Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural and Extension Education
Roy R. Lessly
Randol Waters, Warren Gill, Gary Bates
The purpose of this study was to characterize Tennessee beef producers by their personal and farm characteristics, the number and type of contacts made with Extension, their use of selected round bale hay storage methods, and to determine the inter-relationships among the variables.
The sample of this study included Tennessee beef producers who participated in the 1996 Tennessee Beef Producers Survey and fed 75 percent or more of their hay as large round bales. A total of 543 Tennessee beef producers met these criterion and their responses were used for this study.
The 1996 Tennessee Beef Producer Survey was developed by University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service specialists in the Extension Animal Science- Beef and the Agricultural and Extension Education Sections. The survey was disseminated by Extension agents to their county producers. The number of producers surveyed per county varied depending upon the number of beef producers in the county. Surveys were completed and returned to the beef section at The University of Tennessee for analysis.
Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the survey data. The chi-square test was used to determine if significant relationship existed between dependent and independent variables. Chi-square values which were determine to be at the .05 probability level or lower were identified as statistically significant.
Forty-nine percent of Tennessee beef producers surveyed were between the ages of 41 and 60, with the average age of 54 years. Seventy-seven percent of the producers surveyed were part-time producers. Eighty-eight percent of the producers owned 100 head or less head of heifers and cows. Forty-one percent of the producers operated 51 to 150 acres of permanent pasture land.
Approximately 55 percent of the producers attended one to three Extension beef meetings and 44.5 percent received one to three visits from an Extension agent. Forty percent of the producers made telephone calls to the local Extension office, 65 percent of producers received one to three factsheets or publications, and 68.5 received quarterly newsletters.
Approximately 75 percent of the producers surveyed packaged 100 percent of their hay in round bales. Of the 543 producers surveyed, 154 producers stored 51 percent or more of their round bales of hay outside, on-the-ground, and uncovered, and 140 stored 51 percent or more of their round bales of hay inside a permanent structure.
There were no significant relationships found between age, farming status, number of heifers and cows exposed to the bull, number of acres of permanent pasture land and Extension beef meetings attended. There was also no significant relationship between age and number of visits received from an Extension agent.
A significant relationship was reported between farming status, number of heifers and cows exposed to the bull, number of acres of permanent pasture land operated by producers and visits received from an Extension agent. Producers reported as full-time, had 51 or more head of heifers and cows exposed to the bull, and operated 151 acres or more of permanent pasture land were more likely to have receive visits from an Extension agent.
A significant relationship was reported between the number of acres of permanent pasture land and the percent of round bales of hay producers stored inside a permanent structure. Producers with 50 acres or less of permanent pasture land were more likely to store 51 percent or more of their round bales inside a permanent structure than were producers with 51 or more acres of permanent pasture land.
There were no significant differences between producers age, farming status, and number of heifers and cows exposed to the bull when compared to round bales of hay stored: outside, on-the-ground, and uncovered; outside, off-the-ground, and uncovered; outside, off-the-ground, and covered.
There was no significant relationship between the number of Extension contacts and the four methods of round bale hay storage. A producer with six or more Extension contacts was no more likely to store rounds bales of hay in one of the four methods than a producer with five or less Extension contacts.
Peery, Nathan H., "Relationships between selected personal and farm characteristics of Tennessee beef producers, their contacts with extension, and their use of selected hay storage methods. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1999.