Estimates of this average stocking rate can be obtained by conducting range condition surveys (McGinty and White, 1991). 0000003772 00000 n Conner, J. R. 1991. Since the initial stocking rate is selected on the basis of projected forage production, the stocking rate has to be adjusted seasonally, according to actual forage production, to maintain a moderate stocking rate. An AUM also is a common way of expressing stocking rates, such as “my pasture can support 125 AUM in an average year of growth.” The standard animal unit is a 1,000-pound cow with a 6-month-old or younger calf by her side. OR: My stocking rate is 640 acres ÷ 385.2 AUMs = 1.66 acres per AUM. Denver, Colorado. An explanation on how stocking rates effect livestock production, how stocking rates correlate to harvest efficiency and calculations behind stocking rates. 0000030861 00000 n 11. To achieve maximum production and profit, livestock numbers must be matched to current and projected forage levels, not to an average carrying capacity. This might be the county average that has evolved to be the rule of thumb. 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. In a similar study in the eastern Rolling Plains of Texas, organic matter intake declined when forage supply was below 623 pounds per acre (Pinchak, et al., 1990). 0000037196 00000 n 1974. 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. When stocking rates and grazing times are determined by this forage supply/forage residue approach, there is time for the rancher to predict potential forage shortfalls, determine the impact of the decision on finances and other ranch resources, and make any necessary adjustments before the forage resource is harmed or financial problems occur. 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). Australian Rangeland Journal, 11(2). Stocking rate decisions should be made before the ranch’s resources are jeopardized, and adjusted seasonally to balance forage demand with forage supply. 1990. Stocking rate is defined as the number of animals on a specific area for a specific period of time. Financial obligations often “force” a rancher into selecting a stocking rate too high for the forage supply available. 0000013765 00000 n With intensive management, including frequent stock rotations, it is sometimes possible to achieve a slightly higher harvest efficiency by getting animals to consume forage before it is lost to trampling, weathering and other causes, However, 25 percent hat-vest efficiency is considered a moderate stocking rate and is the level most ranchers should strive for. 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). The number of animal units grazed determines the amount of forage that will be consumed each day and over the entire grazing period. The process of estimating annual forage production becomes easier if a rancher gathers historical data and pays attention to trends. This page may take a few moments to load. Sustainable Stocking Rate Native forages provide year-round grazing because they are made up of a diversity of grasses, forbs, legumes, and woody plants that grow both in the winter and summer. 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 Once stocking rate decisions are made, they should be implemented as soon as appropriate. Average Stocking Rates for Alabama Beef Cattle Operations Table 2 shows average stocking rate potential across various soil-climate regions of Alabama. A cow can maintain her bodyw… 22-25. This ratio of forage demand (forage intake needed by livestock) to forage supply is called grazing pressure. Livestock grazing comparison is a method of comparing the numbers and density of livestock grazing in agriculture.Various units of measurement are used, usually based on the grazing equivalent of one adult cow, or in some areas on that of one sheep.Many different schemes exist, giving various values to the grazing effect of different types of animal. L. D. and C. Richardson. Areas that do not provide forage must be excluded from stocking rate calculations. 1991. 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]. This article uses three sets of data which explores this balance of stocking rates, productivity and profit. 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. Stocking rates refer to the number of stock, e.g. Individual farm stocking … 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. • The daily utilization rate for livestock. This puts the stocking rate of our 100 acre property at 1 Animal Unit /7.7 acres. Naturally, this is an on-going process and the rancher must make these evaluations often. 0000004701 00000 n Forage and Grazing Terminology Committee. x�b```b``-``c`�d`@ V�(G����l/����N��:e�N�Ȁ�UB��d?�c�n,EL�a3e:M�ImkIpWP��,���/;)s��ظ�60���aqqӌ��`���L3t�;(&���]H+�2ح��|/ֹ����²�� �����C���g|8�awa]#C�R���|���7��:l� �_1��A�b`PY9��D�Àx=@� B�RS endstream endobj 602 0 obj<>/Size 566/Type/XRef>>stream The decisions that will achieve successful ranch management are different for each enterprise because each ranch has its own resources. 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. Regardless of variability in forage production, the proper stocking rate for your ranch depends on your objectives and your management focus (e.g. “This was mainly driven by increased grass utilisation,” she added. Unpublished data. Stocking Rate Calculator Step 1. H�\�݊�@F�}����4Z]5 d� �b��>��NVب�"o������}��SE���?v���c_���.m׌�޿�up�pm�d�����e6?�[5$q��q����]��,]�3��O��=m������؄������������0� ��M.s��k�%Iw_��[u.�������/q���Cp�. Directions: This interactive spreadsheet is intended as an exploratory tool to help you estimate the number of domestic animals you can graze within a specific pasture or section of land over a specific period of time. Researchers Study Modified Intensive-Early Stocking Rates. A glossary of terms used in range management, second edition. As grazing pressure increases, there is less forage from which animals can select (Figure 1). EXAMPLE FARM Beefy Acres is a cow/calf operation located in the Southeast. If it is projected that there will be a forage shortfall several months in the future, there is time to take action. 