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Math and the Art of Grazing – Figuring Your Stocking Rate

By   /  April 12, 2021  /  3 Comments

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Thanks to Krista Ehlert, Assistant Professor and South Dakota State University Extension Range Speci
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3 Comments

  1. Simon says:

    One thing I don’t understand in this – why would the cow/calf need to eat more forage if it is high quality and more digestible rather than low quality? Intuitively isn’t that the wrong way around?

    • Kathy Voth says:

      The cow/calf doesn’t “need” more forage when it’s high quality. They can simply eat more. Low-quality, high-fiber forage is bulkier in the rumen and so the cow can’t eat as much. She’s physically limited from eating more because her stomach is too full.

  2. Tom Krawiec says:

    Love this article and the approach taken to figure grazing days. If I could be so bold, and take Krista’s calculation a step further to monetize the grass:

    In this area of Alberta, the custom grazing rate for a cow/calf pair is $1.25/pair/day.
    Gross Revenue from the grass
    21 days of grazing X $1.25/pair/day X 200 pair = $5,250
    Revenue per acre
    $5,250 / 400 acres = $13.12/ac

    Monetizing grass provides grazing expense data for our livestock and also shows us how much revenue each acre of land produces. I like having this information because it lets me know if revenue from the grass is covering the rent or mortgage payment. With that information I can decide if the land is worth keeping, do I need to change my management, is it time for rejuvenation, etc.

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