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Estimating swath-grazed carrying capacity from plot-scale data.

Doce, R.R., Baron, V.S., and Dick, A.C. (2015). "Estimating swath-grazed carrying capacity from plot-scale data.", Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 95(4), pp. 647-651. doi : 10.4141/cjps-2014-353  Access to full text


A spreadsheet calculator was developed to estimate farm-scale carrying capacities for swath grazing beef cows with forage yield and quality data from small areas within fields or paddocks. It could be used to compare agronomic treatments for swath grazing potential from plot data when combined with existing beef nutrition equations. Examples using either in vitro true digestibility at 30-h digestion or acid detergent fiber (ADF) in equations to estimate digestible energy were compared with actual field-scale carrying capacities to evaluate the ability of the methods to meet requirements of scale, precision and accuracy. Both methods were capable of estimating carrying capacity at a realistic whole-farm scale, but the ADF-based method was superior with respect to accuracy and precision characteristics.

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