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The Transformation of U.S. Livestock Agriculture: Scale, Efficiency, and Risks

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Author Info

  • MacDonald, James M.
  • McBride, William D.

Abstract

U.S. livestock production has shifted to much larger and more specialized farms, and the various stages of input provision, farm production, and processing are now much more tightly coordinated through formal contracts and shared ownership of assets. Important financial advantages have driven these structural changes, which in turn have boosted productivity growth in the livestock sector. But structural changes can also generate environmental and health risks for society, as industrialization concentrates animals and animal wastes in localized areas. This report relies on farm-level data to detail the nature, causes, and effects of structural changes in livestock production.

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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 58311.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:58311

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Related research

Keywords: Livestock; dairy; broilers; hogs; fed cattle; farm structure; scale economies; contract agriculture; CAFOs; growth-promoting antibiotics; Farm Management; Livestock Production/Industries;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Roeger, Edward & Leibtag, Ephraim S., 2011. "How Retail Beef and Bread Prices Respond to Changes in Ingredient and Input and Costs," Economic Research Report 102757, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. McCann, Laura, 2013. "Transaction costs and environmental policy design," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 253-262.
  3. Malcolm, Scott A. & Aillery, Marcel P. & Weinberg, Marca, 2009. "Ethanol and a Changing Agricultural Landscape," Economic Research Report 55671, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Cai, Xiaowei & Stiegert, Kyle W. & Koontz, Stephen R., 2009. "Oligopsony Power: Evidence from the U.S. Beef Packing Industry," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49364, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  5. MacDonald, James M., 2011. "Why Are Farms Getting Larger? The Case Of The U.S," 51st Annual Conference, Halle, Germany, September 28-30, 2011 115361, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  6. Roeger, Edward & Leibtag, Ephraim S., 2010. "The Magnitude and Timing of Retail Beef and Bread Price Response to Changes in Input Costs," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61041, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. James M. MacDonald, 2012. "Comment on "Influences of Agricultural Technology on the Size and Importance of Food Price Variability"," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Brian Briggeman & Jason Henderson, 2009. "The slow road back for the U.S. livestock industry," Main Street Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue 4.
  9. Gloy, Brent A., 2010. "Carbon Dioxide Offsets from Anaerobic Digestion of Dairy Waste," Working Papers 126750, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  10. MacDonald, James M. & Korb, Penelope J., 2011. "Agricultural Contracting Update: Contracts in 2008," Economic Information Bulletin 101279, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

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