Original Articles

Conservative stocking or maximum profit: A grazing management dilemma?

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1984.9647986
Author(s): J.E. DanckwertsDepartment of Agriculture (Eastern Cape Region),, P.G. KingDepartment of Agriculture (Eastern Cape Region),


Swards in the False Thornveld of the Eastern Cape are generally stocked considerably in excess of the rate currently recommended for maximised production on a sustained basis. Economic analysis of the relationship between stocking rate and production per ha reveals that there is no financial justification for such heavy stocking. Moreover, conservative stocking rates increase the farmer's ability to withstand drought without adversely affecting profit. Veld condition also plays a considerable role in determining financial return per ha. Despite these observations, farmers continue to stock heavily and this is accompanied by veld deterioration. A possible explanation is that the productive value of land is relatively insignificant when compared with its investment value.

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