Top Ten Grazing Management Misconceptions

Sometimes we all suffer from perceptual misconceptions that affect our operations. Resolving them may require a rather steep and abrupt learning curve to achieve success. Here are 10 common grazing management misconceptions. If you're saying any of these things, you may need to take a step back and reconsider. 1. “In this county, I can run a cow for every ____ acres.” Stocking rate is the single most important decision a producer makes. Stocking rates are calculated by balancing animal demand with forage supply. Often, we hear of instances where producers are managing using a county-based stocking rate. However, rates are ranch-specific and are influenced by grazing history, forage type, climate, land capability, livestock type and class, etc. County-based stocking rates will tend to overstock some ranches and understock others. In my experience, the majority of the time they tend to overstock ranches. It is also a frequent misconception that implementing a grazing system will alleviate stocking rate problems. Over the long term, no grazing system will work if the stocking rate is not balanced with the annual forage produced. 2. “My cows graze all of my ranch.” The actual grazable acreage of a ranch is often overlooked. It is rare that every acre of the pasture is usable by livestock. Often, even if the producer went through the process to develop a balanced stocking

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