Options for Managing Stocking Rates to Fit Available Forage

One of the most common problems I've been seeing lately is folks running out of forage for the number of animals they have. The problem grows when drought is factored in. Graziers have questions about what they should do in these cases, and Aaron Berger has some answers.   Current drought conditions across many parts of Nebraska and across the country are prompting cattle producers to consider options for reducing stocking rates on rangeland and pasture as we look forward to this spring and summer. There are three main options to reduce stocking rates: supplement/substitute feed, ship cattle to non-drought areas and sell cattle. Supplement/Substitute Feed Feeding cattle on pasture can be an option to reduce the amount of forage that cattle are grazing. This option is likely best suited for use on perennial planted pastures where non-native species such as smooth brome, orchard grass, fescue and wheatgrass varieties have been established. These species tend to be more resilient should over grazing occur. Research at the University of Nebraska Agricultural Research and Development Center has shown that feeding a mixture of modified wet distillers grains and ground cornstalks in a 30/70 ratio (dry matter basis) replaced grazed gra

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