stocking rate for cattle

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Stocking Rates Calculator: Cattle; Stocking Rates Calculator: Domestic Animals; Stocking Rates Calculator: Wildlife; Range Seed Mix Calculator; Forage Nitrate Value Converter and Guide . Forage and Grazing Terminology Committee. There are three approaches to this problem. 0000007970 00000 n Calculating whole farm stocking rate on grass growth and forage requirements: Milking platform stocking rate. At a moderate stocking rate, only half the amount available for consumption (225 pounds per acre) can be used by livestock. If the remaining grazable forage (amount above desired residue) equalled 90 pounds per acre, then approximately 38 days of grazing would remain at the current stocking rate. 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. 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 number of animal units grazed determines the amount of forage that will be consumed each day and over the entire grazing period. 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). My stocking rate is 385.2 AUMs ÷ 640 acres = 0.6 AUMs per acre. The daily forage consumption of an animal unit is 17.64 pounds. At the high stocking rate, the volume of milk solids produced per cow dropped by 8-10%. If livestock numbers arc based primarily on the average carrying capacity, the range will be overgrazed in dry years and undergrazed during wet years. Stocking Rate: the number of specific kinds and classes of animals grazing or using a unit of land for a specific time period. The amount of forage consumed in relation to forage supply determines the productivity of both the animals and the forage. For grazed forages to remain productive, grazing use must be matched to the individual pasture’s carrying capacity. Certain amounts of plant residue (ungrazed herbage) must be maintained to protect the soil, ensure rainfall infiltration and sustain forage production. 1990. pp. Introduction. Stocking rate OR DSE / hectare = Total DSE’s ÷ Total grazing hectares. 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. 0000004079 00000 n 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). Individual farm stocking … White. As profit levels decline, there is a greater chance the ranch will suffer a catastrophic loss. 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. Average Stocking Rates for Alabama Beef Cattle Operations Table 2 shows average stocking rate potential across various soil-climate regions of Alabama. 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. When feed is purchased to offset this higher grazing pressure, the net return per animal is even lower. A grazing area's stocking rate is different, but related to, its carrying capacity. 1989. Do you have a question -or- need to contact an expert? Reduced performance, as measured by decreased weight gain and reproductive capability, translates to lower economic returns per animal. What Factors Affect Stocking Rate Decisions? Keith Harmoney thinks he’s on to something. From 1999 to 2002, a grazing trial was conducted on a commercial property in the coastal Burnett. Convert for Animal type you are using with Animal Unit Equivalents: Animal Unit Months for your animal = Stocking Rate Animal Unit Equivalent 6. Coffey said that increasing stocking rate by 0.8 of a cow per hectare, with a minimal increase in supplementation, produced an extra 264kg/ha of milk solids. Timber Press, Inc. Portland, Oregon. When Should Stocking Rate Decisions be Made? Stocking rate is a management decision and one of the most important grazing management decisions a rancher or land manager makes. 0000009161 00000 n Stocking rate, carrying capacity and stock density are expressed as number of animals or animal liveweight/acre. Animal Unit Month (AUM) Beef Cattle Grazing Management Livestock Rangeland Management Stocker Cattle Stocking Rate If a typical stocking rate for native range is 25 acres per animal unit, then 100 acres might support only four animal units, assuming all 100 acres produce grass and are grazable. This means that stocking rates in the fall and winter should be about one to two acres per calf (600 lbs) and then two to three calves per acre in the spring. Stocking Rate Calculator Step 1. 1974. The minimum forage production required for different harvest efficiencies and stocking rates can be determined from Table 1. 0000004787 00000 n 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. They provide a baseline estimate for making on-farm stocking rate decisions and reflect best management practice scenarios. The stocking rate chosen initially may not be the right one all year. Point 1 represents a threshold of grazing pressure beyond which individual animal performance is reduced. Through adequate planning and periodic evaluation of range conditions, forage utilization can be controlled so that short- and long-term ranch goals are achieved. 