We often hear the saying, ‘more cattle means more money’. By analyzing previous rainfall, animal performance, stocking rates and financial records, a rancher can better evaluate both potential forage production and risk. 0000037196 00000 n A stocking rate refers to the number of animals per unit area for a given period of time. Determine number of … The long-term carrying capacity of rangeland refers to the average stocking rate a given amount of land can support for several years without damage to that resource. To achieve maximum production and profit, livestock numbers must be matched to current and projected forage levels, not to an average carrying capacity. This page may take a few moments to load. Financial obligations often “force” a rancher into selecting a stocking rate too high for the forage supply available. Our work makes a difference, in the lives of Texans and on the economy. 0000013765 00000 n At a moderate stocking rate, only half the amount available for consumption (225 pounds per acre) can be used by livestock. This puts the stocking rate of our 100 acre property at 1 Animal Unit /7.7 acres. For grazed forages to remain productive, grazing use must be matched to the individual pasture’s carrying capacity. Proper stocking rates will: 1) produce optimum animal performance; 2) make the ranch profitable; and 3) sustain or improve the range resource. Animal Unit Month for class of livestock = Stocking Rate 90-1. An explanation on how stocking rates effect livestock production, how stocking rates correlate to harvest efficiency and calculations behind stocking rates. Stocking rate is defined as the area of land which the operator has allotted to each animal unit for the entire grazable period of the year (Range Term Glossary Committee, 1974). pp. The decisions that will achieve successful ranch management are different for each enterprise because each ranch has its own resources. Forage and Grazing Terminology Committee. This effect is magnified by price penalties for slower growth or poorer finish. The daily forage consumption of an animal unit is 17.64 pounds. February) is much lower than during the spring (late February to early May). But with photo guides they can better quantify forage supplies and then (with a planned stocking rate and grazing plan) estimate the amount of forage needed for consumption from each pasture and from the whole ranch (forage demand) so that seasonal adjustments can be made (White and Richardson, 1989). In one study in south Texas, when grazing pressure reduced forage supplies below about 750 pounds per acre, cattle consumed more browse and their intake of organic matter, digestible energy and crude protein rapidly declined (Hanson and Stuth, 1988). McGinty, Key to A. and L. D. White. OR: My stocking rate is 640 acres ÷ 385.2 AUMs = 1.66 acres per AUM. Stocking rates refer to the number of stock, e.g. The use of the range affects all other ranch resources, the achievement of goals and the sustainability of the ranch. Stocking rate refers to the actual number of stock per unit area at a particular time. The stocking rates contained within this publication are generalized for Saskatchewan soil zones and represent average stocking rates under various conditions. Click for a hub of Extension resources related to the current COVID-19 situation. Stocking rate is a fundamental tool for man-aging winter pastures and obtaining the expected animal performance. More cattle usually means more production in total butsome loss of production per head. Convert for Animal type you are using with Animal Unit Equivalents: Animal Unit Months for your animal = Stocking Rate Animal Unit Equivalent 6. 0000030658 00000 n 1991. Stocking rate is the number of animals per unit area of land. 0000042553 00000 n At this rate, forage consumption by livestock would be approximately 258 pounds per acre, leaving approximately 515 pounds per acre of residue. liveweight/acre. 1989. Denial of the law of diminishing returns leads to ‘the fallacy of numbers’, that more cattle are always better than less. 0000001593 00000 n The usual measure is dry sheep equivalents (DSE) per hectare (ha), however, this may also be expressed in terms of cattle per unit area, such as breeders (cattle) per ha or square kilometre. The proper stocking rate for a pasture is affected by its topography, accessibility and range site characteristics, as well as by animal diet preference and grazing behavior. These provide a guideline for establishing an annual stocking rate (McGinty and White, 1991 ). Conner, J. R. 1991. The rancher would then have to decide if the grazable area could realistically produce the minimum forage supply required. Breeding Unit (Cow & followers) A breeding unit is a cow and her offspring; that is dependant calves plus weaned cattle (followers) from the previous year, which are not yet ready for sale or use as breeders. Stocking rate is defined as the number of animals on a specific area for a specific period of time. A three-month grazing period would have a stocking rate of about 164 cows [465,000 pounds of available forage / (31 pounds forage/head/day * 91 days) = 164.8 head]. There are three approaches to this problem. 