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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1965. Department of Agricultural Economics.


Copyright 1965, the author. Used by permission.


In recent years the beef industry has been expanding in both Nebraska and the United States.Per capita consumption of beef has increased from 80.1 pounds in 1954 up to 100 pounds in 1964.Increasing population, rising per capita income, and an increasing consumer preference for beef are all responsible for the growth of the cattle industry.

Accompanying this growth is a change in technology and in location of livestock packing plants.The packing plant industry has shifted and is now shifting to livestock supply areas.

The objective of this study is to determine the optimum number, size and location of specialize beef slaughtering plants in Eastern Nebraska where most of the feedlots for fattening cattle are located.Associated objectives are:

  1. Estimate the optimum flow of beef cattle to the slaughtering plants.

  2. Estimate associated processing cost for six model plant sizes in Nebraska.

  3. Estimate the optimum pattern of shipment of meat from Nebraska slaughtering plants to various demand centers in the United States.

  4. Illustrate the use of the transportation model as a tool for solving location problems.

Because of computer limitations for computations, this study is limited to the eastern 41 counties of Nebraska.Twenty-one potential plant locations and twelve demand centers are considered.This study considers only specialized beef slaughtering plants.Lack of data limits the estimate of processing cost to a long-run situation.A brief discussion of the marketing problems involved has been included.

This study first considers the cattle industry in Nebraska.Location of production, seasonality of production, slaughter numbers and marketings are discussed. Secondly, the packing plant industry is considered. Recent shifts in location and associated factors are studied.Chapter 4 is concerned with the estimation of processing cost for six model plants.In Chapter 5, the transportation factors and the transportation model are discussed. Assembly cost of livestock and distribution costs of meat are combined with processing cost.

Data for this study was taken from personal interviews, from published reports on the subject and from secondary sources.A detailed discussion of data sources, research methods and a review of literature is deferred to appropriate points in the study.

Advisor: Clarence J. Miller