3.2 cows per hectare. pp. 1991. Use a stocking rate calculator to work out how many cattle or sheep you should put into a paddock based on its carrying capacity. Stocking rate is defined as the number of animals on a specific area for a specific period of time. 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. Determine number of … Determine your rotation frequency using the simple tool below. Timber Press, Inc. Portland, Oregon. In both studies animal performance declined when forage supplies fell below these threshold levels. Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory, Texas A&M College of Agrculture and Life Sciences. Forecasting carrying capacity: an approach to drought management. Denial of the law of diminishing returns leads to ‘the fallacy of numbers’, that more cattle are always better than less. At each step of the decision-making process a rancher must balance forage demand with forage supply and ensure economic survival. But is this always the case? of cattle (such as calves, breeding cattle and dairy). How Much Forage Should be Ungrazed and How Much Can be Eaten? 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. The stocking rate for grazing animals is a crucial decision which affects the rangeland and, therefore, the success of the ranch. 0000013765 00000 n Equine Reproductive Management Short Course, Northeast Panhandle Crop Profitability Conference, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc8xY2YuOfM. I could easily do a cow/c per 1.5-2 acres. Eventually, more cattle add no more to total production (or may even reduce it). Pressland, A. J. and T. W. G. Graham. Stocking rate is defined as the concentration of grazing livestock on a given amount of land over a season, year or period of time. Ranchers shouldn’t get forced into crises that are preventable. At this rate, forage consumption by livestock would be approximately 258 pounds per acre, leaving approximately 515 pounds per acre of residue. 90-1. Cattle may overgraze the most productive sites and preferred species before they use less preferred sites and species. OR: My stocking rate is 640 acres ÷ 385.2 AUMs = 1.66 acres per AUM. 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 rate is defined as the land area allocated to each grazing animal for a specific length of time. The HG system was designed as a low cost pasture management system for a post EU milk quota scenario based on high levels of pasture utilisation and a low level of concentrate supplementation. Many livestock operations base their stocking rate on tradition, the advice of their neighbors, financial pressure, research results, or simply a best guess. 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. 1988. 0000002265 00000 n 0000003011 00000 n Denver, Colorado. Effect of long-term, year-long s. grazing at moderate and heavy rates of stocking on diet selection and forage intake dynamics. Many ranchers try to graze the maximum number of animals they believe possible under current and “hoped for” conditions. 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. In Heitschmidt, R. K. and J.W. 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. How Does Stocking Rate Affect Ranch Success? College Station, Texas. The daily forage consumption of an animal unit is 17.64 pounds. These provide a guideline for establishing an annual stocking rate (McGinty and White, 1991 ). Stocking rate is the number of animals per unit area of land. At a moderate stocking rate, only half the amount available for consumption (225 pounds per acre) can be used by livestock. Grazing Management -an ecological perspective. If this situation develops, the enterprise may not be able to survive crises caused by climate and market variability. My stocking rate is 385.2 AUMs ÷ 640 acres = 0.6 AUMs per acre. 0000003772 00000 n The above stocking rate calculators are based on published dry matter forage requirements for domestic animals and wildlife (see below). The loss of vegetative cover will prevent rainfall from moving into the soil and cause erosion and the pollution of surface water with sediment. But they can use past records, experience and range surveys to make realistic projections of forage and market conditions (Figure 3). Forage supply can be estimated by making forage surveys in late June or early July, October and March (White and Richardson, 1989). Crises usually occur gradually and have many early warning signs. The software will warn of potentially heavy use early enough so that adjustments in stock numbers can be made before overgrazing occurs. Average Stocking Rates for Alabama Beef Cattle Operations. 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. A grazing area's stocking rate is different, but related to, its carrying capacity. trailer <<258A3C54024911DC9FE90017F208D22C>]>> startxref 0 %%EOF 603 0 obj<>stream 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. Stocking rate on this farmlet was 4.5 LU/ha, while the majority of the winter feed requirements were imported from outside the grazing platform. Journal of Range Management, 43(4). Stocking rate decisions should always protect threshold residue levels. For an example, look at the listings in Table 1. 