Master of Agribusiness Student Reports and Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

K-State’s Master of Agribusiness is an award-winning, distance education graduate degree program that focuses on food, animal health and agribusiness management. Not an MBA in agribusiness, and not an M.S. in Agricultural Economics, but a professional degree program training managers for one of the most rapidly changing industries today.

Visit the MAB Website to learn more.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 30
  • ItemOpen Access
    A hedonic regression analysis of Houston metropolitan tax appraised land market values
    Hobert, Randy
    The objective of this thesis is to provide insight that policy makers can use to assess the impact of land values on prospective flood control projects in the Houston metropolitan area. Various land characteristics are regressed against county tax appraisal data on parcels of agricultural land sold within the Houston metropolitan statistical area over a 5-year period. Hedonic regressions of data from three counties found there is not a willingness to pay more for land located within any specific zip codes in the study area. However, some school district boundaries, especially those with higher median household incomes, correlate positively with higher property valuations. Land parcel size, commercial land use codes, residential improvements, paved road access, and certain suburban school districts were found to be statistically related to tax appraisals of market values. Forecasts made using tax appraisal data overestimate the actual comparable sales price of land sold in 2018. It appears that there is a relationship between better road access to transportation networks and the subdivision of farms for development, so County Commissioners and the Texas Department of Transportation should carefully weigh the risks of increasing population densities as a result of new roads constructed within and around the water pooling areas of U.S. Army Corps of Engineer levees, bypass channels, dry basin reservoirs, detention ponds, and diversion tunnels. Additionally, the strategic use of agricultural conservation easements offers a less costly alternative to fee simple property acquisitions for managing development along Cypress Creek and other tributaries of the Buffalo Bayou waterway.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Determining the impact of semolina extraction rate with low hard vitreous kernel durum wheat
    Swartz, Bradley
    This is a study of supply chain inputs of different quality in a real-world processing setting. This thesis will compare the processing yield loss of a 50/50 blend of a) Grade 1 Hard Amber Durum (HAD) Wheat, and b) Grade 2 Amber Durum wheat to that of a 100% Grade 1 Hard Amber Durum wheat blend. The lower HVAC (Hard Vitreous Kernel of Amber Color) quality of durum wheat will likely have a varying impact on raw materials yield, also known as dirty wheat yield as well as milling yield, also known as the extraction rate. The lower grade wheat was purchased at a discount. The thesis will investigate whether or not the discount was enough to cover the loss in yield.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Certified organic cropland in the United States: Is perceived value reality?
    Stickel, Erin
    Valuation of farmland in the United States is reliant on farm income, which relates to geographical factors, social and environmental pressures and commodity demands. In recent years, interest in certified organic cropland has emerged throughout the United States at an exponential level. Perception continues to evolve where cropland that undergoes certification and organic production could lead to increased land value and warrant higher returns for landowners in a cash rent scenario across the United States. In this study, a survey of over 400 certified organic landowners and farmers was conducted, and 109 viable responses utilized for analysis of land valuations in the central Midwest, Southern Plains, and East Coast. Data was evaluated from the respondents on a variety of topics such as length of the farmland lease/rent agreement, gross value of the organic commodities raised, and price of non-organic cash rents being paid, with the main objective of securing data about cash rent and land values and for certified organic farmland. Additional analysis of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Research Statistics Survey (NASS) for cash rents, environmental data, and regional net farm income in relation to certified organic cropland is discussed, but not directly included in this standard linear regression model. Case studies and literature reviews on this subject in the United States have been conducted and more data is being analyzed each year. Data from this study indicates that while the perception from landowners is that certified organic farmland should be worth more from a cash rent standpoint, the reality is that there still many are unknown pressures on land valuations and few credible statistical relationships were discovered in comparison to prices paid for cash rent of certified organi cropland in the central Midwest, Southern Plains, and East Coast. More research is neede to appropriately analyze the impact of organic cropland on cash rent values in these regions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A financial feasibility study: Constructing unit train capabilities to access the Pacific Northwest export market
