Economic and greenhouse gas emission response to pasture species composition, stocking rate, and weaning age by calving season, farm size, and pasture fertility

S. Aaron Smith, Michael P. Popp, Daniel R. Keeton, Charles P. West, Kenneth P. Coffey, L. Lanier Nalley, Kristofor R. Brye

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since cow-calf operations are large contributors of agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in North America, consequences of pasture species composition, weaning age, and stocking rate decisions were examined by operation size, calving season, and pasture fertility. Fixed resource use and seasonal prices affected the mix of forage and beef production. Overall, adding fertilizer to pasture was unprofitable, resulting in increased stocking rates and greater emissions. Calving season and attendant breeding failure rates influenced the relative profitability of the analyzed beef-production strategies, which in turn affected farm GHG emissions. More-efficient practices led to greater amounts of beef sold per bred cow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-123
Number of pages26
JournalAgricultural and Resource Economics Review
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Calving season
  • Cow-calf production
  • Economic returns
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Pasture fertility
  • Pasture species composition
  • Stocking rate
  • Weaning age

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