What Factors Affect Stocking Rate Decisions?
The stocking rates selected must enable the ranch to survive financially (meet current obligations and provide for future needs), give satisfactory animal performance and allow for the future regrowth of forage.
Many ranchers try to graze the maximum number of animals they believe possible under current and “hoped for” conditions. Then if forage shortfalls and overgrazing occur, they are frequently blamed on drought. In fact, it is not drought nor the amount or distribution of rainfall that is the prime cause of range degradation. The most common cause of degradation is simply that ranchers expect animal productivity from their rangelands to be much higher than is realistic