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Managing your ranch during drought: Implications from long and short-run analyses


Publication #: B-1205
Date Published: 05/01/2010

Publication Author(s):
John P. Ritten
Christopher T. Bastian
W. Marshall Frasier

In this analysis, we examine the economic consequences of the two most common drought management strategies utilized by Wyoming producers according to survey results reported in Nagler et al. (2006) purchasing additional feed and partial herd liquidation. We analyze different combinations of drought and price cycles to determine how these strategies will perform across differing situations. Specific attention is given to long-run and short-run outcomes and the important considerations for producers thinking about implementing these strategies. We hope to answer whether it is better to 1) liquidate animals and increase current revenues at the potential expense of increasing herd sizes in the future, or 2) maintain larger herd sizes and increase current costs while decreasing the need for future expenses related to restocking by utilizing purchased feed to address forage shortages during periods of drought.

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