Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 37
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Stocking rate is the major factor affecting the potential profits for ranching enterprises.
As stocking rate increases, production per animal decreases, at the same time production per land
area increases to a maximum point and then declines (Peiper et al., 1978; Heitschmidt et al.,
1990). Thus, as stocking rate is increased beyond a moderate level, profit levels begin to decline
(Holechek, 1994). Heitschmidt et al. (1990) further identified that optimal stocking rates vary
dramatically among years and that catastrophic loss potential is much greater with heavy
stocking rates compared to moderate. Moreover, it is anticipated that over time the production
potential of the heavily stocked treatment will continue to decline as range condition declines.
Thus, economic stability will decline and financial risks will increase substantially (Conner,
The Effects of Species and Class of Animals on Economic Goals
Many sources (Holechek et al., 1989; Conner, 1991, Hanselka et al., 2009) implicate the
importance of selecting both the species and class of grazing animal that can best affect the
manager's ability to meet financial goals. This is most often influenced by the species of forage
that is available. Combinations of livestock species, such as cattle and goats, and combinations
of classes of livestock such as mother cows and stocker cattle may be difficult to manage, but
offer reduced risk because of increased diversity.
Effects of Spatial Distribution of Livestock on Economic Goals
Conner (1991) rationalizes the effects of spatial distribution of livestock on profits and
risk avoidances are difficult to assess because the potential impact varies tremendously among
enterprises. Although it is believed that an increase in livestock production can be attained
through enhanced livestock distributional patterns (Frank and McNaughton, 1993) increased
costs may limit or totally eliminate profit potentials (Holechek, 1989; Conner, 1991).
Effects of Temporal Distribution of Animals on Economic Goals
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Becker, Wayne. Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103289/m1/48/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .