The stocking rate shows the total revised stock units (RSU) and estimated RSU per hectare for each enterprise. This may also be useful for assessing and comparing farm carrying capacities.
A revised stock unit (RSU) is defined as an animal with an intake of 6000 MJ ME intake per year. This is similar to a standard stock unit.
This enables the carrying capacity of dairy and non-dairy systems to be compared, based on feed intake.
The outputs shown for each enterprise are:
- Total farm: Total stocking rate estimated as total RSU divided by total farm area (RSU/ha). Total farm area is the total area declared as blocks and area not declared as blocks.
- Grazed area: Stocking rate on grazed pasture of each animal enterprise, estimated as total RSU divided by grazed area (area of pastoral and fodder crop rotations, it excludes fodder crops grazed on crop blocks).
- Total: The total carrying capacity as RSU
- Pasture eaten: Carrying capacity based on pasture intake (ME of pasture consumed by animals). This is pasture consumed on all block types. As the amount of supplements fed out increases, 'Pasture eaten' RSU decreases as a proportion of total RSU.
- Time on pasture: RSU estimated from feed consumed while on pastoral blocks. Includes ME supplied from pasture together with supplements and crops fed on pastoral blocks. As the amount of supplements directed to structures increases, 'Time of pasture' RSU decreases as a proportion of total RSU.
Table 1. Example of Stocking for all Enterprises from OverseerFM
Stocking rates based on total farm area or grazed area tend to be similar unless there is another block type on the farm, such as crop, fruit or tree blocks. Hence, a farm with 50% trees may have a high stocking rate on the grazed area, but a low stocking rate based on total farm area. Cropping or fruit crop blocks that provide limited grazing can also result in higher estimated stocking rates per grazed hectare.
The stocking rate reported values provide a means to assess and compare carrying capacity (based on intake) between farms, and to assess the contribution of different animal enterprises to the farm carrying capacity. As RSU is intake based, further analysis of RSU can be undertaken using the ME reports.