Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Irving Dubov

Committee Members

Stanton P. Parry, Luther H. Keller


There are apparent inefficiencies in the marketing system in Tennessee. In 1958, farmers in East Tennessee marketed 138,300 head of cattle (Table I). Only 98,600 head were slaughtered, yet 154,400 head were consumed in East Tennessee. This shows 39,700 head being shipped out and the meat equivalent of 55,800 being shipped back in for consumption. In 1958 in West Tennessee, 66,800 head were shipped in for slaughter and the meat equivalent of 51,300 animals shipped out again. Such shipping patterns of a like commodity in opposite direc-tions unless otherwise explained, could suggest inefficiency in the move-ment patterns. If the animals shipped in and out are non-comparable, then an in-efficiency might not exist. Instead there may be an insufficient supply of some types of animals in certain areas. For example, the animals shipped out of an area could be feeder animals and the animals shipped into the same area could be finished slaughter cattle. One criterion of inefficiency could be that the movement of the same type, grade, and weight of animals in opposite directions represents a type of ineffici-ency. This eliminates the question of comparative advantage, and the above criterion of efficiency will be used in this study. Total transportation costs have been used to define and measure the degree of such inefficiencies. By determining the least cost routes of movement, the most efficient system of moving animals from surplus areas to deficit areas can be defined. This approach has been used in the Southern Regional Livestock Marketing Project, SM-23, of which the present study is a part. The specific objectives of the present analysis are: 1. To determine the movement patterns for different grades of cattle and calves shipped within, into, and out of Tennessee during the four quarters in 1962. 2. To determine the optimum (least cost) shipment patterns for these movements. 3. To compare the actual movement patterns with the estimated optimum patterns to determine the degree of departure between the actual and optimum shipment patterns. 4. To suggest ways in which actual shipments of cattle and calves could be changed to minimize total transportation costs.

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