    Horn, Kevin
    This study focuses on export grain merchandising opportunities for an upper Mississippi River barge terminal (MRBT) centrally located to corn and soybean (grain) production areas in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The main channels for exporting grain from the U.S. are the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA). Presently, MRBT only has capability to transport grain by barge to NOLA for export. There are a number of challenges associated with relying on barge transportation and having a single export channel. Building another form of transportation to access a secondary export market could mitigate return associated with the first channel and create additional revenue. The purpose of this study is to examine the financial feasibility of adding shuttle train loading capabilities to MRBT. This paper analyzes grain cost indicators, compares NOLA and PNW grain export prices with respect to MRBT, and compares MRBT competitive logistics with respect to barge and shuttle rail transportation methods. The findings indicated there was a positive net present value and identified several synergies from upgrading MRBT to be shuttle capable. Expanding access to the PNW could provide long-term economic advantages for future growth in a low margin industry.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Economics of calf grower operations in relation to dairy-sourced day-old calf price and feedlot outcomes
    Hunsaker, Jade
    Holstein steers compose 15% of the U.S. beef supply despite several factors that place Holstein feeders at a disadvantage including higher calf mortality than traditional beef breeds. This study examined how to improve overall profitability via mortality reduction at a calf ranch. Reinvestment of profit margins to increase Holstein survivability, specifically by providing incentive for dairies to improve survivability, is worth further study. A cattle owner’s enterprise budget is constructed that uses ten-year average cash prices for live cattle, feed inputs, and yardage fees. The analysis revealed that financial breakeven occurs at a 13.44% calf mortality at the calf ranch, ceteris paribus. Additionally, for each 1.0% decrease in mortality leads to an increase in profitability by $14.45/head. A sensitivity analysis was conducted and revealed that at 10% mortality, a margin of $79.63 exists that can be reinvested, and $7.42 exists at 15% mortality. The cattle owner may increase profits by incentivizing dairies in multiple ways. A pricing schedule that rewards dairies for directly reducing mortality at the calf ranch over a given time frame is the most direct, but the potential income may be inconsequential to dairies. A model that rewards processes at the dairy such as proper colostrum management and sterilization of the calves’ umbilicus provides more consistent treatment across the multiple sources for bull calves. A third option is to combine bonuses and discounts with education for dairy maternity crews.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A herd health and cost savings analysis for the hyperimmunization of sheep in polyclonal antibody production
    Allison, Shayna
    The purpose of this research project was to determine the outcome of decreasing the use of adjuvant while immunizing sheep for polyclonal antibody. To justify the change in protocol, a herd health analysis was conducted to track site reactions and a financial analysis based on Net Present Value to determine future financial benefits. For this study 199 cross bred ewe lambs were utilized for titer test analysis after 6 months of hyperimmunization with Universal Barbiturate antigen, saline, and adjuvant. The population was broken down into four protocols based on the injection ratio. These protocols, with their respective injection ratios were Current Protocol #1 (1/1/1), Current Protocol #2 (0.5/1/1), Test Protocol #1 (1/1/0.5), and Test Protocol #2 (1/1/0). In addition to the titer test, 128 sheep were randomly selected for site reaction data collection. Based on a graded scale, animals were graded based on the physical reaction sites over their lumbar regions where the injections took place. The results from both data collection methods were then compared to determine the best methods to decrease sight reactions and increase immune response rate. The results from this data compared the costs associated with adjuvant use and developed a cost savings analysis for each protocol used and helped to determine the best method for the company moving forward. The results concluded that the newly proposed method of injection offered a significant cost savings initiative, decreased site reactions, and still produced high immune response to maintain the expected rate of production.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Taking a Chinese agricultural company public in the United States: The case of Yongye
    Gilmore, Larry
