Using the Grazing Records Spreadsheet for Documentation and Planning

November 2013

photo of green pasture
Photo courtesy of USDA-NRCS

Grazing records are an essential component of any range or pastureland management program. For most producers, these records greatest value is as a tool for planning the future year's grazing including pasture rotations, stocking rates, and timing of grazing. In addition, records are an important item for any grazing lease arrangement as well as participation in government conservation or disaster relief programs.

The "Grazing and Hay Records Spreadsheet" is a blank template for entering your basic grazing and hay feeding records. The template is for the Microsoft Excel® program. Based on input data for individual pastures, it will automatically calculate

  • the planned and available animal unit months (AUM) of grazing,
  • days of grazing,
  • stocking rates in AUM and animal unit days (AUD) per acre,
  • and used and remaining AUM.

In addition, summary report sheets listed below are generated by the spreadsheet.

  • Seasonal Distribution: a graph showing the seasonal distribution of grazing for each pasture.
  • Stocking Summary: summary of stocking rates for each pasture and entire ranch.
  • Drylot Fed Hay: a sheet to record hay fed to cattle in drylot or on feed grounds.
  • Fed Hay Summary: summary of hay fed from both pasture and drylot situations. Graphs are also generated that display total hay fed by month and by livestock class.
  • Forage Demand Summary: summary of pasture forage demand (AUM). Graphs are also generated that display total AUM by month and by livestock class.

A recent UNL webinar, "Using the Grazing Records Spreadsheet" provides an overview of the features and use of this tool. Please see the "Grazing and Hay Records: Spreadsheet Template" (PDF 1.87MB) user's guide for instructions on using the Grazing and Hay Records Excel spreadsheet file.

sample from spreadsheet screen

Dr. Jerry Volesky
Extension Range and Forage Specialist
University of Nebraska–Lincoln