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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1963. Department of Agricultural Economics.


Copyright 1963, the author. Used by permission.


The principal economic problem of Sherman County (Nebraska) is low farm income.

This study has three objectives. The first objective is to determine crops adapted to the area, rotations consistent with soil conserving practices and rotations that give the greatest return.

The second objective is to determine livestock systems that make the best use of the feed supplies and other resources available.

The third objective is to determine the required size of farm business in order to attain two levels of return. The first level is $5,000 return above fixed and variable costs other than interest on the investment and operator and family labor. This amount would be available for family living and expansion. This reflects the thinking of farmers that variable costs must be satisfied and taxes and depreciation cannot be avoided. The returns on the investment may be used for family expenses and possible expansion. The second level is $4,800 return to operator’s labor and management. The $4,800 is estimated to be the necessary reward or incentive for assuming the risk and responsibility of a large farm operation.

This study is primarily an application of the linear programming approach to the dryland areas of Sherman County. Counties having similar dryland areas as Sherman County are Valley, Howard, Greeley, Custer, Buffalo, and Dawson counties. These counties are referred to as the West Central Loess Hills and Canyons.

The study was made on three different size farms: 480, 960, and 1600 acres with the assumption that no grain buying would be allowed. In addition to these programs, the 480 and 960 acre farms were programmed with a grain buying activity to determine if actual net income could be obtained.

Advisor: A. W. Epp