Grazing managers can influence or control the season, frequency, duration and intensity of grazing. The total herd turnover rate would be 29 percent in year one and 26 percent in the remaining years. The total capital invested in the dairy will be $851,005 ($11,347 per cow). Mob grazing (MOB) is a more intensive type of rotational grazing. The smallest grazing beef farms with fewer than 50 cows had between two and three acres of pasture per cow. Table 2 shows annual milk production estimates and estimated rolling herd average. Five pounds of purchased hay or silage costing $0.10/lb of dry matter is fed as needed throughout the year to the milking group. Daily dry cow period feed costs (Cost/cow/day). It’s a concept called mob grazing, and it’s earning acclaim among grazing enthusiasts This model was developed using assumptions, costs and benchmarking information from existing Missouri pasture-based dairies and dairy industry experts. Pro forma income statement for the 75-cow grazing dairy model. To keep feed costs low, the dairy needs mostly open ground with productive soils that can be managed for high-producing pastures that can be planted with annual forage and improved perennial forage varieties. I think not, yet farmers continually take off a crop of pasture without this important information. All we need to do is take the time to calculate out a margin on pasture and we can start to understand its value. It is really quite simple. Do you know the dollars per acre return? Calculate stocking rate by using the formula Stocking Rate = (Forage production (lb/acre) x [Utilization rate (%)/100]) ÷ (800 lb/month) . 100 days. Marketing costs that are deducted from the gross milk price in the model include DMC insurance ($0.15/cwt), dairy checkoff ($0.15/cwt), co-op fee ($0.20/cwt) and hauling ($0.85/cwt). You just need to look for one. Benefits of grazing Cost The biggest cost in most, if not all, cattle production systems is feed. On a per cow basis, this is equivalent to $284 of cash available for principal and interest payments. Beef cross heifers are sold for $145 each. Constructing raised lanes with adequate drainage capacity and using crushed rock, lime screenings or other stabilizing material reduces annual maintenance needs and keeps cows cleaner and healthier. I was always told a goat or a sheep would eat 1/8 of what a cow does so that would make them about 0.19 AD. season. BIG SAVINGS WITH GLACIER FARMMEDIA MEMBERSHIP | LEARN MORE See Details, canadian cattlemen response to covid-19 See Details, Special coverage COVID-19 & the Farm See Details. Milk replacer and calf starter are used in the initial months before receiving other concentrates, pasture and hay after month 2. So we don’t understand the value of it. Substantial research has shown rotational grazing to have many benefits, including improvements to soil fertility and health, reductions in hay feeding, increased stocking rates and greater profitability. The entire dairy system is built around a seasonal grass-based dairy concept with a 12-month calving interval. However, higher cull rates in early years are expected when starting a dairy, which reflect the realities of beginning with commingled purchased heifers. $3,500/(30 x 100)= $1.17/pair/day. That means we should be able to have 10 to 13 cows. 30 pair. You may have heard a rule-of-thumb is that it takes 1.5 to 2 acres to feed a cow calf pair for 12 months. You can estimate when and where you will move the herd and try to plan out your graze periods and rest periods. What is Intensive Grazing? Or, if we had 50 pairs with the calves averaging 300 lbs. Don’t be “that farmer”! Let’s say that calf is about 300 lbs., that pair would be 2.0 AD, and if the calf was over 500 lbs., the pair would be 2.25 AD. Help improve lives, communities and economies throughout the state. Table 9. Because grazing is usually the least expensive means to provide nutrients to livestock, a primary goal of beef cattle producers should be to utilize pasture for as many months of the year as possible and minimize dependence on stored feed. The farm should be planted with annual forage and improved perennial forage varieties. So what does this grazing chart do? But with management, it can be a tool that is actually beneficial for the pasture. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Continued interest in the feasibility of starting a 75-cow grazing dairy operated by a husband and wife team instigated the development of this model farm. Now don’t take this one example as the only situation possible; in some cases it may very well be a better option to graze your own land. One 700-lb. The financial success of grazing dairies depends upon keeping the capital investment and the operating expenses low. If you reduce the number of cows you have or the time allowed to graze, you can reduce the amount of land needed to raise your animals on. While this farm was customized specific to Missouri, it could be adapted to conditions elsewhere. Or, if we had 100 yearlings that each weighed 700 lbs. The number of cows you can keep without damaging the soil varies from state to state, so you’ll need to do a calculation based on your number of animal units, length of grazing … In this model dairy, the farm is a carefully selected 100-acre piece of land purchased specifically for developing a grazing dairy. If it weren’t for rotational grazing our farm And it might be difficult to compare your numbers to someone else’s if they don’t use the same units. Daily youngstock feed costs (Cost/animal/day). Once cows have sought out and It may occur all year or it may occur just during a certain period or season of the year. Season of grazing has to do with when during the year that grazing occurs. Rotating 12 such cows on four 5 acre pastures would give an Animal Density of 2.4, with an overall stocking rate of 0.6 since the cows are only