Forage budgeting – it’s just good management
ADJUSTING stocking rates to meet current feed supply, animal requirements, and ground cover targets is considered best management practice within a grazing business. Now is a good time to start planning for the next dry season.
TECHNICAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE:
- April-May (for end of wet season budgeting)
October-November (for end of dry follow-up)
- Across the BBB catchment
Start your stocktake now
NOW is a good time to start planning for the next dry season.
Adjusting stocking rates to meet current feed supply, animal requirements, and ground cover targets is considered best management practice within a grazing business. And best management practice in the grazing industry is about implementing grazing principals that are most effective at achieving a productive, profitable and sustainable grazing business.
A forage budget will help you decide if it is safe to carry more stock, carry the same number for longer, or if there is not enough pasture to safely carry the number you have for the length of time you want. Safely carrying more stock for longer can help boost profits.
On the other hand, calculating that you will run out of feed early can help to minimise expensive supplementary feeding and assist in preserving land condition.
A forage budget also allows for the opportunity to devise a targeted sell-off plan if grass growing rain is not received during the planned grazing period. This means you could sell your cattle earlier than those who decide to hold stock and are taking the risk that seasonal conditions won’t deteriorate further and result in a decline in animal condition.
Forage budgeting technical support is available to all graziers in the BBB catchment. Contact your LDC team to arrange for an approved consultant to undertake this service on your property.
As part of this service the LDC team and partners will install photo monitoring sites to record and monitor visual changes. Installation of photo monitoring sites is also offered as a stand alone service.
Why do photo monitoring?
By photographing and taking written observations of species present and percentage groundcover, over time we are able to pick up trends in pasture condition – an increase or decrease in preferred desirable species, and changes in woody vegetation.
From this information decisions can be made about stocking rates, percentage of feed utilised, plant rest periods, appropriateness of land use and potential intervention requirements.
The forage budgeting service is part of the LDC’s BBB Grazier Support integrated program that is being rolled out this year. For more information: BBB Grazier Support program.
- Brendan Smith on 0417 408 587
- Rodger Walker on 0408 828 276
- Adrienne Hall on 0428 158 859