Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Wayne D. Ellington


Given the importance of the livestock sector to both the United States and South Dakota economies, it is vital to have the best and most accurate information available for planning by both livestock producers and government agencies. In the next few sections, some of the more important economic problems faced by the livestock industry will be discussed. The first is due to the biological nature of livestock production. The others have to do with the effect of government policy decisions and world market conditions on the domestic livestock industry. Due to the biological nature of the livestock industry there are substantial time lags between the decision to produce and the realization of that decision. For example, at least three years are needed to increase beef production and at least one to change hog production. While it is possible to slaughter breeding stock and increase, in the very short run, the supplies of these meats, changes in supplies of livestock products essentially are limited in the long run by availability of female stock and the time required to produce a new generation. A cow-calf operator could have a lag of approximately 15 to 17 months between the time when a decision is made to produce a calf to when that calf is ready to be sold. The feedlot operator faces a similar situation due to the length of time between the placing of a steer or heifer on feed and the realization of the final product of that operation, a slaughter animal. Pork and poultry producers have similar situations involving time lags. For example, pork producers running farrow to finish operations have a four month period between breeding and farrowing followed by a four to six month feeding period. Those engaged in feeder pig production or hog finishing alone still face a lag between the time production begins and the realization of the end product, either feeder pigs ready to be sold to feed lot operators or slaughter hogs. To substantially increase poultry production takes approximately nine months. From the time a chick is placed in the hatchery supply flock it takes 176 days to obtain more eggs, 24 days to hatch those eggs, and 52-56 days to produce, slaughter, and ship the broilers. Due to these lags between production decisions and their realization, livestock producers, and indeed all agricultural producers, are in the unfortunate position of making their production decisions on the basis of prices which might or might not be at the same level as when the decision is realized.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Livestock -- Marketing --Econometric models
Animal industry -- Econometric models



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


No Copyright - United State