Stockers are a margin driven business with flexibility of buying
and selling calves when cattle prices and forage availability
dictate. Because of this flexibility, stocker cattle are an excellent
grazing management tool. When quantity of forage is decreased
due to drought or overuse, remove animals from the pasture.
In destocking, reduce herd size enough to bring the number of animals
in balance with available forage. When forage conditions improve
sufficiently to provide a grass surplus, stockers can be added.
“To ensure achievement of target weight gains, forage intake should be
non-restricted at all times in a stocker cattle operation,” says Jane
Parish, Mississippi State University Extension beef cattle specialist.
“Forage quality as well as quantity is important when growing stocker
cattle. It is very hard for young cattle to grow on hay or pastures that
have become too mature and lost their nutritional quality. For this
reason, managers must strive to provide a consistent supply of quality
forage through a year-round pasture program.”
Practicing good grazing management strategies is usually very
beneficial to a stocker operation. Appropriately, managed pastureland
is more productive for a longer period, has higher forage quality, and
reduced forage waste. Stocking rate governs forage persistence and
productivity, which influences the amount of beef produced per acre.
Source: beefmagazine.com / Marangatu Gatu
Photo: Katuetê, Paraguay. Maize with brachiaria.
By Marangatu Seeds.