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How Does Stocking Rate Affect Ranch Success? Stocking rate is defined as the land area allocated to each grazing animal for a specific length of time. 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. OR: My stocking rate is 640 acres ÷ 385.2 AUMs = 1.66 acres per AUM. pp. Heavier stocking rates require earlier removal of cattle from the system, but this strategy would allow a longer recovery period for the pasture. A rancher can never see exactly how much forage has been or is being produced, because it is constantly growing and continuously being consumed by livestock or lost to other causes. Calculating whole farm stocking rate on grass growth and forage requirements: Milking platform stocking rate. 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). High grazing pressure also increases labor requirements and competition between animal enterprises using the same range. Stocking rate OR DSE / hectare = Total DSE’s ÷ Total grazing hectares. By analyzing previous rainfall, animal performance, stocking rates and financial records, a rancher can better evaluate both potential forage production and risk. As profit levels decline, there is a greater chance the ranch will suffer a catastrophic loss. 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. Stocking Rate Determination on Native Rangeland. Point 1 represents a threshold of grazing pressure beyond which individual animal performance is reduced. These recommended stocking rates are general in nature and can vary depending on current range and soil conditions. The minimum residue levels needed to sustain production are 300 to 500, 750 to 1,000 and 1,200 to 1,500 pounds per acre (oven dry weight) of shortgrasses, midgrasses and tallgrasses, respectively. L-5024, Texas Agricultural Extension Service. 0000030861 00000 n
Otherwise, at some point the forage supply might reach the threshold residue level and livestock would have to be removed completely until forage regrows. Regardless of variability in forage production, the proper stocking rate for your ranch depends on your objectives and your management focus (e.g. Using an appropriate stocking rate for your forage resource is the first step in managing a sustainable pasture or range operation. When we spoke to him about his plans for the operation, he told us he is looking at increasing the stocking rate – which will generate economies of scale – but isn’t rushing blindly into it. What Factors Affect Stocking Rate Decisions? A second approach to quantifying forage production is to monitor the disappearance of range forage by comparing grazed areas with small, fenced areas which are left ungrazed (Figure 7). Then, the planned stocking rate should be adjusted seasonally according to actual ranch conditions (Figure 4). There are three approaches to this problem. 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. 0000013367 00000 n
Then if forage shortfalls and overgrazing occur, they are frequently blamed on drought. Stocking rate calculator The stocking rate calculator is designed to determine the number of cattle or sheep you should put into a paddock based on its carrying capacity. Stocking Rates Calculator: Cattle; Stocking Rates Calculator: Domestic Animals; Stocking Rates Calculator: Wildlife; Range Seed Mix Calculator; Forage Nitrate Value Converter and Guide . 0000042553 00000 n
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This page may take a few moments to load. 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. 3.2 cows per hectare. Beef cattle: Dry cow steer 350-450 kg: 8-10 : Fattening cattle 20-32 months: 9-12 : Cow with calf at foot - up to 8 months: 13-16 : Bulls - 100 kg : 16 : Horses: Horse : 10 : Mare with foal : 16 : Pony: 7 : Stallion: 16 : Calculating current stocking rate. 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- College Station, Texas. These provide a guideline for establishing an annual stocking rate (McGinty and White, 1991 ). Stuth (eds.). The daily forage consumption of an animal unit is 17.64 pounds. 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]. 1990. Forage utilization is assumed at 70 per cent of available forage. These estimates are based on grazing research trials from around the state. Stocking rates are often expressed in AUs/unit area (links to Animal Unit). The loss of vegetative cover will prevent rainfall from moving into the soil and cause erosion and the pollution of surface water with sediment. It is typically expressed as acres per animal unit. How much forage do you have? • 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. 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. Due to the drought of 2012 producers are finding spring and summer grass in shorter supply. 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. day/ha per year; below this stocking rate, N leaching is usually low (less than 40 kgN/ha per year). Denver, Colorado. Less cattle is more profitable – coastal Burnett. 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