Pasture stocking rate for 2013 |

Pasture stocking rate for 2013

David Koupal
SD Center of Farm/Ranch Business Management,
Hot Springs

Many of you who have permits, lease agreement or are renting pasture for 2013 might have to start projecting what to do with your cows. Because of our drought areas throughout the Midwest, many private and government agencies are releasing the 2013 stocking rates. Again, depending on the winter, moisture might change for the spring. So far the most recent news that has been released is 25 percent less stocking of cows for the year 2013. The ranchers in these areas need to start a plan on what they are going to do. If we have 100 cows and only can turn out 75 cows to pasture, what do we do with the other 25 cows? We can sell 25 bred cows this winter for a price of 1300.00 which will generate 32,500.00. We can feed them through the winter and sell them in the spring for a price of?????? It will be an expensive winter to feed those cows because of the price of hay this winter. In the big picture, the major down fall is the income of not selling those extra 25 calves in the fall of 2013. The income not generated has to be figured into 2013 projection plan. Clients who are enrolled in the Farm/Ranch Management Program arepresentlybudgeting their 2013. Even if you don't lease, rent or have permits you still need to understand what the 2013 year will bring. 25 less calves to sell is a lot of lost income but what if you have 500 cows? That's 125 less calves, if their average weight was 596 pounds X $1.64 = $977.44 x 125 head = $122,188.00 of lost income. Even though we would recoup some of the loss by selling the cows either as open or bred, we still would have the expense of replacing those females hopefully in the following year. Having a budget plan in effect can help lessen the financial situation. Communicate with your partner in the operation and discuss what your Pasture Stocking Rate will be.

You can reach David Koupal at 1-800-684-1969 ext. 7193, or

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