You are here:  Home  >  Money Matters  >  Current Article

Is Your Grass Making You Money?

By   /  March 25, 2019  /  4 Comments

    Print       Email
Once you get your grazing organized (see how to do that here), you will see a lot of benefits. You w
    Print       Email
  • Published: 2 years ago on March 25, 2019
  • By:
  • Last Modified: August 28, 2020 @ 1:21 pm
  • Filed Under: Money Matters

About the author

Tom, along with his wife Jan, started raising & direct marketing hogs, sheep, cattle, turkeys, & chickens in 1999, the same year they completed a Holistic Management course. Their operation slowly morphed into custom grazing cattle on rented land and Tom’s passion for managing grass grew in the process. Tom & Jan completed the Ranching for Profit school in 2003 and found the ‘missing piece’. Since then, Jan has fulfilled her dream of being a nurse & Tom is currently the Production Manager of a ranch in north east British Columbia.


  1. Tom Krawiec says:

    Here is the incredibly helpful glossary:
    SD (stock day)- the amount of forage a 1000lb dry pregnant cow consumes in one day
    SAU (standard animal unit)- the relative value for each class of animal in relation to a 1000lb dry pregnant cow
    SDA (stock day per acre)- the amount of forage taken/available for each acre of grass. Similar to bushels per acre if you were grain farming.

  2. Paul Sharpe says:

    Tom, I love the simplicity of the article. I had to be careful interpreting the acronyms. When “A” appears it sometimes means “animal” and sometimes “acre(s)”. Correct?
    I got lost in paragraph 8 when dividing $1/pair/day by 1.75 SAU and getting $0.57 SD. The arithmetic is fine but I lost the thread of the units. What is 1 SD? I want to be able to teach this to others.

    • Tom Krawiec says:

      Your point is well taken Paul. It may have been better to provide a small glossary for each acronym. I will do that now, but first the math in paragraph 8:
      the basic grass unit is a stock day (SD). 1SD is the amount of grass a 1000lb dry pregnant cow will eat in one day. A 1350lb lactating cow with calf will eat significantly more each day. Research has shown that her stock day value or standard animal unit is 1.75SAU. When we were custom grazing pairs, we charged $1 per day for each pair. Since 1SD is less than the value of a pair, I have to divide $1 by 1.75 to calculate the value of 1SD.

      • Paul Sharpe says:

        Thanks Tom. This made a big difference for me. I taught pasture management to a degree program in equine management at the University of Guelph’s Kemptville Campus for 7 years, before the U of G closed the campus in 2015. I used publications from Manitoba and Alberta depts of agriculture for calculations on stocking rate and density. I like your approach to financial analysis of pasture production. Since 2015 I edited and wrote a textbook, “Horse Pasture Management”. You can see info about it at https://www.elsevier.com/books/horse-pasture-management/sharpe/978-0-12-812919-7
        Feel free to email me directly with other comments.

You might also like...

How One Grazier Builds Cattle Business on Leased Land

Read More →
Translate »