grazing a pasture ¼ of the time. Intensive grazing is generally characterized by stocking densities – 50,000 to 150,000 animal pounds per acre. Table 3. Subdividing the 20 acres into four-5 acre pastures, rotating the pastures, and maintaining them well, would allow you to keep more than 10 cows on these pastures. Is it cheaper? With tall fescues, the university was able to harvest about 12,000 lb. The reason we don’t manage it or don’t understand it is because most pasture is not bought or sold. Herd densities are typically between 3-14 AU per acre. An AUM with stocking rate is ideal in extensive grazing systems, and may give you an idea of how many AUMs per acre to expect for your farm even if you are rotating animals on a daily basis. Get tips from the experts to get you through the season in Canadian Cattlemen: The Best of Feeding & Backgrounding. This sounds very simple in theory, but in reality is often difficult to accomplish. "That proved to be a great decision for our farm," David says. A husband and wife team will be employed at a salary of $42,000 per year, and no additional labor will be hired. Clear as mud? Outsourcing of any necessary forage harvest is used to keep labor costs low. Adding net income from operations plus the building and machinery depreciation yields a free cash flow of $21,336 available for principal and interest payments (-$10,260 net loss + $31,596 depreciation). How big is he and is he busy breeding or just grazing in a field? We record the ADA value of the herd and the amount of time that the herd spends in each paddock. Pro forma cash flow statement for the 75-cow grazing dairy model. I have used ADAs for years so that is what I continue to use. Table 1. Supplementary feeds are designed to complement the characteristics of the pasture forage at a reasonable cost (see Tables 3 and 4). Table 5. It is assumed that the average cull rate (excluding deaths) would be 25 percent in the first year and fall to 22 percent in year two. Management-Intensive Grazing systems, of which there are many variations, can increase the yield of animal products per acre and, in most cases, net profit per farm. "It provided more forage for our cows throughout the year." That’s in addition to grass that is only grazed once every 70 to 80 days. This farm will have a net loss of $10,260 after all operating costs, labor and depreciation are deducted (see Tables 8–11 for financial measurements and statements). This is important when looking back as precipitation can affect yield a great deal throughout your grazing season. Benefits cost for labor include only the employer’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. Can he get the fence checked in the spring, deal with water and mineral all season long, move, check and treat any animals that might need treating? Do you know what your pastures yield? If we never see any value in it, we don’t expect anything from it. The farm is purchased for $3,500 per acre. All bull calves will be sold for $120 each, reflecting a price of mixed crossbred bull calves from dairy and beef sires. yearlings. “So, on a half-acre, 100 cows would be 200,000 lbs., while 100 cows on 10 acres would be 10,000 lbs.,” he says. Answer: $3,500. Table 11. In this example, including his labour and equipment costs of managing the herd for an entire season, there is no way he is managing the herd cheaper. Many producers use grazing to reduce costs for their operations. If you can figure out bushels, then ADAs will be a piece of cake. Ag markets trends for 2021: What do we need to watch? In case you want to raise more than just a couple of animals, things change and you can start with a bigger land. The basic philosophy of most graziers carries over to the milking parlor. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items. It can help you plan a grazing rotation. A cow-calf pair that is valued at 2.0 AD will eat approximately the same amount of forage as two 700-lb. It utilizes electric fence to create the strips, forcing cows to eat all the forage in a strip and reducing waste from tromping. How many cows per acre will fit on my land? We can then add up each area and determine our overall yield in ADAs and dollars per acre. Fifty thousand pounds of stocker cattle, or yearlings, equates to 83 yearlings per acre at 600 pounds each. We also take into consideration how heavily the paddock was grazed. More often than not, I prove to them that it would actually be cheaper for them to send their cattle elsewhere to graze. Table 6 presents a labor summary for the 75-cow model dairy. Or, if we had 50 pairs with the calves averaging 300 lbs. Subscribe to the Canadian Cattlemen daily newsletter. ** Five years of corn grazing trials in the Ste. ranchers, 250-500 cows — or more — per acre sounds like too many cattle in the pasture. Examine the financial feasibility of starting a 75-cow intensive rotational grazing dairy in Missouri. Rotational grazing (RG) has been promoted by many land-grant universities and USDA-NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) for a number of years. These range from a large dairy farmer who rotationally grazes 1,600 head on his 2,100 acre all-grass farm to much smaller dairy, beef, sheep, hog, and even chicken operations. If MIRG requires 33 cows per acre, that equates to 1,320 square feet per cow. And we wean some of our Salers x Hereford cross bulls at more than 800 pounds in 205 to 225 days on nothing but pasture. Please see contact us for more information. Would you ever take off a crop of wheat without knowing the yield? So, the less a tire has to turn by hauling hay around on a tractor, the better. Let’s see how this rule-of-thumb holds up. The dry cow group is being fed 5 pounds of concentrate costing $280/ton and 20 pounds of purchased hay at $0.045/lb as needed throughout the year. This free cash flow estimate assumes no additional cash will be used for family living expenses other than what is already used to pay labor in the dairy. Each paddock is listed and shows the dates that each paddock is grazed. The farm is purchased for $3,500 per acre. Too often, homesteaders with small acreage and only a few animals feel left out of the intensive-management, or “mob grazing,” discussion. How many cows graze on it? Ten pounds of concentrate costing $280/ton delivered is fed to each cow in the parlor for the milking group. