Des Moines High School
The livelihood of every rancher depends on the management of available resources. Every spring, ranchers must determine how much additional stock, if any, can be supported by expected surplus forage after considering the needs of a base herd maintained on the ranch on a yearlong basis. This base herd includes cows, bulls, replacement heifers and wildlife. Additionally, yearling steers and heifers (stockers) have increasingly been produced to harvest forage on a seasonal basis.
In order to ensure maximum performance of grazing animals, to provide long-term protection of the range, and to avoid high supplemental feed costs, wise management is imperative. Proper rangeland stocking is and important part of the management decision.
The purpose of this project is to create a computer program that will aid ranchers in determining the number of animals that could be supported by the available forage and to balance seasonal forage demands and supply.
We will research the amount of forage required for various classes of animals produced on Northeast New Mexico ranches and determine how to measure rangeland production. We will combine these factors in a C++ program to compute the number of stocker animals to purchase in order to balance expected forage demands with supply. The program will be adaptable to alternative New Mexico ranching situations and will consider seasonal forage supplies and demands. Supplemental feeding during periods of inadequate forage supply will also be considered.