By: Rod Santa Ana, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Livestock producers pondering stocking rates now have an app to help them determine that ratio, according to experts.
GrazingCalc is a new mobile smartphone application developed by personnel at Texas A&M University’s department of wildlife and fisheries sciences, ecosystem science and management units of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
"One of the most common problems livestock managers deal with is determining the best number of livestock to have on the land without harming their resources," said Blake Alldredge, an AgriLife Extension associate in College Station. "That task has just become easier with the release of this new app."
GrazingCalc is now available for iPhone and other Apple devices at the iTunes Store, Alldredge said.
"Being overstocked beyond what the land can handle may lead to overgrazing," he said, "resulting in issues such as decreased forage production, erosion problems and degraded wildlife habitat,"
GrazingCalc is applicable anywhere because it is based on actual forage production as measured by the rancher, said Dr. Megan Clayton, an AgriLife Extension range specialist in Corpus Christi who, with Alldredge, developed the content of the app.
"Ranchers may need to do some work to obtain forage production on their property," she said, "but it is easily done, and a video within the app demonstrates how to obtain this forage production value from their land."
GrazingCalc allows ranchers to manipulate the number of types of animals, grazing months and remaining available forage.
Funding for the development of this app was provided through a Renewable Resources Extension Act grant from the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.