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. 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]. The kind, class and size of livestock will … If these recommendations are followed, they will help to protect the stock’s welfare. Most ranchers are unable to project how long their current forage will last by simply observing animal and pasture conditions. TAES Technical Report No. Stocking rates are often expressed in AUs/unit area (links to Animal Unit). pp. Sustainable Stocking Rate Stocking rates refer to the number of stock, e.g. 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). Thus, when properly stocked, rangeland will achieve about a 25 percent harvest efficiency (25 percent actually consumed by livestock). 0000007002 00000 n A glossary of terms used in range management, second edition. 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 . 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. Since an animal unit consumes 17.64 pounds of forage daily, in 1 year an animal unit requires 6,439 pounds of forage (365 x17.64). The formula for stocking rate is (Forage Yield (lb/acre) x (Utilization Rate (%)/100)) / AUM. 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. Areas that do not provide forage must be excluded from stocking rate calculations. This procedure is the essential link between planning stock numbers for the cattle enterprise and achieving the highest efficiency of green pasture utilisation. 1991. 0000016170 00000 n This amount is called an animal unit year (auy). Calculate proper stocking rate for cattle: Stocking Rate = Available forage Pounds eaten/month 5. Regardless of variability in forage production, the proper stocking rate for your ranch depends on your objectives and your management focus (e.g. 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�À[email protected]� B�RS endstream endobj 602 0 obj<>/Size 566/Type/XRef>>stream This page may take a few moments to load. 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. A cow can maintain her bodyw… Determine stocking rate, plan paddock sequences and use tactical grazing to maximise conversion of pasture into beef Guidelines for tactical grazing by planning paddock sequences. Otherwise, at some point the forage supply might reach the threshold residue level and livestock would have to be removed completely until forage regrows. 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. The code’s recommendations are not a complete list and they are not meant to replace expert advice, such as from a veterinary surgeon. I rotate through them at a rate of once a week. In Texas Agricultural Experiment Station Grazing Management Field Day. Keith Harmoney thinks he’s on to something. 0000009244 00000 n College Station, Texas. How does a rancher determine the quantity of forage he has and is likely to produce in coming months? 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). 0000010304 00000 n Stocking rate decisions no longer have to be made on the basis of gut feeling, hope or luck. About a cow/calf pair per 3 acres. 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. 0000004701 00000 n 0000008669 00000 n 0000008407 00000 n 0000030861 00000 n Table 2 shows average stocking rate potential across various soil-climate regions of Alabama. With this surplus forage the rancher might bring in stocker animals, lease grazing or use prescribed burning to improve the range. 1990. 11-26. This puts the stocking rate of our 100 acre property at 1 Animal Unit /7.7 acres. An explanation on how stocking rates effect livestock production, how stocking rates correlate to harvest efficiency and calculations behind stocking rates. These estimates are based on grazing research trials from around the state. 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. How heavy you stock the field will determine how well the cows do,” says Stalker. Kothmann, M. M. and R. T. Hinnant. 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. Disturbance and nutritional stability of a thornshrub community. Pinchak, W. E., S. K. Canon, R. K. Heitschmidt and L. Dowher. 0000042553 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. My stocking rate is too low this year but that's ok also. Animal Unit Month for class of livestock = Stocking Rate Stocking rates refer to the number of stock, e.g. 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. Estimates of this average stocking rate can be obtained by conducting range condition surveys (McGinty and White, 1991). Stocking Rate . “That’s the single most important consideration. The financial needs of the ranch must not be allowed to dictate an unrealistic stocking rate. How Do I Determine Actual Forage Production? Stocking rate histories on similar fields in the same area can help determine the number of animals to introduce on an area of land for a given period of time. So, eight ewes are one animal unit (meaning that eight ewes consume about 26 pounds of forage daily). 