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The Diverse Structure and Organization of U.S. Beef Cow-Calf Farms

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Author Info

  • McBride, William D.
  • Mathews, Kenneth H., Jr.

Abstract

Beef cow-calf production in the United States is widespread, occurring in every State. Nearly 765,000 farms, about 35 percent of the 2.2 million farms in the United States, had a beef cow inventory in 2007. Most of these were small, part-time operations. About a third of farms that raise beef animals had a beef cow inventory of less than 10 cows, more than half had fewer than 20 cows, and nearly 80 percent had fewer than 50 cows. In this study, ERS uses data from USDA’s 2008 Agricultural Resource Management Survey for U.S. beef cow-calf operations to examine the structure, costs, and characteristics of beef cow-calf producers. Many small operations are “rural residence farms” that specialize in beef cow-calf production, but their income from off-farm sources exceeds that from the farm. Most beef cow-calf production occurs on large farms, but cow-calf production is not the primary enterprise on many of these farms. Findings suggest that operators of beef cow-calf farms have a diverse set of goals for the cattle enterprise.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/102764
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Information Bulletin with number 102764.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:102764

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Related research

Keywords: Beef cow-calf production; farm income; animal traceability; Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS); National Animal Identification System (NAIS); Agribusiness; Agricultural and Food Policy; Farm Management; Livestock Production/Industries;

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References

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  1. Key, Nigel D. & McBride, William D., 2007. "The Changing Economics of U.S. Hog Production," Economic Research Report 6389, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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Cited by:
  1. Qushim, Berdikul & Gillespie, Jeffrey M. & Nehring, Richard F., 2013. "Scale Economies And Economic Performance In Southeastern U.S. Cow-Calf Production," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 143009, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  2. Gillespie, Jeffrey M. & Nehring, Richard F., 2012. "The Economics of Organic Versus Conventional Cow-calf Production," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119773, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  3. Pruitt, J. Ross & Gillespie, Jeffrey M. & Nehring, Richard F. & Qushim, Berdikul, 2012. "Adoption of Technology, Management Practices, and Production Systems by U.S. Beef Cow-Calf Producers," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 44(02), May.
  4. Adkins, Tracey S. & Riley, John Michael & Little, Randall D. & Coatney, Kalyn T., 2012. "Cow-Calf Operations in the Southeastern United States: An Analysis of Farm Characteristics and Production Risks," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119757, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

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