As Old Man Winter closes in, it is a good idea to evaluate and balance grazing livestock with available feed. To do this, take the different classes you have (cows, heifers, stockers, etc.) and figure an average weight per class and then multiply that number times the number of each class. Now you have a total live weight. Multiply that by .03 to get an average daily intake.
For example, 20 cows weighing 1,100 pounds is 22,000 pounds live weight times .03 (3% dry matter intake) equals 660 pounds of dry matter needed per day, according to onpasture.com.
Now what are you going to feed those animals? You can lay a clipboard on top of the standing sward and then measure the height of the compressed forages to estimate it. If the stand is pretty dense, then there is usually about 300 pounds per acre inch of dry matter. So, if you happen to have 10 inches, that is 3,000 pounds of dry matter per acre.
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