Friday, October 31, 2014

Managing Drought Risk on the Ranch

Grazing Records

Grazing records are essential for making intelligent changes in grazing management plans.

Composition and vigor of rangeland vegetation are the integrated result of management and the environment. Complete sets of grazing and precipitation records are needed every year. Changes in rangeland health or animal performance detected by monitoring cannot be fully explained without these records.

Grazing records should include:

  1. Entry and exit dates for all livestock for each pasture
  2. Animal numbers and class
  3. Estimated animal-unit (AU) equivalents for all livestock for each pasture. Animal unit equivalents (AUE) can be estimated by dividing average animal weights for the grazing season by 1,000 lb. Add average offspring weight to dam weights when the average age of the offspring is 3 months.
  4. Total animal-unit months (AUM) of grazing per grazable acres within each pasture provides an estimate of herbage removal.

Tools and Resources

The National Drought Mitigation Center | 3310 Holdrege Street | P.O. Box 830988 | Lincoln, NE 68583–0988
phone: (402) 472–6707 | fax: (402) 472–2946 | Email Us

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Copyright 2014 National Drought Mitigation Center