    The problem of interest in this research is providing insights into the difficulty perceived by Americans that foreign agricultural companies have little chance raising capital on Wall Street. The thesis narrates the path used by one Chinese firm to raise capital on the US stock market. The story is even more remarkable because Yongye is a Chinese company, unknown and inexperienced in the world of initial public offerings (IPO), yet made a bold entry into the US financial markets. The thesis tells that story from the author’s vantage point as a vice president in Yongye, and from the front row seat of all the negotiations leading to the successful IPO. The story focuses on the author’s personal experience working in Yongye as it sought to finance the company’s growth to support is vision to increase the prosperity of Chinese smallholder farmers. The company executes this vision within the context of China’s industrial expansion as well as its institutional structures. It also presents the product and technology which were the products that Yongye offered to the market. Yongye’s success in raising private and public funds in the US market from 2008 to 2010, came after overcoming many internal structural obstacles, and “lumpy” developments which existed in China’s agriculture sector. On a macro level, it is also juxtaposed against a planned economy driven forward by successive Five-Year Plans implemented by the communist government starting in 1953 and acceptance of the UN’s Millennial Development Goals implemented from 2000 to 2015. On a micro level, Chinese smallholder farmers found Yongye’s specialty fertilizer a compelling value as it helped them increase crop production and sell at higher prices which were in direct opposition to trends which saw arable land shrinking and becoming less productive due to over utilization. Ultimately, this story weaves together the description of how a SME agribusiness in China, through local entrepreneurship and foreign business expertise, was able to overcome major structural obstacles in China, and attract enough interest from foreign investors to finance its business and achieve company, national and UN goals. It provides insights into how small to medium size companies in any developing country, with the right product, a clear vision, and the tenacity of its leaders can procure the requisite financial resources to fund its growth. After all, capitalism is about opportunity to expand capital. Politics is only relevant if it becomes a barrier to the process of capitalism meeting its reason for existence.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Do farmer demographics influence their preferred type of communication?
    Branco, Lenai
    Customer satisfaction is an important performance indicator for a company. Given this, a company should devote time and resources to finding ways to provide a unique and differentiated experience to each individual customer based on their preferences. If a company can build a strong profile on each customer, any person within the company that is to be in contact with the customer will be able to provide that customer with their desired preference and increase the overall customer experience. On one hand, the customer preferences are continuously evolving driven by demographic and socio-economic factors, on the other hand technology advancements create new opportunities for connecting with customers. The objective of this study is to gain insights into differences in customer preferences for communication methods. The main variables of interest for the financial institution are the generational groups, distance from the servicing office, segment and crops grown by the farmer. The analysis is based on primary data collected from a sample of 91 customers and their current relationship manager at American AgCredit. Existing data was researched and collected regarding borrowers’ age, location in relation to the closest servicing office, segment within AAC, and crops farmed. Customer preference was then found by interviewing relationship managers for selected customers. Binary logit regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between the independent variables and customers’ preferred communication method. The results indicate that a statistically significant relationship exists between preferred method of contact and age of customer, segment and farmers that farm permanent crops. Results also indicate that younger customers and customers who are further from their servicing office are more inclined to use electronic communication methods, such as phone calls and email, compared to in-person meetings and snail mail. Given the importance of knowing customers’ preferences, these results can help service providers, such as financial institutions, provide their customers with superior communication experience.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Comparing income over feed costs in a protein premium market
    Bliss, Ashley
