Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stockpile grazing of the Stocker Pasture

We have begun our movement thru the Stocker Pasture. We currently have around 370 cows (weighing approx. 1000 lbs each) in the mob. So assuming 370,000 lbs consuming 2.5% of body weight = 9250 lbs of dry matter needed per day. I calculated that there is approx. 2000 lbs of dry matter per acre in the stocker pasture x 60% utilization = 1200 lbs of dry matter per acre. 9250/1200 = 7.7 acres needed per day. We have 203 acres in the stocker pasture divided into 11 pastures which are then each split again, so 203/22 paddocks = approx 9 acres per paddock. Right now, the cows seem to be cleaning up the pastures pretty well, there isn't a lot of residual left after 24 hours of grazing. Our density is only 41,000 lbs per acre, but thats the best we can do without having to move more than once a day....but I would love to see them tighter. The mob last year was about the same density (800 head x 600 lbs per stocker = 53,000 lbs/acre, but there is a hell of a lot more hoof traffic with 800 head versus 372 head. I am not currently seeing the trompage I'd like to see (and that we got last year) with the cows...when we move back thru this pasture in April, I hope we can cut these pastures into thirds instead of halves. I'm anxious to see if we get the same amount of "destruction" (eating trees, weeds, trompage, etc) with the cows as we did with the stockers last year.

It looks like we should be moving into the south center pasture on March 24 and we should have around 14 days of forage there before moving into the cabin pasture and preparing to move back through the stocker pasture.

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