Presentation on theme: "Guidelines for Setting “Proper” Stocking Rate"— Presentation transcript:
1 Guidelines for Setting “Proper” Stocking Rate Range Plants -- OBJ 2: PPTGuidelines for Setting “Proper” Stocking RateThere are 16 slides in this presentation
2 Natural &HumanResourcesGrazingManagementDecisionsCommunityResponseLivestock Speciescattle, sheep, goats or horsesStocking Ratehow many animalsGrazing Systemseason of grazingseason of restduration of grazingClimateTopographyVeg. CommunityWildlifeMgmt. Philosophy& GoalsVegetation CommunityLivestock ProductionWildlife CommunityImportant point: Once grazing management decisions are made, there are continual interactions between livestock, wildlife, & vegetation
3 Four Grazing Mgmt Factors: Number of Animals (How Many?)Type of Animal (What?)Time of Grazing (When?)Duration or Length of Grazing (How Long?)
4 Carrying CapacityThe number of animals that a piece of land can support on a long-term basis without causing damage to the ecosystem.Land and vegetation determine grazing capacityExpressed as animals/area/year (usually acres per AUM per year)Land is usually bought and sold on this basis
5 Stocking RateThe number of animals a land manager places on a piece of land for a specified period of time.Must include 3 elements:Number of animals or Animal UnitSpecific area (acres or hectares)Specific period of time (days or months)Most important grazing decision because it affects:
6 Animal Unit (AU) 1,000 pounds of grazing animal … ruminant AUE #/AUCow =Horse =Yearling Steer =Sheep =Jackrabbit =Animal Unit Equivalent (AUE) = A conversion factor reflecting the # of AU in an average animal
7 Forage Demand of Animal RuminantsHind-Gut FermentorsEat 2.5% of body weight/day in dry matter of forage.Cattle, sheep, goatsDeer, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, etc.Eat 3.5% of body weight/day in dry matter of forage.HorsesRabbits and rodents
8 Animal Unit Month (AUM) Amount of forage an AU will eat in a monthHow many pounds is this?AU = 1,000 pound of ruminant grazing animalRuminants eat 2.5% of body weight each day30 days in a month1,000 lb ×2.5% ×30 days = 750 lbs of forage
9 Range Plants -- OBJ 2: PPT Proper Stocking Rate?Range Health standpointThere are 16 slides in this presentation
10 Basis for Stocking Rates Proper stocking based on maintaining sufficient plant residue for:Maintain soil conditionReduce erosionAdd organic matterPhotosynthetic material to provide carbohydrates for recoverForage for other animals in ecosystem
11 Utilization Guidelines: Based on ecological research % Use of Major Plants30-4040-50Range TypeSagebrush grasslandsShortgrass prairieConiferous ForestOak woodlandsResearch shows that an amount of biomass can be removed each year and the plant can still regrow and sustain itself from year to year.These “sustainable” levels of utilization are called “Proper Use Factors”
12 % Root Growth Reduction % Grass Plan Removed% Root Growth Reduction10%0%20%30%40%50%2-4%60%70%78%80%100%90%By examining the table, one can see that by trying to "squeeze in" an additional 10% of harvest, 50% of the roots stop growing.Basis for “Allowable Use” or “Recommended Use” LevelTotal Forage × Recommended Use = Usable Forage Supply
13 Heavy use ≠ Overgrazing Overgrazing = repeated heavy grazing such that damage to the plant community occurs.Overstocking = heavy grazing during a specific season such that high levels of utilization are observable.Overstocking does not always lead to Overgrazing
14 For Rangeland Health: Set Stocking Rates Below Carrying Capacity Healthy soil.Slows weedy plant invasion.Improves drought resistance.Improves condition of degraded land.
15 Proper Stocking Rate?Animal Production standpoint
16 Range Plants -- OBJ 2: PPT Stocking rate affects cattle gains:Production per animalAs more animals graze a pasture the rate at which each individual animal gains wait can be reducedThere are 16 slides in this presentation
17 Range Plants -- OBJ 2: PPT Stocking rate affects cattle gains:Production per animalCompetition for existing forageHigh quality forage reduced and animals need to each lower quality plantsAnimals need to work harder and travel farther for forageIncreased stress and interaction with other animals can increase diseaseAs more animals graze a pasture the rate at which each individual animal gains wait can be reducedThere are 16 slides in this presentation
18 Range Plants -- OBJ 2: PPT Stocking rate affects total production:Production per acreAs animals are added to a pasture the production per acre increases until each animal begins to have lower condition.There are 16 slides in this presentation
20 Optimal Stocking Rate – between max/animal and max/acre Proper stocking rate?maximumper animalmaximumper acreOptimal Stocking Rate – between max/animal and max/acre
21 For Livestock Production: Set Stocking Rates At or Below Carrying Capacity Desirable production per animalOptimal production of animals per acreWhat is “Desirable” or “Optimal” depends on the managers goals and objectives.
22 How do you set stocking rate? Balance supply with demand Simple Four–Step Method
23 4-step or Forage Demand Method Calculate usable forageAdjust for terrain, water, or other constraintsCalculate forage demand of animalsCalculate stocking rate
24 4-step or Forage Demand Method The forage demand method is used:When you have no stocking information from previous yearsTo estimate carrying capacity in biological surveys or land appraisalWhen considering changes in kind or class of animals
25 Establish stocking rate based on: Past experienceCurrent situationLong-range weather forecastFinancial goalsEtc.
26 Set a Stocking Rate and Then Monitor! With this method stocking rate is determined by trial and error over years and then monitored by:Range Trend = changes in plant composition or rangeland health over time
27 Grazing Principles Which animal -Animal Species & Class How may animals –Stocking RateWhen to grazing or not graze -Grazing SystemMatch number and type of animal to the rangeland vegetation, topography and climate
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