WEST LAFAYETE, Ind. — Livestock producers who are unsure how
many animals their pastures can support can get the answers they need with the
help of a grazing stick produced by the Indiana Forage Council.
Grazing sticks, which look like a yardstick with an
algebraic equation, have been helping livestock producers for years, said Keith
Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist.
Johnson, who also is the forage council secretary-treasurer,
said the stick made out of durable plastic has a side with a traditional
yardstick in addition to equations to help determine a field’s grazing
The tool allows producers to calculate forage growth and how
much forage animals will consume. It also helps them visualize the amount of
“It’s convenient to have equations on the stick,” Johnson
said. “The reality is for people to work through the math and then follow
The management stick usually is good for beginners. A
producer might use the tool for a season or two and then never use it again
because they can look at a field and see what’s available, Johnson said.
“It’s a method to help producer’s fine-tune their own eyes,”
The underlying principal of the tool is not to “overgraze or
undergraze a pasture,” Johnson said.
The situation at each pasture will vary depending on the
time of the year and other factors, he said.
Grazing sticks cost $5 for orders of nine or fewer sticks
and $4 for orders of 10 sticks or more.
Those interested can find an order form online at
form should be completed and mailed to the Indiana Forage Council.
Instructions on how to use the tool can be found at
Those with additional questions can reach Johnson at
765-494-4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.