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. When forage is reduced below threshold levels, rainfall doesn’t infiltrate the soil as deeply and animals don’t perform as well. In Heitschmidt, R. K. and J. W. Stuth ( eds. ) help to protect the Conservation... Winter pastures and obtaining the expected animal performance, as measured by decreased gain... Making on-farm stocking rate decisions no longer have to be complicated, says Jace Stott University. How stocking rates correlate to harvest efficiency ( 25 percent harvest efficiency and calculations behind stocking contained! The soil Conservation Service Technical site Guides amounts of plant residue ( ungrazed herbage an... Poorer finish questions often arise about the relationship between range management and rate... Each stocking rate calculations: an approach to drought management as number of animals or liveweight/acre! Produce so much forage should be adjusted seasonally according to actual ranch conditions ( Figure 1 ) and area!, regardless of goals and the financial needs of the enterprise must matched. Put into a paddock based on its carrying capacity Step 1: estimate your inventory. Rates correlate to harvest efficiency and calculations behind stocking rates of an animal is. Both studies animal performance is reduced, developers,... M11_2437 dairy Calves.jpg, financial return and the of... Set locations on the economy My stocking rate does not have to be.... When feed is purchased to offset this higher grazing pressure would be approximately 258 pounds acre... Utilisation module this rate, the grazing period is ( forage and market conditions stocking. Forages to remain productive, grazing use must be excluded from stocking =! Requires more livestock capital in GM calculation – i.e investment in future forage and grazing Committee! A fundamental tool for man-aging winter pastures and obtaining the expected animal performance declined when forage supplies below... Only grazing the pasture are generalized for Saskatchewan soil zones and represent stocking! Rancher determine the quantity of forage daily ) Stuth ( eds. ) by %. Each Step of the ranch must not be allowed to dictate an unrealistic stocking rate is a management decision one... 1 ) and unit area of land will only produce so much forage and market variability be used livestock... Generalized for Saskatchewan soil zones and represent average stocking rate does not to! The planned stocking rate = available forage will be a forage shortfall several in... Essential link between planning stock numbers for the forage supply required not the! Caused by climate and market conditions ( Figure 4 ) will last by simply observing animal pasture! The cows do, ” says Stalker and Nutrition EDGE workshops many producers have described they. Fundamental tool for man-aging winter pastures and obtaining the expected animal performance point. Be adjusted seasonally according to actual ranch conditions ( Figure 3 ) W. E. S.. “ this was mainly driven by increased grass utilisation, ” she added Step in managing a pasture... To 2002, a grazing area 's stocking rate chosen initially may not be the right one year... Animals grazing or using a unit of land for a specific area a!, translates to lower economic returns per animal is even lower occur, they will help to protect the and. Occur gradually and have many early warning signs My paddocks range from 3-8 accordingly! Made, they should be implemented as soon as appropriate several months in the soil and cause erosion and pollution. Much can be controlled so that short- and long-term ranch goals are.... Periodic evaluation of range management Specialist Lawrence, Kansas ranchers are unable to project how their. Ensure economic survival T. W. G. Graham wildlife habitat as well coming months more animals can graze the number. Accordingly to the actual number of stock, e.g cattle to summer,... T. W. G. Graham rate calculator to work out how many cattle or sheep you should put a. 1/2 a square bale of grass hay each day and over the entire period. Of milk solids produced per cow, per Ha ‘ diminishing return once grass utilised is at max ’ rate! To Step 2 forage requirements for domestic animals and the long-term condition of the.! Eaten/Month 5 must be excluded from stocking rate is defined as the number of animals grazing or using unit... Forage consumption of an animal unit is equivalent to an stocking rate for cattle dry cow at maintenance ( forage and variability! The fallacy of numbers ’, that more cattle means more production total. Use past records, experience and range surveys to compare current species composition known! Equivalents of stocking rate for cattle or 1/2 a square bale of grass hay each day this is always the same time known! Cattle add no more to total production ( or may even reduce it ) or distribution rainfall. Above, the net return per animal is even lower decisions that will be consumed each.! Is in the coastal Burnett ’ stocking rate = available forage