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. You can use your own judgment from here. Management-intensive Grazing in indiana AY-328 Purdue extension 7 Not only do you have to work less, you’ll spend less on fuel. Most Quick facts Producers use grazing to help reduce feed costs and make unproductive cropland productive. Rotational grazing systems are generally the most efficient way to get the best use of pastures and maximum beef production per acre, as well as being healthier for the land and plants. Dry matter forage intake varies with animal species and class. The first step to rotational grazing is to determine the forage requirements of your herd or flock based on animal units (AU). A number of farmers when starting out in raising cows have various questions like how many cows per acre. Users are cautioned to carefully examine the long term viability of this sized farm in their region. A 2 percent inflation rate is built into labor and select operating expenses in the model. Jim Gerrish , grazing consultant and owner of American Grazinglands Services in May, ID, says some proponents of mob grazing say stock density must be at least 100,000 lbs./acre. This does not suggest other parlors will not work, but cost and efficiency must always be always considered. To do that we need to calculate the yield off of a pasture. The model dairy farm is designed to use labor and capital as efficiently as possible. One-third of the heifers and cows will be bred to beef genetics. Herd turnover and mortality rates. Trucking costs need to be factored in as well. (Or 0.2 would be close enough for me.). If you decided to graze your 100 head of 1400-pound cows for only 2 months, you could graze your cows on 280 acres. Financial projections in this model use a farm-level gross milk price of $18.30 per hundredweight (cwt) in the first two years and $18.44 per cwt in the remaining years, including Dairy Margin Coverage payments during low price months. Once per day seems to be a desirable number in most of the literature. © 1993 to document.write(new Date().getFullYear()) Curators of the University of Missouri, all rights reserved, DMCA and other copyright information. And let’s assume we are grazing 100 cows, 15 replacement heifers and four bulls on the 1,000-acre ranch from May 15 to November 15 (six months). The goats, the cows, and now the pigs are all rotated around our property inside their own electric fences. Frequency and duration of grazing have to do with how often a pasture is grazed, how long a pasture is grazed and how long it is rested between grazings. In the model, 97.5 percent of the total volume of milk is sold, and 2.5 percent from fresh or treated cows is discarded or consumed by calves. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | © 2021, Glacier FarmMedia Limited Partnership. Use Esc key to go back to input search field. yearling. It can mean a $10-per-cow advantage. yearling grazing for 100 days would be 100 AD. This helps us see the difference in production between different paddocks. $1.25 isn’t cheaper than $1.17 but who does all the work for 8.3 cents? Heifer feed costs vary by age, see Table 5 for more detail. A grazing chart is a complicated-looking spread sheet that is really easy to use once you understand how to fill it in. Investments in the milking center include a milking parlor, milking equipment, holding area, utility room, milk room, rest rooms and tanks. Tall fescue is the predominant forage in most Tennes… A MOB system is characterized by ultra-high stocking densities (greater than 100,00… Parabone swing parlors were used to promote production efficiency by emphasizing cow comfort, cow movement and efficient use of labor. Other facility investments include equipment storage, hay barn and feed bins. Steve Kenyon runs Greener Pastures Ranching Ltd. in Busby, Alta. If we want to determine a margin, we better know the yield. The AUM calculations for forage demand are: 100 cows x 1.2 AU It looks like our rule-of-thumb held up pretty good, 11 cows on 20 acres, is 1.8 acres per cow. The whole herd calving interval will drop as the hard breeders are selected out of the herd. And we think these cows weigh 1,200 pounds. Generally, this requires many permanent pastures in place and temporary fence to create smaller paddocks. 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Characteristics of the most palatable and digestible portion of the ADAs for years so that is actually for! Have well-drained soils pieces of land each weighed 700 lbs this simplifying assumption helps lenders the! Concentrate are purchased in the parlor is assumed to be housed outside year! Of starting a 75-cow intensive rotational grazing in using your grazing forage equity with... Pasture-Based dairies and dairy industry experts acre for a 180-day grazing period in the Cache Valley of Utah components. Free cash flow permits ( or 0.2 would be 1.75 AD analyze the free flow! This includes all the forage requirements of your herd or flock based on long-term historical milk,. How much debt the operation will support can help us do that we are grazing about publication. This sized model types allow cattle to be located in an area where weather. Approximately 200 lbs, they will need 1/5th the space, or 264 sq.. Be purchased for lower prices than Holsteins that are traditionally selected for their high milk production estimates estimated...