    Because dairy producers are subject to market prices, they continually strive to manage input costs and milk output to capture the largest margin. For ABC dairy, the opportunity to sell milk into a high protein market was a decision to capitalize their current herd structure. After a year supplying milk to the higher protein market, the farm desired to examine the income over feed cost to determine how the high protein group compared to the rest of the herd. The objective for this thesis is to observe the net milk income over feed cost monthly for 2019. Through understanding the milk value and feeding costs, the margin for each group was calculated on a per cow, per cow per day, and per hundredweight basis. Using daily, weekly, and monthly data from the farm’s cow feeding software and milk records, this analysis compared the performance and income over feed cost for the two groups within the herd. The results in this study showed the high protein group had a lower net milk income over feed cost of $9.13 per cow per day, compared to the rest of the herd at $9.68 per cow per day. The lower number is attributed to the different diets fed and the difference in milk price. While the high protein group shows a higher income over feed cost, this wasn’t consistent across the year. Further research could examine the relationship between butterfat and protein price or class III markets of dairy to determine if changes in these variables will help predict when and if the high protein group would have a higher net milk income over feed cost than the rest of the herd.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Characteristics influencing the historical performance of U.S. mutual funds
    Jung, Young Hoon
    This study examines variables influencing mutual fund performance. Data were collected from U.S. 181 equity mutual funds during the bull market from 2009 to 2018. The overall object of this study is to determine how funds’ characteristics, risks, and managerial factors are related with 10-year time weighted average return. Using correlation and regression analysis, the results show that asset size and turnover ratio are not statistically significant factors for fund performance. Sales charges and expenses are highly negatively correlated; management tenure and management style, whether team or single management, does not impact on fund return over the examination period. A fund managers’ MBA education does not produce extra return. It is also found that the risks and performance are statistically significantly related. Alpha, beta, skewness, kurtosis, the Sharpe ratio and Treynor impact on funds’ return positively but standard deviation does not. Evaluation metrics are used to examine if regression models can predict 2019 return (out-of-sample performance). It is revealed that the historical data does not explain future returns well. Overall, the results suggest that past performance on mutual funds does not predict future returns well. This is consistent with the weak form of market efficiency.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A meta-analysis of willingness to pay for local beef
    Stutzman, Amy
    Over the past few decades, consumer demand for fresh locally produced foods has been increasing. This demand is most evident in the increasing number of farmers markets that brought farmers and their fresh locally produced produce closer to local consumers across the country. Between 2002 and 2012, US farm operations with food sales directly to consumers increased from 5.5 % to 6.9%. The 2007 Census of Agriculture reported direct-to-consumer sales revenue of $1.2 billion, a significant increase from $551 million reported a decade earlier. As the direct-to-consumer market for farmers expanded, researchers’ interest in the factors influencing consumers’ willingness to pay also increased. Numerous studies were conducted between the early 1990s and the mid-2000s about this topic. They covered numerous products, locations, and consumers segments. It is difficult to make sense of the results given their diversity and breadth. This research attempts to bring some clarity to the results from the various studies by focusing on a single product in the US: locally produced ground beef. The study used five qualifying studies in the US and a meta-analysis approach to estimate the factors influencing consumers’ willingness to pay given their characteristics. The results from this study bring the diverse results from the five different studies together to provide a comprehensive insight into the characteristics of consumers that determine their willingness to pay. These results would be helpful to beef farmers and their supply chain partners who are seeking to enhance their value extraction by working in the local direct-to-consumer market. The results show that the average willingness to pay for local ground beef was about $1.28 per pound above commodity ground beef, with a standard deviation of $0.04 per pound. There was statistical difference between the premium female and male consumers were willing to pay for fresh local ground beef. However, the difference in the premiums those with bachelor’s degree or higher and those without was statistically significant at the 1% level. Similarly, the difference between the premiums those with incomes above $75,000 and those with incomes below $75,000 were willing to pay was statistically significant at the 5% level. Race did not influence the premiums consumers were willing to pay. Consumers in the Midwest, the Northeast and the South were all willing to pay more than consumers at the national level, and the differences between their premiums were statistically significant at the 1% level. The foregoing would suggest that farmers interested in producing fresh local ground beef for direct to consumer marketing should segment the market to target those with higher education and incomes. Agricultural regions of the country present more competition, and it may be more difficult for farmers in these regions to extract higher premiums that farmers in non-agricultural regions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Managing mycotoxins in on farm swine feeds in the northeastern U.S.
