livestock stocking rates

There are different ways of expressing stocking rate for a given herd of livestock but the most commonly used are: To determine our AUMs, we simply multiply our adjusted AU from above by how many months the animals will be out on pasture. For grazed forages to remain productive, grazing use must be matched to the individual pasture’s carrying capacity. STOCKING RATE. Stocking rate is often used interchangeably with carrying capacity, which is also incorrect. Let’s assume we’ll keep the herd out on this pasture from May 15 to August 15, three months. It is typically expressed as acres per animal unit. Using an appropriate stocking rate for your farm is the first step in managing a sustainable, forage-based livestock system. By Tim Miller, NRCS Range Management Specialist Lawrence, Kansas. Animal Unit Month for class of livestock = Stocking Rate Resources for Calculating Stocking Rate and Carrying Capacity To use the resources below, you will need to know the number and type of livestock you plan to graze, for how long, and the approximate amount of forage you have available. Many livestock operations base their stocking rate on tradition, the advice of their neighbors, financial pressure, research results, or simply a best guess. Animal Density (AD) is defined as (AU)/grazed acre. An animal unit consumes 26 pounds of forage daily. Thus, livestock stocking rates are the most important management decision affecting the ranching business and the rangeland resource. Figure 1 indicates that maximum individual animal performance occurs at light stocking rates because there is little competition for the best forage plants. Stocking rate affects the pasture's overall productivity, species composition, likelihood of soil compaction occurring, individual animal performance, and a host of other factors in the pasture-livestock relationship. If you don’t know how much forage you have available, pages 4 … 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. Stocking rate is the number of animals per unit area of land. Stocking Rates. Stocking Rates are the Key! 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. Because livestock enterprises depend upon forage, the most critical decision you may make is the appropriate stocking rate for your land. Determining Stocking Rate . 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 rate also has a major impact on animal performance and overall profitability of the livestock production system. Stocking Rate = Available Forage Pounds Eaten/Month Stocking Rate = 600,000 lbs/ac 800 lbs/month Stocking Rate = 750 animals/month 5. Stocking rate decisions have a significant impact on short and long term sustainability of ranch resources.Stocking rate influences both livestock performance and climatically controlled forage production. Convert for animal type you are using with Animal Unit Equivalents: Information: • The cow herd on the allotment has an average weight of 1400 lbs. 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