Alternative production/marketing strategies for Southern Plains cattle producers
One factor contributing to low profitability of cattle ranches is the seasonal cycle of cattle prices which is such that most producers purchase cattle when prices are high and sell when prices are low. Many producers follow this production/marketing strategy to utilize their range grasses while they have their greatest nutritional qualities. Thus, the introduction of improved grass varieties may allow cattle producers to pursue more profitable non-typical production/marketing strategies.
For this study, enterprise budgets were constructed at three levels of cattle prices for various stocker steer and heifer operations which are grazed on either tobosagrass, weeping lovegrass or old world bluestem sites. Data from these budgets were combined with estimates of grass consumption and labor requirements to formulate three linear programming models. Operating capital limitations were found to have the largest effect on profits in periods of high or average cattle prices and the least effect in periods of low cattle prices.