Publication Date


Pamphlet Number


Document Type



Rapid changes in farm practices, largely caused by labor shortages and favorable price-cost relationships, have characterized South Dakota agriculture during the last decade. These changes have raised the questions as to how well they pay. The farmer is always faced with the problem of determining the profitableness of changes in farm practices. Currently, the dollar value of irrigation, soil conservation practices, and various livestock systems of farming are important problems. How much if any of these practices will pay on a particular farm? The answer to this question depends upon the cost of the practice as compared with the benefit of the practice for the entire farm. Neither cost nor gross profit alone tells the story. The effect of the practice on the net income of the total farm is the only safe guide. Take livestock rations as an example. Economically speaking, the best ration is the one which will contribute the most to net farm income. Since such a ration varies with both prices of feeds bought or produced on a farm and the prices of the products, no one ration is most profitable for all conditions. Prices of feeds vary over time and for different localities. It is therefore important to present feed requirement and product output for several different rations. To present such rations is the purpose of this paper. The purpose is to present the total feed required for the production period or for one year. Although the manner in which the total feed requirements are fed is extremely important for profitable production, this paper will be limited to presenting only the total feed required to achieve a particular production.

Number of Pages





South Dakota State College


Agricultural Economics