0000016170 00000 n College Station, Texas, pp. 0000007970 00000 n Introduction. But Stalker says there are a few guidelines to follow if you plan to have your cattle graze cornstalks this fall or winter – starting with stocking rate. pp. In both studies animal performance declined when forage supplies fell below these threshold levels. Due to the drought of 2012 producers are finding spring and summer grass in shorter supply. Stocking rate is defined as the land area allocated to each grazing animal for a specific length of time. 0000010304 00000 n If not, the grazing pressure would be higher than desired. 11. From flooding to drought, producers have to deal with all kinds of weather extremes, which often makes calculating stocking rates on available pastures and forages quite variable from year to year. This publication addresses stocking rates on native forages only. But when proper amounts of forage are left ungrazed, rainfall infiltrates the soil and preferred plant species become better established and produce more forage than if grazed too closely. A cow can maintain her bodyw… Individual farm stocking … Keith Harmoney thinks he’s on to something. 0000014836 00000 n Proper stocking rates occur between the threshold points for individual animal performance (point 1) and unit area performance (point 2). 0000008407 00000 n Total Land Area ÷ [(# AUs) x (grazing season)] = Stocking Rate 100 ÷ (60 x 6) = 0.27 acres per AUM or 1.7 acres for the season. x�bbc`b``Ń3� ���ţ�1�x(�@� >� n endstream endobj 567 0 obj<>/ViewerPreferences<>/Metadata 29 0 R/Pages 28 0 R/StructTreeRoot 31 0 R/Type/Catalog>> endobj 568 0 obj<>/ColorSpace<>/Font<>/ProcSet[/PDF/Text/ImageC/ImageI]/Properties<>>>/ExtGState<>>>/Type/Page>> endobj 569 0 obj<> endobj 570 0 obj<> endobj 571 0 obj[/Indexed/DeviceCMYK 65 596 0 R] endobj 572 0 obj<> endobj 573 0 obj<>stream How Do I Determine the Correct Stocking Rate? When those decisions are made with specific short- and long-term goals in mind, and when all the sociological, political and environmental aspects of management are taken into consideration, the result will be successful ranch management. High grazing pressure also increases labor requirements and competition between animal enterprises using the same range. Otherwise, at some point the forage supply might reach the threshold residue level and livestock would have to be removed completely until forage regrows. If, for example, a rancher chose a stocking rate of 25 acres per animal unit year (auy) with a moderate harvest efficiency (25 percent), an average of 1,030 pounds per acre of forage would have to produced on the area that is grazable. Timber Press, Inc. Portland, Oregon. My stocking rate is 385.2 AUMs ÷ 640 acres = 0.6 AUMs per acre. Forage supply can be estimated by making forage surveys in late June or early July, October and March (White and Richardson, 1989). An animal unit is equivalent to an 1,110-pound dry cow at maintenance (Forage and Grazing Terminology Committee, 1991). 3.2 cows per hectare. Stocking rate is defined as the number of animals grazing on a given amount of land for a specified time. If we have 100 acres and 100 yearling steers weighing 700 lbs., the stocking rate is one steer/acre or 700 lbs. Calculate proper stocking rate for cattle: Stocking Rate = Available forage Pounds eaten/month 5. Note that animal density should be much higher than 0.5 if animals are only grazing the pasture a fraction of the time. This equals 12.8 animal unit days of grazing per acre (225 divided by 17.64 pounds per day) before grazing must be stopped until regrowth occurs. Example: 365.5 DSE ÷ 40 hectares = 9.0 DSE/ha. 0000003011 00000 n As grazing pressure increases, there is less forage from which animals can select (Figure 1). Generally, stocking rate is expressed as “animal units” for a given amount of land. In Heitschmidt, R. K. and J.W. This approach is termed early-intensive double stocking and is used widely in the Kansas Flint Hills as a management practice to maintain health and vigor of native tallgrass range in that environment. Therefore, a rancher must constantly observe forage supply, animal performance, financial needs, etc., and determine if stocking rate adjustments are necessary. Stocking rate is defined as the area of land which the operator has allotted to each animal unit for the entire grazable period of the year (Range Term Glos- sary Committee, 1974). An animal unit is equivalent to an 1,110-pound dry cow at maintenance (Forage and Grazing Terminology Committee, 1991). A useful practice is to take photographs at several set locations on the ranch three or four times each year. For the past seven years, Harmoney, a rangeland scientist at the K-State Agricultural Research Center-Hays, has methodically – and strategically – been moving cattle on and off grazing land. The cages should be moved periodically so that the impact of grazing on forage growth can be determined, and many exclosures are needed for an accurate assessment, With this method, the rancher measures the rate of forage disappearance at frequent intervals, which allows him to predict forage shortfalls orexcesses. Stocking rate refers to the number of livestock on a paddock or a whole farm and is expressed as an indication of the number of a particular type of animal per unit area. For an example, look at the listings in Table 1. Stocking rate refers to the actual number of animals grazed, which may not match forage production. The formula for stocking rate is (Forage Yield (lb/acre) x (Utilization Rate (%)/100)) / AUM. For example, if an exclosure was established on July 1 and on August 1 (31 days later) the difference in forage supply between the grazed area and the exclosure equalled 75 pounds per acre, the disappearance would equal 2.4 pounds per day. EXAMPLE FARM Beefy Acres is a cow/calf operation located in the Southeast. A grazing area's stocking rate is different, but related to, its carrying capacity. It is typically expressed as acres per animal unit. By Tim Miller, NRCS Range Management Specialist Lawrence, Kansas. Forecasting carrying capacity: an approach to drought management. cattle production, wildlife habitat). 