Economic feasibility of an accelerated lambing operation in central Iowa


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A dairy farmer in Central Iowa has recently decided to close down the dairy parlor after his family has had the business for one hundred years so that he can retire. In order to maintain some cash flow, he is offering to rent out the barn facilities for a flat price. As an individual with years of experience working, handling, and maintaining sheep, these facilities would work great to run sheep on dry ground. With three of the four children wishing to come back to the family farm, this research seeks to determine the economic feasibility of an accelerated lambing program on a dry lot in Central Iowa. There are two types of accelerated lambing operation: Standard Accelerated Lambing, where ewes lamb three times within a two-year period; and STAR method, where ewes lamb five times within a two-year period. This research focuses on a standard accelerating program of three lambing crops within two years. The business strategy envisions starting with twenty ewes and building the flow to five hundred ewes over 10 years.
The feasibility analysis undertaken in this thesis focuses on three main factors for profit. They are production rate, death rate for lambs, and conception rate. It was found that production and conception rates had the most impact on the economic feasibility of an accelerated lambing operation. Future work would focus on the marketing side of the business, exploring opportunities for building strategic alliances with ethnic restaurants and grocery stores. It would also explore opportunities of providing the processing service by forming alliances with local abattoirs to service these restaurants and grocery stores.



Accelerated lambing rate, Sheep production, Net present value, Economic feasibility

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Master of Agribusiness


Department of Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Vincent Amanor-Boadu