Original Articles

Optimising stocking rate under commercial and subsistence pastoralism optimisering van veelading by kommersiele en bestaansveeboerdery

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1984.9647961
Author(s): M.T. MentisDepartment of Grassland Science,


Hopes for a single criterion of overstocking are forlorn. Livestock may be kept for any of many purposes, and the stocking rate optimal for one is not necessarily so for another. Conflicts might be resolved by (1) recognising the likely reasons for which livestock is kept, (2) identifying the respective functions, (3) devising appropriate strategic models of veld and herbivores, and (4) developing algorithms which aid decisions on at what rate to stock in given circumstances. This approach is illustrated for commercial and subsistence systems in South Africa. In terms of the model, it pays (in the short term) to overgraze. There is apparently no technical solution to this problem.

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