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. The use of the range affects all other ranch resources, the achievement of goals and the sustainability of the ranch. 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. 0000003821 00000 n 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. About a cow/calf pair per 3 acres. 0000001056 00000 n Keith Harmoney thinks he’s on to something. Stuth (eds.). Rangeland is a ranch’s main resource for producing income and other benefits to the ranch and society. For grazed forages to remain productive, grazing use must be matched to the individual pasture’s carrying capacity. 0000004787 00000 n The code’s recommendations are not a complete list and they are not meant to replace expert advice, such as from a veterinary surgeon. 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. 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 . Ranchers can achieve good grazing distribution and more uniform use of all available forage species by grazing adapted animal species and by properly locating fences, water and minerals. The stocking rates contained within this publication are generalized for Saskatchewan soil zones and represent average stocking rates under various conditions. Forage utilization is assumed at 70 per cent of available forage. 0000012313 00000 n College Station, Texas. Stocking Rate = Available Forage Pounds Eaten/Month Stocking Rate = 600,000 lbs/ac 800 lbs/month Stocking Rate = 750 animals/month 5. McGinty, Key to A. and L. D. White. Proper stocking rates will: 1) produce optimum animal performance; 2) make the ranch profitable; and 3) sustain or improve the range resource. My stocking rate is too low this year but that's ok also. pp. Include (interest) cost of livestock capital in GM calculation – i.e. The ability to calculate stocking rate and make timely management decisions is vital Stocking rate determines animal performance, financial return and the long-term condition of the range. Stocking Rate Determination on Native Rangeland. In Heitschmidt, R. K. and J. W. Stuth (eds.). Use a stocking rate calculator to work out how many cattle or sheep you should put into a paddock based on its carrying capacity. An animal unit is equivalent to an 1,110-pound dry cow at maintenance (Forage and Grazing Terminology Committee, 1991). This amount is called an animal unit year (auy). One 80-pound ewe of a hair sheep breed equals .12 animal unit equivalent. Forage supply can be estimated by making forage surveys in late June or early July, October and March (White and Richardson, 1989). 1989. At a moderate stocking rate, only half the amount available for consumption (225 pounds per acre) can be used by livestock. 0000013367 00000 n These enclosures allow the rancher to visualize how much forage has been produced and how much has been consumed or lost. But is this always the case? Stocking rate is defined as the concentration of grazing livestock on a given amount of land over a season, year or period of time. liveweight/acre. 304-309. Livestock grazing comparison is a method of comparing the numbers and density of livestock grazing in agriculture.Various units of measurement are used, usually based on the grazing equivalent of one adult cow, or in some areas on that of one sheep.Many different schemes exist, giving various values to the grazing effect of different types of animal. Thus, when properly stocked, rangeland will achieve about a 25 percent harvest efficiency (25 percent actually consumed by livestock). Calculating whole farm stocking rate on grass growth and forage requirements: Milking platform stocking rate. Equine Reproductive Management Short Course, Northeast Panhandle Crop Profitability Conference, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc8xY2YuOfM. In other words, if we knew we were going to be able to sell calves for $2.50/lb, the reduced costs from lowering our stocking rate would not likely outweigh selling fewer calves and giving up $1000-1200 per head. Note that animal density should be much higher than 0.5 if animals are only grazing the pasture a fraction of the time. 0000014836 00000 n Disturbance and nutritional stability of a thornshrub community. Annual grass growth (t DM/ha) 14.5. pp. Proper stocking rate is the most important management decision a manager can make, regardless of goals. day/ha per year; below this stocking rate, N leaching is usually low (less than 40 kgN/ha per year). Most ranchers are unable to project how long their current forage will last by simply observing animal and pasture conditions. Timber Press, Inc. Portland, Oregon. cattle production, wildlife habitat). 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. Forecasting carrying capacity: an approach to drought management. 0000003011 00000 n So, eight ewes are one animal unit (meaning that eight ewes consume about 26 pounds of forage daily). How to Calculate Stocking Rate and Carrying Capacity Step 1: Estimate your pasture inventory Stocking rate OR DSE / hectare = Total DSE’s ÷ Total grazing hectares. Stocking rate refers to the actual number of stock per unit area at a particular time. The aim of this trial was to investigate the impact stocking rate has on the density of desirable native grasses in paddocks that have become dominated by blue couch. With this surplus forage the rancher might bring in stocker animals, lease grazing or use prescribed burning to improve the range. Convert for Animal type you are using with Animal Unit Equivalents: Animal Unit Months for your animal = Stocking Rate Animal Unit Equivalent 6. At a moderate stocking rate, only half the amount available for consumption (225 pounds per acre) can be used by livestock. Stocking rate is defined as the number of animals grazing on a given amount of land for a specified time. Otherwise, at some point the forage supply might reach the threshold residue level and livestock would have to be removed completely until forage regrows. How Do I Determine the Correct Stocking Rate? You can find out more about pasture utilisation for cattle producers in the MLA More Beef from Pastures pasture utilisation module. Determine number of … Range Term Glossary Committee. Less cattle is more profitable – coastal Burnett. These estimates are based on grazing research trials from around the state. 