    Andersen, Megan
    The purpose of this thesis is to explore the possible affect that mycotoxins have on the aspects of hog production in the northeast region of the United States. Analyzing the impact of the most prevalent mycotoxins on hog health can show how a mycotoxin binder can be a positive influence on hog health and producers’ pocket. Through profiles of both mycotoxins and commonly used binders it can be shown how these unseen toxins have a lengthy and costly harmful impact on the profitability of hog production if not effectively managed. Using a partial budget economic analysis approach, demonstrates how costs associated with mycotoxins can be mitigated. This study compares the economic impact of mycotoxins in swine feed rations that contain a binder on a regular basis verses rations including binders on an as needed basis. A literary review aspect of this thesis will look at how economic models can estimate the overall economic impact of mycotoxins in the hog and livestock industries.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Foil scrap reduction: Continuous improvement in the foil processing industry
    Mgbike, Kingsley
    The overall objective of the study is to provide insight as to what it takes to reduce scrap levels at a foil manufacturing plant, as well as interpret the essence of Metallizers and addressing the gaps in relation to its vitality within the foil manufacturing process. The invention of Hot Stamp and Cold Stamp foil relate to a pigmentary foil and production method thereof. The pigmentary foil comprises at least one PET membrane base, on which coloring layer material and adhesive layer material are coated orderly (Guoping 2010). The key documents essential for production and reducing pump down times in the Metallizer chambers vary by a significant margin in order to increase production. By creating Pareto charts to establish root cause of scrap accumulation, conducting a Fishbone discussion to brainstorm ideas that would effectively mitigate scrap, and host a TPM Kaizen to exercise all ideas and suggestions enhancing the process, API would be in a better position to improve the quality of the metallizer; boosting its capacity and Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Effect of hurricanes on cotton yield and output in Georgia and Texas
    Merritt, Mindi
    Over the past 50 years, Georgia and Texas have both experienced multiple storms and hurricanes with different intensities. Their cotton production industries have successfully remained buoyant despite the challenges imposed by these storms, from flooding and wind damage to nutrient loss and diseases. The overall objective of this research is to assess the impact of major storms on cotton production in the two largest cotton producing states, i.e., Texas and Georgia. Specifically, the study characterized the major storms experienced in the two states over five decades and compared the effects of these storms on cotton yield and output. It is hypothesized that major storms can have significant adverse effects on cotton yield and output if they arrive when the cotton is most vulnerable, i.e., when it is flowering or at the boll stage. High rainfall that often occurs with storms would break the cotton ball and have significant adverse impact on yield and output. Similarly, if the storms are packed with high winds, then they might destroy the cotton plants by blowing them down, breaking stems and destroying bolls. However, if the storms come when the crop is not yet in boll, then they may have little or no impact on yield and/or output. It is also important to note that while a storm may make landfall, it may not have enough energy in it to reach cotton growing areas, and will therefore have not impact on yield and/or output. The study’s results show that storms have had no statistical impact on either cotton yield or output in Texas. In Georgia, yield in years before 1995 when there are storms is statistically significant different from yield in years without storms in the same period. However, yield in years after 1995 when there are storms and in years when there are no storms are both higher than the yield in years before 1995 without storms. Both of them are statistically different at the 5% level of significance. The difference in output followed the same pattern, but the level of statistically significant was at the 1% level. It was found that yield in both states responded to price lagged one period, suggesting that getting a higher price for cotton allowed farmers to make the necessary investment in the following year’s crop to improve yield and output. While lagged price influenced output in Texas, its effect was not statistically significant in Georgia. The results suggest that over the past 50 years, on average, storms may not have the long-term impact on cotton production as may be thought. However, this does not mean that in the year that a storm hit, cotton farmers do not experience real challenges. Using the long-term analysis would lead to the suggestion that focusing on technologies that improved the ability of the cotton plant to withstand winds and heavy rain could address the challenges that occur on cotton farms during storms. It will be prudent, however, to focus on strategies that improved cotton prices so that farmers can make the necessary investments in their production to improve yields. Better financial performance would help cotton farmers deal with adverse natural events like storms because they could improve their financial resilience through savings. Future research should explore this further.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Economics of pain management in terminally ill pets
    Brainard, Don
