Explore the benefits that can be achieved by lowering stocking rates of beef cattle concerning forages, herd health, and nutrition.

A South Florida Beef-Forage Program article maintains that many beef producers are looking to trim expenditures from the budget, a move that can backfire. It offers the solution of lowering stocking rates rather than other methods that could actually negatively affect herd health and production. See the details below.

Benefits of Lowering Stocking Rates

Lowering stocking rates can create a handful of benefits for the beef herd, according to the article. While the overall size of the herd is reduced, the benefits come in having a more nutritious forage stand, fewer expenditures, and a healthier herd. Benefits of reducing stocking rates from the article include:

  • An immediate reduction on expenses.
  • Improving forage health by reducing overgrazing.
  • Improving the “production of the cattle you have left by improving reproductive efficiency, calf weights, cow body condition, etc… Research has shown that cattle are able to select a diet 5-50% higher in quality than what is available to them in the pasture, as a whole.The higher percentages are gained when there is ample forage to choose from.”
  • Lower cost of inputs as “forage stand will require fewer inputs when it is stocked lighter.”
  • Lower cost of hay purchases made to fill in gaps in forages in the wintfill in gaps in forages in the winter.

According to the article, the topic will be covered more in-depth at the 2021 Florida Cattlemen’s Institute and Allied Trade Show in January of 2021.

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