Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The income received from the production of beef, South Dakota's most important product, could be greatly expanded by an increase in cattle slaughter. The main objective of this study is to analyze the beef packing industry in the state. in an attempt to determine the optimum number, location and size of specialized beef slaughter plants in South Dakota. Recent structural changes in the meat packing industry should be beneficial to the meat packing industry in South Dakota. It is hoped that this study will provide useful information to industry personnel for making investment decisions. This information could also be used by area development groups to determine the relative competitive position of their area as a potential site for a beef packing plant. This study has in addition the following associated objectives. 1. Review trends and recent developments in the beef production and slaughter industries and their implications for South Dakota. 2. Estimate operating costs for selected sizes of beef slaughter plants in South Dakota. 3. Estimate optimum patterns of shipment of live cattle to packing plants and meat to demand centers. This study divides the state into eleven potential beef supply areas and considers eight demand centers located throughout the United States. The beef industry in South Dakota is analyzed with respect to production patterns, slaughter numbers and marketing patterns. Trends in the beef slaughter industry are reviewed and implications are made as to their application to the situation in South Dakota. Estimates of operating costs are made for different sized plants in the state, and transportation costs are synthesized for assembling the cattle at the potential plants and transporting the meat to the demand centers. A simplex transportation model was used to simulate the optimum location and size of potential packing plants. The model considers the presence of economies of scale in plant operations and various assembly and distribution costs associated with different transportation distances.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Slaughtering and slaughter-houses -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University