While stocking rate is a measure of the number of animals or DSE currently grazing an area of land, carrying capacity is a measure of how much that area can potentially ‘carry’. Think of carrying capacity as the sustainable ‘supply’ and stocking rate as the actual ‘demand’.
Carrying capacity recognises that the aim of any good business is to optimise production while maintaining your resources – maintain ground cover, prevent erosion, keep pasture in good condition and in the growing phase, protect your capacity to effectively use rainfall. Strive to optimise energy coming in and product going out, without degrading the farm’s resources.
Productivity hinges on your pasture’s capacity to keep punching through, season after season. Try to gain a feeling for your carrying capacity and how it changes, to help you make better decisions in the future