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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • McBride, William D. & Mathews, Kenneth H., Jr., 2011. "The Diverse Structure and Organization of U.S. Beef Cow-Calf Farms," Economic Information Bulletin 102764, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersib:102764
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/102764
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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.
    2. Jeffrey Gillespie & Richard Nehring, 2013. "Comparing economic performance of organic and conventional U.S. beef farms using matching samples," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 57(2), pages 178-192, April.
    3. 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.
    4. Pruitt, J. Ross & Lacy, R. Curt & Hancock, Dennis W, 2014. "Economic Returns and Risk Analysis of Forage Wrapping Technologies," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162456, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Boyer, Christopher N. & Griffith, Andrew P. & Roberts, Roland K. & Savoy, Hubert J. & Leib, Brian G., 2014. "Managing Nitrate Levels in Bermudagrass Hay: Implications for Net Returns," Journal of the ASFMRA, American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
    6. 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.
    7. Lacy, R. Curt & Pruitt, J. Ross & Hancock, Dennis W., 2015. "Economic Returns and Risk Analysis of Forage Wrapping Technologies," Journal of the ASFMRA, American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
    8. repec:zbw:espost:157806 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lopez, Jose & Bankole, Taiwo & Wahrmund, Jackie, 2017. "A Hedonic Analysis of Feeder Cattle Auction Prices in Northeast Texas," 2017 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2017, Mobile, Alabama 252732, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    10. Narayanan Kannan & Ali Saleh & Edward Osei, 2016. "Estimation of Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Transportation in Beef Cattle Production," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(11), pages 1-22, November.
    11. Tong Wang & W. Richard Teague & Seong C. Park & Stan Bevers, 2015. "GHG Mitigation Potential of Different Grazing Strategies in the United States Southern Great Plains," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(10), pages 1-22, September.
    12. 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.

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