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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1966. Department of Agricultural Economics.


Copyright 1966, the author. Used by permission.


The chief purpose of this study is to evaluate the economic effects of diverting cropland to pasture. More specifically, the objectives are:

1. To determine the practices used in the production of selected crop and beef cattle enterprises.

2. To develop budgets for these selected crop and beef cattle enterprises.

3. To determine the effects of diverting cropland to pasture upon:

a. Net farm income.

b. Labor requirements.

c. Operator risk and indebtedness.

4. To determine the optimum use of the available resources within the limits of the enterprises considered.

A group survey technique was used to obtain information regarding the practices used by farmers in the area (Northeast Nebraska) for crop and beef cattle production. One farmer was asked to invite a group of neighbors representative of the area to be interviewed. The group was interviewed informally and a consensus of opinion reached was recorded by the interviewer. They also provided information pertaining to available resources and production practices. The results of these surveys formed the basis for developing enterprise budgets for selected crops (corn, grain sorghum, oats, corn silage, alfalfa and bromegrass) and beef cattle enterprises.

In addition, total rotation-acre variable costs and returns were figured for crops and net returns above variable costs were calculated for beef cattle. These budgets and other input-output information were developed into a matrix for linear programming.

The results of the programmed organizational plans were analyzed to determine the effect upon net income of diverting cropland to pasture. Four plans were analyzed, each included an increasing amount of cropland diverted to bromegrass pasture.

Advisor: Philip A. Henderson