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Managing water as a Scare Resource in Beef Feedlots


  • Pluske, Johanna M.
  • Schlink, A.C.


Using a bio-economic model, H2OBeef, that includes traditionally considered parameters associated with running a beef feedlot but also incorporates aspects associated with water, changes that can alter water consumption and or price are examined. The results indicate that when water does not incur a cost, the net benefits of the feedlot used as the example in this paper, are in excess of one million dollars (Australian) over a 20 year period. However, with the inclusion of reasonable water costs ($1.20 to around $1.90/kL) and/or slight changes in water use within the feedlot, due to temperature changes from Greenhouse effects, the net benefits can fall to zero. Although water makes up a relatively small proportion of the total feedlot cost, if changes to water demand, supply and/or policy drive up price, then water can play a significant part in determining the economic viability of a feedlot.

Suggested Citation

  • Pluske, Johanna M. & Schlink, A.C., 2007. "Managing water as a Scare Resource in Beef Feedlots," Australasian Agribusiness Review, University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, vol. 15.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:auagre:126079

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pannell, David J., 1997. "Sensitivity analysis of normative economic models: theoretical framework and practical strategies," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 16(2), May.
    2. Rijsberman, Frank R., 2006. "Water scarcity: Fact or fiction?," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 80(1-3), pages 5-22, February.
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