Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Christopher N. Boyer

Committee Members

Andrew P. Griffith, James A. Larson, Stephen A. Smith

Abstract

There is limited research on the profitability and risk of spring- and fall-calving beef seasons grazing tall fescue in the southeast. The objective of this research is to evaluate the profitability and risk of spring- and fall-calving seasons in Tennessee while considering the seasonality of cattle and feed prices for various feeding rations. Two commonly used rations and two least-cost feed rations meeting the nutritional requirements of a spring- and fall-calving cow with two weaning dates in Tennessee were developed. Enterprise budgets were established for each calving-season, two weaning dates per calving season, and feed ration. Net returns were simulated for all budgets while considering seasonal prices for cattle and ingredients in feed rations to compare the profitability and risk for each scenario. Animal data from a 19-year study at Grand Junction, Tennessee were used to conduct the analysis. For the commonly used rations, a risk neutral- to slightly-risk averse producer would select a fall-calving season with an April calf weaning and corn silage feed ration. A slightly- to highly-risk averse producer however, would select a fall-calving herd weaning calves in May and feeding a corn silage ration. For the least-cost feed rations, a risk neutral- to slightly- risk-averse producer would select a fall-calving season with an April calf weaning and does not feed a minimum 20 lb/day of orchardgrass hay. However, a slightly- to highly-risk averse producer would select a fall-calving season that weans calves in May and does not feed a minimum 20 lb/day of orchardgrass hay. Overall, the fall-calving season was found to be preferred to the spring-calving season for all rations and weaning months.

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