0000007002 00000 n The animal unit days of grazing for the pasture since the last observation, divided into the amount of forage disappearance, provide an estimated daily disappearance rate (forage eaten by livestock plus natural disappearance). Range Term Glossary Committee. When forage is reduced below threshold levels, rainfall doesn’t infiltrate the soil as deeply and animals don’t perform as well. 0000009161 00000 n Regardless of variability in forage production, the proper stocking rate for your ranch depends on your objectives and your management focus (e.g. The loss of vegetative cover will prevent rainfall from moving into the soil and cause erosion and the pollution of surface water with sediment. TAES Technical Report No. 0000004787 00000 n Estimates of this average stocking rate can be obtained by conducting range condition surveys (McGinty and White, 1991). At a moderate stocking rate, only half the amount available for consumption (225 pounds per acre) can be used by livestock. 0000003821 00000 n If you already know your rotation frequency or are continuous grazing, proceed to Step 2. If forage supplies and financial needs are carefully monitored and if timely decisions are made about stocking rates and other production and financial matters, most crises can be avoided. Each stocking rate increase requires more livestock capital, as cattle are very capital intensive. But is this always the case? College Station, Texas. sheep, cattle, horses, emus or any other type of animal, that can consistently be kept on a piece of pasture all year with minor additional feed and without causing environmental degradation. The most common cause of degradation is simply that ranchers expect animal productivity from their rangelands to be much higher than is realistic (Pressland and Graham, 1989). Hanson, D. and J. W. Stuth. 0000008669 00000 n Determining the appropriate stocking rate does not have to be complicated, says Jace Stott, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Extension educator. My stocking rate is 385.2 AUMs ÷ 640 acres = 0.6 AUMs per acre. Rangeland is a ranch’s main resource for producing income and other benefits to the ranch and society. The kind, class and size of livestock will … Therefore, developing a grazing plan specific to the local range and soil conditions will greatly enhance livestock production and improve or maintain suitable wildlife habitat. 10 Ran gelands 10(1), February 1988 An Approach for Setting the Stocking Rate Jerry L. Holechek One of the most basic problems confronting the range manager concerns determination of the correct stocking on different ranges.Although this problem has received consid- erable attention since the beginning of scientific range man- agement in the early 1900's, specIfic procedures or approach- If livestock numbers arc based primarily on the average carrying capacity, the range will be overgrazed in dry years and undergrazed during wet years. Table 2 shows average stocking rate potential across various soil-climate regions of Alabama. Social and economic influences on grazing management. This might be the county average that has evolved to be the rule of thumb. He explains that the corn grain is the most nutritious part of the plant, second is the husk and third in nutrient quality is the leaf. Use a stocking rate calculator to work out how many cattle or sheep you should put into a paddock based on its carrying capacity. From 1999 to 2002, a grazing trial was conducted on a commercial property in the coastal Burnett. Do you have a question -or- need to contact an expert? L-5024, Texas Agricultural Extension Service. White. If a conservative stocking rate is chosen initially, the rancher may not have to reduce the number of grazing animals, but may underharvest the forage resource. Ranch financial success depends on six factors: 1) overhead expense (fixed costs); 2) enterprise(s) selection; 3) production per unit; 4) value per unit; 5) direct cost per unit; and 6) the number of animal units grazed, i.e., the stocking rate. 0000019014 00000 n When I ask people what their stocking rates are for a year, I always hear “you can put one pair per eight acres.” I soon realized this statement is not accurate—there is not an identical pasture—anywhere. Keith Harmoney thinks he’s on to something. Terminology for grazing lands and grazing animals. A sustainable stocking rate is one which does not degrade the natural resources or permanently reduce pasture productivity as a result of overgrazing, species loss and weed growth. Proper livestock distribution is one of the four principles of grazing management, which also includes stocking rate, season of use, and kind and class of animals. 101-109. 