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An Economic Analysis Of Pasture-Raised Beef Systems In Appalachia


  • Evans, Jason R.
  • D'Souza, Gerard E.
  • Sperow, Mark
  • Rayburn, Edward B.


Cow-calf operations are important enterprises for family farmers in Appalachia and provide significant opportunity for supplemental income. This analysis constitutes a thorough economic assessment of pasture-raised beef production, an alternative to traditional production that could benefit the region's producers in terms of profitability and mitigated risk. Stochastic budgeting was utilized for profitability and risk comparison between traditional and pasture-raised operations and accounted for seasonal variability in prices, pasture availability and animal performance. Pasture-raised systems, in relation to traditional ones, were shown to consistently yield higher returns over variable costs and were shown less likely to yield losses over total costs in typical production seasons. Economic risk for pasture-raised producers stems largely from production factors but, overall, is seemingly less pronounced than the market risk faced by traditional producers selling live cattle.

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  • Evans, Jason R. & D'Souza, Gerard E. & Sperow, Mark & Rayburn, Edward B., 2004. "An Economic Analysis Of Pasture-Raised Beef Systems In Appalachia," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20268, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea04:20268
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.20268

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pope, C. Arden, III & Shumway, C. Richard, 1984. "Management Of Intensive Forage-Beef Production Under Yield Uncertainty," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 16(2), pages 1-7, December.
    2. Harrison, R. Wes & Bobst, Barry W. & Benson, Fred J. & Meyer, Lee, 1996. "Analysis Of The Risk Management Properties Of Grazing Contracts Versus Futures And Option Contracts," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 1-16, December.
    3. Pope, C. Arden & Shumway, C. Richard, 1984. "Management of Intensive Forage-Beef Production Under Yield Uncertainty," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 37-44, December.
    4. Greene, Catherine R., 2001. "U.S. Organic Farming Emerges in the 1990s: Adoption of Certified Systems," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33777, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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