    Pain management in terminally ill pets is an important and complex issue. Physical therapy, acupuncture, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, muscle relaxers, holistic herbs, nutraceuticals, cannabinoids, and opioids are all commonly used to manage their pain. Often, they are used in combination with each other to better control the pain level. Animal owners have the option of humane euthanasia which can be considered, when time, cost, or emotional toll goes beyond the benefit-cost value to a family. This research demonstrates how to use a pain scale to facilitate decision making when managing chronic pain. Some background on pain medications and other pain management modalities are discussed. Normally more medications, higher doses, and opioids are added when pets are in a terminal decline. The research uses a terminally ill canine with cancer in the final six weeks of his life. We employ a benefit-cost analysis using pecuniary and non-pecuniary risks and benefits to facilitate a decision guide. The pecuniary variables are cost of medications and veterinary services. The non-pecuniary costs include separation anxiety and emotional cost. The satisfaction the pet owner gets from the companionship of the pet is captured as the principal benefit in the model. The model explores alternative values for the different variables and simulates the potential decision outcomes. The decision rule using the benefit-cost ratio analysis is the traditional economic decision rule: When the benefit cost ratio is greater than unity, the pet owner may choose to continue treatment. However, a benefit-cost ratio of less than unity would require the pet owner to consider the pet’s quality of life and discuss euthanasia as an effective economic and emotional option. The benefit cost model developed in this study provides a useful tool for veterinarians to discuss the difficult subject of euthanasia with their clients when the quality of life of their terminally-ill pet does not justify sustaining life even if the pet owner’s separation anxiety seems to ignore this. The model relieves the veterinarian from making the decision for the client, and allows the client to explore the relative weights they place on the different dimensions of the model to arrive at a decision that both humane and economical.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Cybersecurity and the future of agri-food industries
    Okupa, Henry
    The agri-food sector has been undergoing rapid changes in the areas of food production and distribution over the past decades. Over the years, the sector has moved from disconnected, independent and uncoordinated operations to a highly interconnected, dependent and coordinated operations that have enhanced efficiency. The principal cost of this highly efficient system of production is the increased complexity and the exposure to potential risks networked organizations face in the age of the fourth industrial revolution. Increasingly, the physical value of the agri-food sector’s activities has declined even as the intangibles (data, information, insights) have increased in value. As precision agriculture becomes the mainstream and global positioning systems and RFIDs are deployed to enhance traceability and safety, the importance of data protection and security also become exponentially critical to the integrity of the system. That the sector is ahead of the general economy in the adoption of autonomous machines and artificial intelligence implies that the crucial valuation in the sector would be on data generation, organization and analytics, and machine learning. The combined complexity of these systems and processes interacting together create value and at the same time exposes the industry to significant operational risks. For while it was much difficult for cows and grains of corn to be stolen, stealing the data supporting the value embedded in these commodities is becoming increasing easy and riskier. This research is an exploratory excursion into developing an awareness of the scope of the potential risks creeping into the agri-food sector. It raises concern about the nature, typology and structure of these cybersecurity risks, that identifies the skills and capabilities that are needed for the sector to continue producing value to its customers even as it sustains its competitiveness. It focuses attention on building the internal capacities along the agri-food supply chain to ensure that all stakeholders have the appropriate capabilities and capacities to address the impending and emerging challenges. After all, every chain is as strong as its weakest link. Cybersecurity threat has become a very critical challenge facing all businesses. And the agri-food sector is not immune to the threats it presents. Being prepared is a necessary condition for securing the sector’s future.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dairy-Beef Retention Options
    Basham, William
    The efficient implementation of sexed semen from Holstein bulls has created an opportunity for dairy producers to change how dairy heifer replacement programs are managed. This technological advance has shortened the genetic lag interval in dairy herds by changing the historical need to produce a replacement heifer from every cow in the milking herd. Now producers can create future replacements from a targeted younger population with higher genetic value and breed other less desirable animals terminally to beef sires. This terminal mating to beef breeds has created a more favorable feedlot placement from commercial dairies than the usual Holstein steer. As these technologies have emerged dairies will now need evaluate marketing options and determine the most profitable choice for their business. In evaluating multiple marketing channels, including selling day-old dairy-beef crosses; back-grounding dairy-beef crosses and selling as four-weights; or retaining ownership until harvest, this research indicates, at current market conditions, that marketing dairy-beef crosses from the