Investment in land and cattle must be balanced for best profit potential.
A beef cow eats 3% of her body weight in forage daily. A 1,200-lb. cow will need 36 lbs. of grass/day. Those facts are a start for calculating stocking rates of cows/acre.
"Frequently, people ask me about how many cows they should run," says Rob Kallenbach, University of Missouri Extension forage specialist.
"How many cows? That's the last question in a series of questions to determine stocking rate," Kallenbach adds.
The answer depends on whether the farm is located in north Missouri or the Ozarks. The type of soil, fertility and forage species affect the pounds of dry matter available per acre.
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