Florida farmland takes up a decent portion of the state, but just how much room do cattle need? What about grass-fed cattle? Giving our cows plenty of room to roam and graze, we’ll tell you how ranchers figure out how much room and forage they’ll need on their farm to support their livestock. Keep reading to learn the answers, and to see more behind-the-scenes info about cattle farming, visit our blog.
If you have a limited amount of land but a flexible herd size, you’re probably wondering the maximum amount of animals you can support. On the other hand, if you have a lot of land but a small number of cattle, you’ll want to know how much land those animals need to survive. There are several factors that go into determining land and herd sizes. Let’s break it down.
According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), ranchers should begin by asking themselves these questions. Know the length of your grazing season, or factor in 365 days for the whole year; the average weight of one of your animals; the total number of acres available for grazing (many people also include their hayland); the average yield of your pasture per acre (if you don’t know your own average, you can go by a standard average); and the daily utilization rate for livestock. This final number always stays at four percent, as livestock need to be allotted four percent of their weight in forage each day.
A good rule of thumb in the industry is that you need 1.5 to 2 acres of land to raise a cow-calf pair for 12 months. This holds up pretty well after the equations provided by the NRCS. Rest assured that cattle at Dark Hammock Legacy Ranch have plenty of room to roam and graze as they please.
Let us do the math for you. Support your local economy by purchasing beef that’s grown fresh right in your area. We guarantee that you’re getting a product that’s raised with high standards of care.