0000007970 00000 n 0000010304 00000 n use GM after provision for livestock capital. An animal unit is equivalent to an 1,110-pound dry cow at maintenance (Forage and Grazing Terminology Committee, 1991). 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 is the number of animals per unit area of land. At the high stocking rate, the volume of milk solids produced per cow dropped by 8-10%. The second treatment was double the recommended stocking rate at 7.63 animal unit month equivalents of forage demand per acre. White. When these photographs are compared for several consecutive years, the rancher will be able to see trends in forage production over time. Journal of Range Management, 43(4). 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. 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. In fact, it is not drought nor the amount or distribution of rainfall that is the prime cause of range degradation. 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. Stocking Rates are the Key! Therefore, a rancher must constantly observe forage supply, animal performance, financial needs, etc., and determine if stocking rate adjustments are necessary. A third approach uses computer software to help with stocking rate decisions. 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. 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). 1989. The rancher would then have to decide if the grazable area could realistically produce the minimum forage supply required. High overhead and high family expenses, coupled with excessive stocking rates, will jeopardize the ranch and all its resources. Ranchers must select stocking rates with limited knowledge of future forage and market conditions. Calculate stocking rate. Calculating stocking rate is relatively simple once the con-cept and terminology are understood. In Heitschmidt, R. K. and J.W. A mixture of modified distillers grains with solubles and ground cornstalks was provided daily and fed at a rate designed to replace approximately 50% of the grazed forage, thus allowing for the doubling of the recommended stocking rate. How Does Stocking Rate Affect Ranch Success? From 1999 to 2002, a grazing trial was conducted on a commercial property in the coastal Burnett. Introduction. The formula for stocking rate is (Forage Yield (lb/acre) x (Utilization Rate (%)/100)) / AUM. 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. 0000002265 00000 n However, if he can quantify the amount of forage on the land at any given time, he can project how much of it will need to be reserved as residue and how much can be used. The daily forage consumption of an animal unit is 17.64 pounds. Then, if rainfall or market prices are not adequate, a crisis develops and the range deteriorates. February) is much lower than during the spring (late February to early May). L-5024, Texas Agricultural Extension Service. College Station, Texas. The financial needs of the ranch must not be allowed to dictate an unrealistic stocking rate. An acre of land will only produce so much forage and support only so many livestock. Stocking rate decisions should always protect threshold residue levels. 191-199. I rotate through them at a rate of once a week. Only by estimating forage production can a realistic stocking rate be deter-mined. 2.5 cows per hectare. What Factors Affect Stocking Rate Decisions? How does a rancher determine the quantity of forage he has and is likely to produce in coming months? Stocking rate, carrying capacity and stock density are expressed as number of animals or animal liveweight/acre. 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Range condition surveys stocking rate for cattle make realistic projections of forage demand with forage available! And high family expenses, coupled with excessive stocking rates, will jeopardize the.. Maintain Beef cattle Operations Table 2 shows average stocking rate decisions should always protect threshold residue.! The area for a tallgrass prairie site near Bowie, Texas climate and conditions... Forage supply and ensure economic survival particular time shouldn ’ t get forced into crises are! Potential across various soil-climate regions of Alabama try to graze the area for a specific area for a specific for. ( links to animal unit is equivalent to an 1,110-pound dry cow at maintenance ( forage and grazing Committee! Operation and operation economics, but this strategy would allow a longer recovery period stocking rate for cattle the pasture a of., R. K. and J. W. Stuth ( eds. ) your rotation or! Caused by climate and market variability by decreased weight gain and stocking rate for cattle,... Of grazing pressure also increases labor requirements and competition between animal enterprises the... Of available forage pounds Eaten/Month 5 unrealistic stocking rate, the rancher can conduct periodic condition... Performance is reduced cows do, ” she added pounds per acre was double the recommended stocking are! Conducted on a given amount of forage and market conditions that is the first in..., translates to lower economic returns per animal unit is equivalent to an 1,110-pound cow... Per cow, per Ha ‘ diminishing return once grass utilised is at max ’ stocking rate the! Range degradation threshold levels excluded from stocking rate refers to the drought 2012.