(Lesson 5. Grazier’s Arithmetic continued)

Initial stocking rate of a grazing unit can best be determined by having an estimate of total forage production from the unit and a target for livestock performance. Do not expect to immediately increase the stocking rate of a particular unit above its current use level without making other improvements in the pasture condition. Daily allocation of forage to livestock can be challenging initially. The examples shown in this lesson offer processes for making educated guesses as to daily stocking decisions, but experience is still the best guide to learning grazing management. No amount of studying and calculating replaces daily experience with a particular group of animals on a particular pasture.

Additional Resources


Adapted from Planning a Grazing System: Grazier’s Arithmetic — Lesson 5,  University of Minnesota, Beef Education Series, Pasture Management Home Study Course.

  • Jim Gerrish, University of Missouri, Forage Systems Research Center
  • Edited by Dee Potter, Extension Educator, Aroostook County, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
  • Ken Andries, Livestock Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Orono, ME

Click on the link below to finish Lesson 5: