Start Date

26-10-2004 11:30 AM

Description

Decisions on species and variety of forage to plant and manage are economically critical because it establishes the potential to meet a particular production goal. However, the stocking rate used to graze these forages is more critical because it ultimately determines if a targeted level of production is reached. Most cattlemen aim for a stocking rate that provides maximum economic return, but it should be emphasized that an economically optimum stocking rate is one that potentially provides sustained economic return. It is obvious that dollar return is not maximized if excessive heavy grazing results in costly pasture renovation, ranging from 15.00 to 120.00 dollars/acre. Therefore, the challenge is to set stocking rates that meet product goals, adjust stocking rates during adverse weather patterns, and follow pasture management practices that match the intensity that pastures are grazed (heavy grazing requires higher inputs of management!). This paper will discuss factors in setting stocking rates (species/varieties of forages, stocking rate effects on weight gain, climate and forage growth distribution), and having contingency plans for adjusting stocking rates in response to dry weather patterns.

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Oct 26th, 11:30 AM

Stocking Decisions: They Make or Break You

Decisions on species and variety of forage to plant and manage are economically critical because it establishes the potential to meet a particular production goal. However, the stocking rate used to graze these forages is more critical because it ultimately determines if a targeted level of production is reached. Most cattlemen aim for a stocking rate that provides maximum economic return, but it should be emphasized that an economically optimum stocking rate is one that potentially provides sustained economic return. It is obvious that dollar return is not maximized if excessive heavy grazing results in costly pasture renovation, ranging from 15.00 to 120.00 dollars/acre. Therefore, the challenge is to set stocking rates that meet product goals, adjust stocking rates during adverse weather patterns, and follow pasture management practices that match the intensity that pastures are grazed (heavy grazing requires higher inputs of management!). This paper will discuss factors in setting stocking rates (species/varieties of forages, stocking rate effects on weight gain, climate and forage growth distribution), and having contingency plans for adjusting stocking rates in response to dry weather patterns.