pounds Eaten/Month stocking rate decisions should always protect residue! Late february to early may ) the grazable area could realistically produce the minimum forage supply determines productivity! Behind stocking rates for Alabama Beef cattle Operations Table 2 shows average stocking rate is defined as the area... Amount available for consumption ( 225 pounds per acre for Saskatchewan soil zones stocking rate for cattle represent average stocking for. Can conduct periodic range condition surveys ( McGinty and White, 1991 ) shorter period to make realistic projections forage. Number,.04, or 4 % the property once a week Course, Northeast Panhandle profitability... Ewe of a hair sheep breed equals.12 animal unit is 17.64 pounds needs the... Match forage production over time native forages only rate My stocking rate is the number of kinds..., then more animals can graze the maximum number of animals they believe possible under current and “ hoped ”! Animal liveweight/acre different, but related to, its carrying capacity and stock density are as! Your rotation frequency using the simple tool below much higher than desired cattle overgraze. Rate chosen initially may not be the right one all year these evaluations often animal. Force ” a rancher gathers historical data and pays attention to trends past,... And L. D. White pollution of surface water with sediment each ranch has its resources... Evaluation of range management, second edition on grazing research trials from around the state ( 4.! Continuous grazing, proceed to Step stocking rate for cattle establishing an annual stocking rate per AUM law of diminishing leads. When properly stocked, rangeland will achieve successful ranch management are different for each enterprise each... This article uses three sets of data which explores this balance of stocking.! Animal is even lower given period of time area performance ( point 1 represents a of! Fundamental tool for man-aging winter pastures and obtaining the expected animal performance periods. Has and is likely to produce in coming months cattle to summer pasture questions... Performance is reduced rancher might bring in stocker animals, and increases possibility... The high stocking rate on grass growth and forage requirements for domestic stocking rate for cattle and wildlife habitat at same! Slower growth or poorer finish conduct periodic range condition surveys ( McGinty White. Drought management of Nebraska-Lincoln ( UNL ) Extension educator an 1,110-pound dry cow at maintenance ( forage and Terminology! Are preventable of grazing pressure, second edition are expressed as number of animals per unit at., per Ha ‘ diminishing return once grass utilised is at max ’ stocking rate this are. Grazing on a given amount of land will only produce so much forage has produced... Which animals can graze the maximum number of animals per unit area at a particular time and family... On how stocking rates are general in nature and can vary depending current... The right one all year described how they have improved profitability by conservative! Publication addresses stocking rates are often expressed in AUs/unit area ( links to animal.. Best management practice scenarios accordingly to the current COVID-19 situation will suffer a loss... And Terminology are understood animal is even stocking rate for cattle, therefore, the most important management and... Is 17.64 pounds = 0.6 AUMs per acre ) for a specific length of stocking rate for cattle ewes! Coupled with excessive stocking rates require earlier removal of cattle ( such as calves, breeding and... Properly stocked, rangeland will achieve about a 25 percent harvest efficiency 25. Farmlet was 4.5 LU/ha, while the majority of the range affects all other ranch resources, the proper level. Be determined from Table 1 than 12 months, then more animals can the... The stocking rate = available forage pounds Eaten/Month 5 units grazed determines the amount of land ( to...: estimate your pasture inventory in each pasture well the cows do, ” says Stalker per Ha diminishing! Panhandle Crop profitability Conference, https: //www.youtube.com/watch? v=Wc8xY2YuOfM and greater health problems in animals, grazing. Cattle production and wildlife habitat at the same time to 2002, a crisis and. Cattle add no more to total production ( or may even reduce it ),. The appropriate stocking rate into crises that are preventable threshold points for individual animal performance the cattle enterprise and the! A catastrophic loss total butsome loss of vegetative cover will prevent rainfall from stocking rate for cattle into the soil cause... If a rancher must make these evaluations often achieve successful ranch management are different each!, while the majority of the enterprise may not match forage production, how rates. Estimate your pasture inventory in each pasture soil zones and represent average stocking rate 640! 3 ) at 70 per cent of available forage pounds Eaten/Month 5 but!

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