Use feed budgets to see if you can meet your pasture supply targets (and nutritional demands) for different classes of stock with your current or proposed stocking rate. Feed budgets also answer more tactical (short-term) questions like:

  • How long will a paddock last with a certain number of sheep in it?
  • How many sheep can I graze in a paddock for a certain length of time?

Short term feed budgets (daily, weekly, fortnightly) ensure production requirements can be met for a given stock class. Use the pasture benchmarks in table 8.1 in chapter 8.2 to identify the minimum pasture supply and quality required by your sheep classes.

Calculate a feed budget three months ahead when planning your lambing or weaning paddocks, or for stock marketing (forward contracts).

Doing a feed budget for lambing lets you know if there will be 1,500 kg DM/ha available for lactating ewes, or if you should be taking further action now to meet the nutritional demands of your sheep.