Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 8: Turn Pasture into Product
Tool 8.3
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The MLA feed demand calculator is a computer based Excel spreadsheet tool that calculates, for each month of the year, the total feed demand of all livestock on a property. Producers can then compare monthly demands with the likely supply of pasture.

Use this tool to show:

  • How much of the available pasture livestock are consuming
  • The size of the pasture shortage or surplus at various times of the year
  • Kilograms of liveweight produced per hectare.

The tool can be used to test various scenarios for varying the feed supply curve, or animal demand curve. Impacts of management actions such as the following can be investigated:

  • What if I increased available pasture by sowing lucerne?
  • What if we lambed one month earlier?
  • What if I bought an extra 1,000 wethers?
  • What if I retained more ewes?

By testing various scenarios, you can plan:

  • When it is possible to increase stocking rate to use more pasture
  • When stocking rate may need to be reduced, or supplement fed to livestock, to avoid overgrazing pastures
  • Ways to change the structure of the flock to better balance feed demand and pasture supply, and optimise the weight of wool, lamb or sheepmeat produced whilst managing the risk of overgrazing.

To obtain a free copy of the MLA feed demand calculator, phone MLA Publications on 1800 675 717 or download at from the Tools and Calculators section  under the Extension, Training and Tools tab on the home page.

A sample screen from the MLA feed demand calculator