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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1959. Department of Agricultural Economics.


Copyright 1959, the author. Used by permission.


The primary objective of this study is to determine the combination of crop and livestock enterprises which will yield the greatest net income from a given set of farm resources. The use and effect of varying amounts of operating capital or variable annual inputs will be given special consideration because of the wide heterogeneity of firms with respect to capital supply. Both fixed and variable labor supplies will be investigated in an attempt to give results with a broader application to existing farms in the area.

A second objective which will also be attained through analysis of the optimal plans is to estimate the marginal productivity of resources and the opportunity costs involved with alternative enterprises.

By additional analysis of the optimum plans, the stability of final plans will be determined to show the consequences of shifts in product price relationships as a third objective.

The core of the study is to be found in the analysis chapter developed from the solution tableaus of the linear programming matrix. Input-output data used in the construction of the original problem were obtained from a variety of sources. Basically, the resources assumed are those found on an existing farm in the area. Crop inputs and yields as well as livestock coefficients are intended to represent competent management following recommended practices. The prices used are based on cost-price projections used by the United States Department of Agriculture, corrected for Nebraska market conditions.

In the terminology of the profession the study is built around a one-resource-variable mathematical programming problem. The results and implications of the analysis should be viewed within the limitations of the resources available as defined in Chapter III and the assumptions of the method as explained in Chapter II.

Advisor: Robert M. Finley