By: C. Wayne Hanselka and Allan McGinty; Extension Range Specialists, The Texas A&M University System
Accurately determining stocking rate is important to successful range management. Because forage supplies on rangelands vary drastically across seasons and years, livestock numbers should be appropriate for present and projected forage supplies. This improves range conditions while maintaining maximum livestock production. Since most adjustments in stocking rate are based on experience and intuition, the accuracy of these adjustments varies considerably among individuals.
This photo guide can help you improve the consistency and accuracy of your stocking rate determinations. Pictures representing various forage quantities are matched to randomly placed plots in the pasture. These photos help you estimate pounds of forage per acre. This figure is then adjusted for moisture content and used to calculate the animal unit days of grazing available from the existing forage supply.
The original photo guide was developed by Larry D. White, Extension Range Specialist Emeritus, and Calvin Richardson, currently with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Download a printer-friendly version of this publication: Photo Guide to Forage Supplies on Texas Rangelands
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