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How can farm income be increased on 160-acre farms in south-eastern South Dakota? This question has been asked by many farmers who are trying to determine the most profitable cropping and livestock systems. The most profitable farm organization depends on how well the farmer selects his farm enterprises and combines the use of his land, labor, capital, and management. The major problem of the farm manager is selecting the enterprises in combination with available resources that will result in the greatest continuous earnings over a period of years. There is no one combination of cropping and livestock system which is most profitable for all farmers because resources are different for each farm. This study was made to serve as a guide for farmers who are planning to reorganize their farming operations. The specific objectives of this analysis were: (l) to determine the relative profitability of several alternative cropping and livestock systems for a case farm of 160 acres in southeastern South Dakota, and (2) to show the quantities of resources necessary for the alternative systems. This report presents information concerning the economic effects of combining various alternative cropping and livestock systems that are applicable to farmers on 16C-acre farms in southeastern South Dakota. It does this by presenting the results of several complete farm budgets of the annual costs and returns for a number of alternative cropping and livestock combinations for a 160-acre farm in Moody County. The farm selected for study was subjectively chosen by Extension Service personnel. It is believed to be a typical 160-acre farm unit for the county. Moody County is considered to be representative of the area studied (economic area 4B).

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South Dakota State College


Agricultural Economics