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forage crop production, cattle production, livestock grazing, alternative crops


In the Northern Great Plains region, crop and livestock producers view forage crop production as an important component of their farm management system. During periods of increased environmental risk, alternative annual forage crops may provide producers with a risk reducing alternative to traditional forage crops. An alternative forage crop production study (20 varieties) was conducted by South Dakota State University. Production yield data was analyzed using alternative decision making criteria when outcomes are uncertain. Empirical results provide insight on forage crop planting decisions with respect to the importance of optimal harvest timing, and the ranking of alternative forage crops as a cash crop or as a grazing resource for livestock. The management decision criteria used to evaluate the economic value of the forage crops included in this study are: a) Expected Value, b) Max-Min, and c) Minimum Variance. Triticale and Barley rank the highest with respect to Expect Value criteria, but Oats and Barley dominate based on risk avoidance criteria (Max-Min and Minimum Variance criteria). Rankings for summer forage crops indicate that sorghum varieties ranked the highest for economic value. However, the millet varieties rank higher with respect to the risk avoidance criteria


Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

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