How do I know if my stocking rate is correct?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking, “We’ve always run 125 cows on this place, so that’s just what we do.” Many ranches are stocked based on this reasoning.
The number of head we have on the ranch should be a decision we make based on knowledge of pasture health and productivity and on the management goals of each rancher. Productivity is influenced by many variables, an important one being rainfall. There is a reason why most ranchers are very well in tune with how much it rains.
In addition to rainfall, other factors that influence stocking rate include soil type, grasses present in the pasture, health of those grasses, amount of brush infestation, size of livestock and others. With everything to consider, it might seem too complex to add it all up and come up with a stocking rate.