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Partial Budget (pdf) Pasture Leasing (pdf) Genetic Investment (pdf) Sprayer Calibration (pdf) Livestock Marketing (pdf) Net Present Value (pdf) Market Comparison (pdf) Links. Stocking rate should be based on the average long-term end-of-season standing biomass values for sustainable management. Example: 365.5 DSE ÷ 40 hectares = 9.0 DSE/ha. “If we ramp up grass production, we can stock the farm at higher rates. Increasing the stocking rate to 2.1 hd/acre and 3.0 hd/acre resulted in reduced ADGs of 2.21 and 1.13 lb/da, respectively. These high stocking rates × supplementation strategies have been used as proactive management to increase gain per acre, or as a recovery-plan in response to nonanticipated climatic conditions. “That’s the single most important consideration. This article uses three sets of data which explores this balance of stocking rates, productivity and profit. Table 7.5 shows the effect of stocking rate at each level of supplement. Unlike cattle, sheep and goats do not require water every day. There is no easy answer to this question., Cornforth, I.S., Sinclair, A.G., 1984. 5.1). If the grazing season length is different between the two animals, adjust the stocking rate by the proper ratio. Stocking Rate Calculator Step 1. Table 4. Christine Su. Stocking rate is how many animal units (AUs) of livestock are grazing or using the land in a certain period. The first step is to calculate the farm stocking rate, or the number of animals per unit of land. In adaptive grazing, the pasture inventory is estimated in Stock Days / Acre (SDAs) or Animal Days / Acre (ADAs). European Commission for Agriculture and Environment, n.d., n.d. Liveweight of a north American cattle (455 kg) which is equivalent to 1.0. Animal Density (AD) is defined as (AU)/grazed acre. Farm costs. If continuous grazing is practiced, in which all the 10 horses grazed all the 20 acres (8.1 ha) for the whole season, the stocking rate equals the stocking density (Henning et al., 2000). Too many animals in a management unit or pasture will reduce livestock weight gain, conception rates, and body condition and cause undesired … Various authors have argued that, besides grazing, the highly variable rainfall has a major impact on vegetation dynamics (Briske et al., 2003; Cowling, 2000; Vetter, 2005). Ranchers in the focus group reported that they believed current climate forecasts were too uncertain and covered too broad an area to be used reliably. This guideline can be difficult to follow in densely populated areas, and more intensive grazing management is required to maintain forage stands on farms with higher stocking rates. Dubeux Jr., Lynn E. Sollenberger, in, Management Strategies for Sustainable Cattle Production in Southern Pastures, C–N–P Uncoupling in Grazed Grasslands and Environmental Implications of Management Intensification. Moore, Evaluating forage production. In a recent article, John Dhuyvetter, NDSU … On well-fertilised grassland, about 2.5 t of liveweight/ha would be a good target in the early season falling subsequently to 1–2 t/ha later in the season. Fate of excreta and associated losses in cattle production systems. When it comes to grazing management, the basic questions are always the same. State of Victoria, Department of Primary Industries, Government of Western Australia, Department of Agriculture and Food. Recommendations. 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). In this article I’ll give you a range of stocking rates for several Texas regions AND tell you how to determine how many cattle your land can support, no matter where you are in the U.S.! Fourrages 151, 249–262. Grass use has also lifted. The different grazing and browsing requirements of species were determined, along with the grazing and browsing capacity of rangeland were determined. Do not use total farm size! Start with estimating your pasture inventory in each pasture. Milk yield per cow is often lowered due to a lower feed intake as a result of the restriction on which feed is to be used. Stocking densities for phase II production range from 10,000-250,000/ha, however densities in the range of 25,000 to 60,000/ha have resulted in more uniform fish and better overall survival (Jenkins et al., 1989). You can find out more about pasture utilisation for cattle producers in the MLA More Beef from Pastures pasture utilisation module. However, in the latter case, where the market demand is for the larger fish, the buyer would purchase fish no more than 650/Kg and stock his phase II ponds at densities around 20,000 to 30,000/ha. This continues up to some maximum, after which further decreases in stocking rate cause a decline in production per acre because the forage is underutilized (Fig. How to Calculate Stocking Rate and Carrying Capacity. 