Ken Olson: Does your stocking rate fit your cow size? | TSLN.com

Ken Olson: Does your stocking rate fit your cow size?

Ken Olson

I have talked about issues with increasing cow size in my last few columns. I would like to address this topic one more time from the perspective of how it impacts stocking rate on pastures. In my last article, , I discussed the inability for large cows with high-nutrient requirements to meet those requirements in a grazing situation. I described a few studies wherein the weaning weight per cow exposed was lower for overly large cows. These studies were done using conservative stocking rates so that forage availability was as good as it was going to get for the local environment. What would happen if the pasture was heavily stocked so that forage was limited?

I have talked about issues with increasing cow size in my last few columns. I would like to address this topic one more time from the perspective of how it impacts stocking rate on pastures. In my last article, , I discussed the inability for large cows with high-nutrient requirements to meet those requirements in a grazing situation. I described a few studies wherein the weaning weight per cow exposed was lower for overly large cows. These studies were done using conservative stocking rates so that forage availability was as good as it was going to get for the local environment. What would happen if the pasture was heavily stocked so that forage was limited?