I know that most agriculture extension offices have that information available. Typically we can here in western NC run a cow /calf per acre if hay is fedn Winter.. I allocate 1 1/2 acre per cow/calf and feed no hay and use intensive and rotation grazing instead.
If they can do it,
you know you can!
In Oklahoma, supposedly we can run 1 cow/calf pair on 2.2 acres. (according to the extension agent) In reality, it takes about 3.5 acres of good solid bermuda grass to get the job done. It all depends on the soil type and breed of grass coverage. I've got an 80 acre strip around the house that wouldn't run 1 cow with a small appetite. It's all timber and gullys and rocks. In retrospect, I've got some creek bottom land east of the house that would probably handle one cow per acre with average rainfall.
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" James 5:16
I live in NW Mo, if you are talking the usual open rolling decent pasture around here, I would say 2 acres per cow/calf pair, on average pasture with average rain. I'd say we do closer to 1 acre per cow/calf, but we do rotational grazing and have pretty decent pasture. Except for last year, the lack of rain the second half of summer and into fall really cut back on the grass regrowth.
I've searched around on the web and couldn't find anything by state. You know, with many states it can vary a lot within the state. Missouri is a good example of that. The rainfall and soil conditions vary greatly between places like Tarkio in Northwest Missouri and Sikeston or Kennett down in the bootheel. And then of course, you have the Ozarks and its rocky soil. Where I'm at in Illinois it is exactly one SKU per acre.
To feed one Holstein Milk cow for 365 days in our area( extreme northern WI) requires 3.5 to 4 acres.
Last week I talked to the Rancher I used to work for in SE Montana. He said it takes 24 acres of range to support one beef cow there.
Acres of pasture need to support one AMU (1000lbs of cattle) is about like knowing how many hens it will take to lay two dozen eggs every week. So many things effect the amount of feed value from year to year, and season that it's always uncertain. However Murphys law will most often make you wind up a little short on pasture unless you only have about half the number of cattle you pasture should support. Having more grass than you need is a good thing. It will allow you to pasture your cattle during winter months when otherwise they would be getting all their roughage from hay. Even when there is three or four inches of snow, they will dig down for grass left from summer. If they are really hungry they will dig through much deeper snow that that.
Bottom line --- Have twice as much pasture as you think you will need.
Last edited by uncle Will in In.; 03/21/07 at 09:45 AM.