2016. Figure 2.3. 51 (2011) 420–432, Lockhart and Wiseman's Crop Husbandry Including Grassland (Eighth Edition), The output of particular grazing systems is strongly correlated with the, MEAT, ANIMAL, POULTRY AND FISH PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT | Meat Production in Organic Farming, Encyclopedia of Meat Sciences (Second Edition). Carrying capacity, on the other hand, is the maximum number of animals the rangeland will support year after year so that it can be maintained without deterioration of the natural resources of the area over the long term (Allen et al., 2011; Suttie et al., 2005). Herds were seasonal calving, with only minor differences in grazing management to optimize the profitability of each stocking rate (SR). Start with estimating your pasture inventory in each pasture. Relationship between stocking rates and nitrate leaching losses in grazed or mixed grassland. Sustainable Stocking Rate The fact sheet includes sections on defining the animal unit, determining the AUM, differences in consumption rates, and more. In general terms, for every hectare of a phase II operation a producer can expect to supply three hectares of a phase III operation. Animal Density (AD) is defined as (AU)/grazed acre. Stocking Rate is a function of animal density including consideration of percentage of the time the animals are on the pasture. 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. Densities greater than 60,000/ha result in a greater biomass but will probably require excess amounts of feed, supplemental aeration, water exchange, and close monitoring of the fish’s overall health. Emily's horses are the weight of 1 AU each, so her stocking rate does not need to be adjusted by AU. Stocking density is a similar measurement that refers to the animals on a specific area of pasture or grazing land within the farm, at one moment in time. A conservative stocking strategy is usually recommended to avoid losses and degradation (e.g., Holechek et al., 2004), but stocking rates should at least be flexible and adaptable and should include the consideration of social parameters such as current perceptions, prevalent norms, and historical context, especially in communal land (Rasch et al., 2016). Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. Stocking rates or densities are then expressed as Livestock Units per hectare (LU/ha). AUM can be used to calculate suitable stocking rates for pastures under a wide variety of conditions, said forage/beef specialist Karin Lindquist. The optimal stocking rate required to maximize production per unit of land area varies with the quantity and quality of forage produced (Conner, 199 1). The stocking rate in the example property is 9.0 DSE/ha. Determining the appropriate stocking rate does not have to be complicated, says Jace Stott, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Extension educator. Stocking rates have lifted from 90 livestock units (LSUs) to 200, not accounting for 900 housed pigs. Agriculture Note AG0590: Dry sheep equivalents for comparing different classes of livestock. The MLA Feed Demand Calculator can be used to estimate the impact of changes to feed supply, stocking rates, time of calving/lambing. H.J.S. 5.2) [13]. This is also the reason why the search for optimal stocking rates is still under debate. Using an appropriate stocking rate for your forage resource is the first step in managing a sustainable pasture or range operation. Livestock losses in dry years, as well as vegetation deterioration, should be small. When managing horses on pastures, it is important to know how many animals the pasture can handle. TEST, R.H. HART, J.W. However, size of the benefit of horn fly control has varied among studies, presumably due to differences in density of flies, degree of control, and presence of other biting flies and internal parasites. The overall picture is that no well-documented differences in reproduction and health problems (as related to mastitis, milk fever, ketosis, and lameness) exist for dairy cattle. Stocking rate refers to the actual number of stock per unit area at a particular time. As the level of animal gain increases (as a response to biological factors), the economic optimum stocking rate increases. 