Date of this Version



Published by the Department of Agricultural Economics, June 2014. the website address is: http://agecon.unl.edu/livestockimpact


Nebraska Animal Agriculture: Economic Impacts of Cattle, Hog, Dairy, and Poultry Industry Changes

Is Nebraska's agriculture system operating to its full potential? One concern is that the state exports a high proportion of its crop output as commodities. Also, while nearby states experienced significant livestock production growth Nebraska has not kept pace, particularly in hog and dairy production.

In light of these concerns, this report analyzes livestock expansion scenarios. It provides a set of economic performance measures to sub-state regions and county-level economies. These measures will allow economic considerations to be incorporated into stakeholders' decision-making processes.

The following scenarios were analyzed:

  • A 25 percent expansion of hog finishing volume in Nebraska, scattered across three regions of the state and 15 counties. Some 270 on-farm units, each with a 2,400 head capacity and a twice-per-year turnover rate added.
  • More than a doubling of the state's current dairy herd numbers (60,000 additional head), divided across three regions of the state and 18 counties. A total of 24 new dairy operations, each with a 2,500 head capacity and two new milk processing facilities added.
  • A 10 percent increase in fed cattle production in the state, with expansion distributed geographically in similar proportion to current patterns of production.
  • A tripling of poultry (egg-laying) production in the state.
  • One contraction scenario was examined the closing of one of the state's three hog processing facilities

The report's analysis allows both the direct and indirect effects to be estimated down to county-level detail. The report also looks more broadly at the state's livestock industry, the Nebraska's economy, and the potential for building on Nebraska's Golden Triangle of livestock, corn, soybeans, and biofuels production.