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Mark S. Thorne and Matthew H. Stevenson, June, 2007. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii.

Successful grazing management integrates animals, forages, and other resources to market valuable products at a profit. Grazing management relies on several principles and practices established through experience and scientific research. Stocking rate—the number of animals allotted to an area for a given length of time—is one of the most important grazing management factors a rancher can manipulate, regardless of the grazing system employed, vegetation type, or kind and class of livestock produced. Of all the management tools, stocking rate has the largest impact on animal performance and forage resources, because it directly influences

  • animal productivity
  • forage production
  • forage quality
  • long-term plant species composition
  • plant physiology
  • profitability of the operation.