10+ years). At Grazing land management EDGE and Nutrition EDGE workshops many producers have described how they have improved profitability by using conservative stocking rates.. Stocking rate calculations are an integral part of the applications for EU Single Farm Payment Stewardship Schemes, details of which are supplied by Natural England. Therefore, stocking rates that force cattle to eat browse can drastically reduce forage intake. As costs other than pasture associated with keeping the animal increases, the economic optimum stocking rate decreases; and this is a particularly important feature in a cow-calf program. Carrying capacity has been criticized and comparability is often not possible, because the methods of determination (Point Quadrat method, ANPP = Above-ground net primary productivity) and their specific factors vary (Guevara et al., 2009). *All of these stocking rates equate to 85 kg live weight/t feed DM available. Grazing systems, stocking rates, and cattle behavior in southeastern Wyoming K.W. 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. In other words, the food-fish market demand in size of fish dictates the stocking strategy of the phase I buyers. When calculating stocking rates or densities, livestock units (LU) are used, sometimes referred to as cow equivalents (ce). Grazing systems and stocking rates are used to influence livestock grazing behavior with the intent of improving livestock and vegetation performance. In light of this, what is the best choice? As profit levels decline, there is a greater chance the ranch will suffer a catastrophic loss. Fact sheet; August 2015; Having the correct number of livestock on a given area of land is critical to sustainable land management. The stocking rate affects the rangeland's overall productivity, species composition, likelihood of impacts on different soil parameters like compaction or erosion occurring, individual animal performance, and several other factors in the rangeland–livestock relationship. 2003. I could easily do a cow/c per 1.5-2 acres. As the incidence of undesirable species increases at the expense of the more desirable forage species, … FAO: Tropical Livestock Units (TLU). Two ponies at 600 pounds (272.2 kg) each = 2 × 600/1000 = 1.2 AU, Five horses at 1000 pounds (453.6 kg) each = 5 × 1000/1000 = 5 AU, Three draft horses at 1800 pounds (816.5 kg) each = 3 × 1800/1000 = 5.4 AU, 11.6 AU/8 acres (3.2 ha) = 1.45 AU/acre (3.6 AU/ha). But for anyone who's trying to do it without a stocking calculator, knowing your AUs makes the mental math quicker. When pastures are grazed for only a fraction of a day, higher stocking densities can be acceptable as long as 70% vegetative cover can be maintained. stocking rates production costs generally increase at a faster rate than do gross returns (Figure 2). Congressional Research Service, FAO. This is your carrying capacity. Here are some key trigger dates to consider for western Nebraska cool- and warm- season dominated range sites. (2004) considered the widely varying diets of many wildlife species and used separated grazing and browsing units (GU, BU) to calculate wildlife stocking rates in South Africa. Based on the animal unit or livestock unit, an expected amount of forage is used for calculation. Even though Linda only has 10 horses, she has 11.6 AU. Let us calculate the stocking rates from our two farm examples. Stocking Rates are the Key! ... Grassland management is the key driver to increasing growth rates and stocking rate from grass. The rate of the increase (i.e., slope) in individual animal performance with decreasing stocking rate is related to forage nutritive value; and the greater the nutritive value of the forage the faster animal performance increases as stocking rate is reduced (Fig. Research- Does high SR lead to more grass growth? 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. The longer horses are turned out, the more space and pasture they need to avoid damaging the pasture plants by overgrazing. Managing Equine Grazing for Pasture Productivity, Laura B. Kenny, ... Carey A. Williams, in, Managing grazing in forage–livestock systems, Lynn E. Sollenberger, ... Marcelo O. Wallau, in, Starting with an overgrazed condition (i.e., high, Adapted from G.O. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, URL:, Lockhart & Wiseman’s Crop Husbandry Including Grassland (Ninth Edition), 2014, José C.B. Estimate the desired utilization rate. 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. Some correcting parameters influence the CC of the rangeland. ‘Cattle’ refers to all bovine stock (such as cows and oxen), and includes buffalo and bison. Land and rent prices. Effect of daily corn-based supplement level on average daily gain (ADG) on rye-ryegrass pastures. 