calf grower at approximately 400 pounds is the most profitable decision. Marketing day-old dairy-beef cross calves transfers future risk to the buyer and immediately takes the market premium over Holstein bull calves, however at current market conditions, this option is not the most profitable decision. When marketing four-weight dairy-beef calves directly from the calf ranch was evaluated, it was found that this market is the most profitable choice. Local raising costs in addition to day-old dairy-beef calf costs were found to be lower than the current market value for crossbred animals at this weight creating increased profit opportunity. This market is easily monitored at online cattle auction sites such as Overland Stockyards, where video markets sell thousands of animals from across the U.S. creating a well-traded exchange for market observation. Certainly the most risk and capital intensive marketing channel evaluated is maintaining ownership through harvest. When modeled with current market conditions this option was not found to be profitable, being the highest risk option based on the length of ownership and currently experiencing negative margins, this marketing channel is currently not the most profitable. It should be stated that the feeding period of these animals from birth to harvest is approximately 15 months and this length of time could span both profit and loss situations as market conditions change. As markets change, the most profitable channel for these dairy-beef calves will change also. Observing markets and maintaining a current marketing model is imperative to the producer to be prepared to respond to profitable marketing conditions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Analysis of Yields and Profitability of Utilizing Blended Soybean Seed in Kansas
    Newlin, Dustin
    Kansas farmers must continue to find ways to alleviate risk and increase profits, especially in a challenging agriculture economy. This study analyzes the economic feasibility of blending two different soybean seed varieties together to create a blended variety of soybean seed. Utilizing eight years of plot data (2012-2019) across fifteen plot locations in Kansas, an analysis is conducted comparing blended soybean seed varieties to single soybean seed varieties. A single-factor analysis of variance is used to analyze the difference in yields between blended soybean varieties and single soybean varieties. A partial budget analysis is used to evaluate economic feasibility. Results show two years, 2012 and 2013, having statistical significance in yield difference, with higher yields for blended varieties. Results of analysis by location show six out of fifteen locations having statistical significance, with higher yields by blending soybean varieties. An overall analysis of the combined data set shows a 4.68 bushel per acre yield advantage by blending soybean seed varieties. A partial budget analysis shows an increase in net revenue per acre of $30.14, using a $10 cost premium on blended soybean seed varieties.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Economic implications of the Veterinary Feed Directive final rule on conventional and antibiotic-free swine production systems
    Lamoreux, Brittni
    The use of antibiotics in livestock production has been a point of contention since first utilized in 1951. Since then, numerous attempts to better regulate their use have been made. On January 1, 2017, a new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) officially went into effect banning the use of medically-important antibiotics in animal production for the purposes of feed efficiency or growth promotion. This paper uses pre- and post-VFD enactment survey data collected from Iowa pork producers and actual financial data from the FINBIN database to predict (pre-enactment) and measure (post-enactment) the immediate economic impact the VFD had on the swine industry. An additional analysis based on previous research evaluates the impacts of changes in feed efficiency and mortality rates, two factors most prominently affected by the removal of antibiotics, on the economic bottom-line for operations. Data from the study suggests that while there were concerns that feed and veterinary costs would increase following the enactment of the VFD, minimal financial impact has been realized to this point. However, the analysis suggests that a broader window following the VFD enactment is likely to show lower profits on a per head basis due to the effects that removal of antibiotics has on key cost of production areas.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Agriculture Hedge Funds
    Gondell, Grant
    The concept of managed money as a hedge fund is rapidly changing. At the close of 2017, there was sentiment that the days of easy returns and high compensation for fund managers were gone. More hedge funds closed than opened after 2015. Faced with increased pressure over high fees, lagging returns, increased competition and alternative investment options, from firms such as Vanguard Group, that offer passive investments with quantitative strategies, the ability to attract and retain capital has become increasingly challenging. As a result, the managed money landscape is open to new opportunities for fund managers with unique strategies to earn money. This study compares and contrasts characteristics of successful hedge funds. Identifying characteristics from those funds will assist in determining if there is an opportunity for creating alternative investment portfolios. Additionally, researching investment fund failures provides support to evaluate alternative investment portfolios. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the possibility and potential success of starting an agricultural hedge fund while identifying and testing a trading strategy that can generate a consistent return.