Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Resource Economics

Major Professor

Chris Boyer

Committee Members

Katie Mason, Charley Martinez


This thesis consists of two chapters discussing the economics of raising stocker beef cattle in the southeast United States. The objective of the first chapter is to estimate supplemental feed cost for spring-calving cows, spring-born stockers, cows calving in the fall, and fall-born stockers, while considering the seasonality of forage production and nutritional needs. The chapter explores ways producers can lower their feed costs and demonstrates the importance of managing hay expenses for cattle producers to control cost. The objective of chapter two is to determine the profit-maximizing stocker period in an integrated cow-calf and stocker operation with both fall- and spring- calving scenarios. Seasonal cattle prices are considered to determine optimal grazing periods and feeding lengths for fall- and spring-born weaned calves across different herd sizes. A simulation is developed to evaluate the probability of producers being profitable in background or stocker their cattle. These results may be used by Extension personnel to assist beef cattle producers in lowering feed costs, increasing profits, and managing price and production risk.

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