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. Each pasture type had two replicates of four different cattle stocking rates including a control with no cattle and stocked pastures with low, medium, and high stocking rates (1.3, 1.0, 0.6 ha AU 1 [animal unit] in summer pastures; 2.1, 1.6, and 0.9 ha AU 1 in winter pastures). Stocking rates based on 550 lb=1 stocker at initiation of grazing on 12–20-04. A question that comes up frequently is, “How many horses per acre are appropriate?” This refers to the carrying capacity of the land, or how many horses the forage can nutritionally support over a given period of time without damaging the forage stand. As a general rule, the stocking rate should allow for a pasture to maintain 70% or higher vegetative cover, which protects the soil from eroding (Costin, 1980; Sanjari et al., 2009) and may allow horses to gain nutrition benefits if the cover is composed of well-maintained desirable forage species. Livestock grazing comparison units are used for assessing the overall effect on grazing land of different types of animals (or of mixtures of animals), expressed either as a total for a whole field or farm, or as units per hectare (ha) or acre.For example, using UK government Livestock Units (LUs) from the 2003 scheme a particular 10 ha (25-acre) pasture field might be able to support 15 adult cattle or 25 … Table 2 shows average stocking rate potential across various soil-climate regions of Alabama. Researchers Study Modified Intensive-Early Stocking Rates. Similarly, the stocking density of the paddock can be expressed as 10 horses/2 acres = 5 horses/acre (0.1 horses/ha). This number depends heavily on management of the pastures. Total animal production per unit area of pasture responds differently than individual animal production (Fig. Global cattle prices. Stocking Rates in Texas vary from 1 cow per acre on heavily managed pasture in the Eastern portion of the state to 1 cow per 150 acres (4 cows per section) in the Trans Pecos Region of the state. There is often a strong correlation between stocking rate, the application of nitrogen fertilisers and farm profitability. Thus, the stocking rate can be expressed as 10 horses/20 acres = 0.5 horses/acre (0.8 horses/ha). A minimum of 1–2 acres (0.4–0.8 ha) per horse is often recommended (Singer et al., 2002), but a farm manager may need more land to grow a productive stand of forage. If you haven't yet, read our post on how to calculate pasture inventory. Ewes with lambs would normally start the grazing season at about 18–24 ewes with lambs/ha. Ready for a simple tool to calculate stocking rate and carrying capacity? Supermarket red meat prices. My stocking rate is too low this year but that's ok also. Variation in leaching losses for a given stocking rate may reflect high denitrification in those conditions (difficult to quantify, in particular the N2 part) or uncertainties on nitrate fluxes difficult to measure when ground water table is near the soil surface. Compendium of Agricultural–Environmental Indicators 1989-91 to 2000, FAO: Tropical livestock units (TLU). Ranchers must select stocking rates with limited knowledge of future forage and market conditions. Figure 5.1. An animal unit (AU) is one 1000 lb steer eating about 3% body weight per day., Jahnke, H.E., Tacher, G., Keil, P., Rojat, D., 1988. Your carrying capacity is the total ADs in each pasture. 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. Figure 2.2. It has 25 deer on it.,, Bidwell and Woods, 2000; Thorne and Stevenson, 2007, Briske et al., 2003; Cowling, 2000; Vetter, 2005, Agricultural Special Valuation Guidelines (2014), Management strategies for pastures and beef cattle in the Middle-South: The I-20 Corridor, Providing a supplement with roughage sources or energy (corn) has been evaluated as an opportunity to buffer reduced ADG caused by high-. Researchers Study Modified Intensive-Early Stocking Rates. Rouquette et al. If the 20 acres (8.1 ha) of pasture from the previous example are divided into five paddocks of 2 acres (0.8 ha) each for rotational grazing (the group of horses graze only one paddock at a time), the stocking density of the paddock grazed is 2 ac/10 horses = 0.2 acres/horse (0.08 ha/horse). Reginal M. Harrell, in Developments in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science, 1997. USDA defines one thousand pounds of live weight as one animal unit (AU). 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