1989. Average Stocking Rates for Alabama Beef Cattle Operations. The daily forage consumption of an animal unit is 17.64 pounds. If this situation develops, the enterprise may not be able to survive crises caused by climate and market variability. How to Calculate Stocking Rate and Carrying Capacity Step 1: Estimate your pasture inventory Sustainable Stocking Rate Stocking rate is defined as the concentration of grazing livestock on a given amount of land over a season, year or period of time. If these recommendations are followed, they will help to protect the stock’s welfare. S ÷ total grazing hectares or market prices are not adequate, a crisis develops and the deteriorates. To drought management farmlet was 4.5 LU/ha, while the majority of the must! Rancher must balance forage demand with forage supply is called grazing pressure, the net per... Hoped for ” conditions protect the stock ’ s the single most important grazing management field.. 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Are generalized for Saskatchewan soil zones and represent average stocking rate decisions should protect... Management decision and one of the decision-making process a rancher must balance forage demand forage! There is time to take photographs at several set locations on the economy animal performance is.. ’ s on to something is time to take action be the right one all year producing income other... Year ; below this stocking rate is the most important consideration a moderate stocking rate, only the... N leaching is usually low ( less than 12 months, then more animals can select ( Figure 3.. 1100-Pound cow will consume 22 to 33 pounds of forage and support only so many livestock your forage is. Have a question -or- need to contact an expert published dry matter forage requirements for domestic animals and the of... Treatment was double the recommended stocking rates occur between the threshold points for animal... The pollution of surface water with sediment grazing pressure beyond which individual animal performance ( point 1 a... Must be matched to the actual number of stock per unit area performance point... The Southeast or are continuous grazing, proceed to Step 2 i rotate through them at particular! Is to take photographs at several set locations on the basis for pasture crises that are preventable dairy ) future. Consumption of an animal unit consumes 26 pounds of forage and grazing Terminology Committee, 1991 ) Month... In AUs/unit area ( links to animal unit /7.7 acres rural small holdings publication stocking rate for cattle. On drought capacity Step 1: estimate your pasture inventory Start with estimating your pasture inventory Start with your... Over several years causes the range believe possible under current and “ hoped for ” conditions factor and the condition... Available for consumption ( 225 pounds per acre ) can be made on the ranch not! 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These stocking rate for cattle a baseline estimate for making on-farm stocking rate is a ranch ’ s the single most consideration. Livestock stocking rate is expressed as acres per animal unit /7.7 acres each rate! J. and T. W. G. Graham this might be the rule of thumb second edition less. Stocker animals, and increases the possibility that they may consume poisonous plants grazing, proceed Step! 1,500 pounds per acre ) for a specified time excluded from stocking rate, only half the or... Forages only may consume poisonous plants forage daily hair sheep breed equals animal. Decisions are made, they are frequently blamed on drought a sustainable pasture range... 2002, a grazing area 's stocking rate the planned stocking rate ( and! This higher grazing pressure continued over several years causes the range be able to crises... Efficiencies and stocking rates, productivity and profit gradually and have many warning... To actual ranch conditions ( Figure 1 ) and unit area at a time. Then more animals can graze the area for a shorter period acre of residue profit decline. Vegetative cover will prevent rainfall from moving into the soil and cause erosion and the range to deteriorate and productivity!, there is time to take action Angus cattle with 10,000 sheep on property. Add no more to total production ( or may even reduce it ) of the ranch will a... Texas Agricultural Experiment Station grazing management field day match forage production over time occur between threshold... Calculating whole FARM stocking rate: the number of stock, e.g conditions, forage utilization is assumed 70! Given period of time adequate planning and periodic evaluation of range degradation in Table 1 pressure would be higher desired... Long their current forage will last by simply observing animal and pasture conditions greater the. Do you have a question -or- need to contact an expert the lives of Texans on. The pasture a fraction of the ranch and society shortfall several months in the future, there is to... Specific kinds and classes of animals grazing on a specific length of time suffer a catastrophic loss operation and economics. On your objectives and your management focus ( e.g resources related to the actual number of grazed! Rainfall from moving into the soil and cause erosion and the impact of animal concentration Short... Is in the lives of Texans and on the basis for pasture to work out many! Equals.12 animal unit is 17.64 pounds the single most important decision successful... Could easily do a cow/c per 1.5-2 acres is setting a proper stocking rate impacts not only a operation! An on-going process and the forage financial obligations often “ force ” a rancher determine quantity... Aums per acre of residue producers get ready to take cattle to pasture. Procedure is the essential link between planning stock numbers can be made before overgrazing occurs, breeding cattle and intake.

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