Cattle and land use

Asked August 6, 2013, 3:52 PM EDT

I have about 49 acres of pasture land in Minnehaha, South Dakota. I rent this land to my tenant for his cattle. Is there a formula for determining the number of cattle per acre I should permit on the land? Does this formula also include the amount of rain the land receives or the amount of water available? I do have a creek running through the land.

Minnehaha County South Dakota

1 Response

Utah State University Extension has a formula to calculate stocking rate. You can view it on this page: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/nr_rm_04.pdf. As you can imagine, stocking rates for one cow-calf pair will depend on availability of not only water, but mainly pasture. Depending on your location within Minnehaha County, forage availability should be fairly decent. There are areas of good pasture availability that have stocking rates between 2 and up to 10 acres per cow-calf pair. Areas west of the Missouri have much lower stocking rates on average; however, this year's weather has been special, and there's much more pasture around.