# Exercise 5 - Forage – Livestock Balance

```Exercise 5. Forage – Livestock Balance
Range specialists maintain that in a properly stocked grazing operation, no more
than ten days of hay should be needed per cow. The High Noon Ranch budgets indicate
substantially more hay fed per cow, indicative of overstocking. To balance the stocking rate
to the amount of forage produced: (From benchmark cow-calf budgeta)
Non-legume hay fed
964 lbs./cow
Needed emergency hay (10 day supply)b
260 lbs./cow
Excess hay above emergency needsc
704 lbs./cow
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1. Assuming that the 704 pounds of forage represents forage not provided by range and is a
proxy for overstocking, then the excess hay above emergency needs for the whole ranch
would be:
704 lbs. hay/cow x 110 cows = _______ lbs. or _____ bales of hay (1000 lbs./bale)
2. To determine the reduction in cow numbers needed to eliminate the excess hay
requirement, divide the total pounds of excess hay by the pounds of forage required per
cow per year.
_______ lbs. forage/9,490 lbs. forage per cow per year = ____ cows
3. To determine the proper stocking rate, subtract the number of cows to be reduced from
the current herd size.
110 cows – __ cows = ____ cow proper stocking rate for High Noon Ranch
4. Note that the excess hay could be sold to generate additional income for the ranch:
_________ bales x \$_______/bale = \$_______
a
See budget Cow-calf, spring calving budget (session 2, pg. 13)
If stocking rate was appropriate for forage base.
c
Hay that could have been sold but was needed because of overstocking.
b
Answers to Exercise 5 - Balanced Stocking Rate to Forage Produced
1. 704 lbs. hay x 110 cows = 77,440 lbs. or 77.4 bales of hay (1000 lbs.)
2. 77,440 lbs. forage/9490 lbs. forage per cow per year = 8.2 cows
3. 110 cows – 8 cows = 102 cow proper stocking rate
4. 74 bales x \$30/bale = \$2,220
```