Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Herbert R. Allen


Structural changes in agriculture resulting in fewer and larger farms carries strong implications for smaller farms. Included in the small farm group are small, low-resource, and part-time farmers, some of which are unable to generate an adequate income due to limited resources. This research study has developed a managerial tool for assisting low-resource farmers in developing optimal farm plans. The planning model is an interaction of familiar components (budgets) with a complex mathematical model (linear progra111T1ing) to provide an efficient analytical tool for use by farmers to aid in their managerial process. This study has placed emphasis upon the development of an LP model which is representative of small farm operations in Southeastern South Dakota. The model may be employed by altering the input-output coefficients to make the model representative of a specific farm situation. Price data may also be entered so that the model accurately reflects an individual operator's price expectations. Methodology for changing input data and obtaining output has been a major concern of this study. Additional effort was placed upon the development of budgets for small scale enterprises and off-farm employment to be incorporated into the model. A primary objective has been to provide a simple method to transfer the farmer's personal situation into a computer program which allows for more precise and detailed analysis than may otherwise be possible. To use this planning model, a farmer must complete the individual enterprise budgets. The procedure for doing this has been simplified by using basic budgets. Following the completion of the budgets, it is necessary to complete the "Profit and Price Input Sheets" and the "Supplies of Available Resources" sheets. With the completion of these sheets, the information required to run the computer program has been gathered. Information required for the completion of the crop budgets is available in Chapter 3. The information provided should be studied, and the budgets changed, if necessary, to reflect the personal situation. The crop activities to be included in the model should then be checked on the "Profit and Price Input Sheet" for crops, available in Chapter 6. Any profit figures, computed through the budgets, that are different from those given in the model should be transferred to this sheet. The sell prices on this sheet should also be studied and changed as desired. The information required for the completion of the livestock budgets is available in Chapter 4. The procedure for submitting personal data follows the same guidelines as used in the crop budget discussion. Then the profit figures are transferred from the budgets to the "Profit and Price Input Sheets" for livestock, al so in Chapter 6. Personal price expectations are then supplied for the corresponding supplemental activities. The supplemental activities required for the various production activities immediately follow the production activities for each livestock type. It is very important to keep the buy price for a commodity higher than the sell price for the same commodity. The final step in the data submission process is to complete the "Supplies of Available Resources" sheet in Chapter 6. The discussion and information needed are detailed in Chapter 5. Off-farm employment alternatives, farm labor supplies, and family living expenses are discussed and completed. The supply values are then transferred to the "Supplies of Available Resources'' sheets. Land acreage and available capital are also completed in this section. With the completion of the previous steps, all information needed to run the computer program has been gathered. The computer outputs a final plan, which is returned to the farmer that is as realistic as the initially supplied information. The final plan is identical in format to the example farm output in Chapter 7.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Farm management -- Linear programming.
Farm management -- Data processing.
Farm management -- South Dakota -- Linear programming.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University