Fertilizer, especially nitrogen fertilizer is a key part of a forage management plan for many producers. If nitrogen fertilizer applications are reduced because of price concerns or other reasons it is important that cow numbers be adjusted lower to account for the reduced forage production.
With less fertilizer more acres are needed to support a cow-calf pair. Not reducing stocking rates in this situation will lead to increased supplementation costs, reduced animal performance, or both.
Evaluating and adjusting stocking rates is always important but even more critical during periods of drought or abnormally dry conditions and higher fertilizer prices.