• The Impact of Grazing Systems on the Magnitude and Stability of Ranch Income in the Rolling Plains of Texas

      Whitson, R. E.; Heitschmidt, R. K.; Kothmann, M. M.; Lundgren, G. K. (Society for Range Management, 1982-07-01)
      Results of a 1961-1974 grazing system study on the Texas Experimental Ranch in the Rolling Plains were used to evaluate annual net income stability characteristics for a cow-calf operation. A linear programming risk analysis model was utilized to select optimal combinations of grazing systems which minimized annual negative net income fluctuations. Greatest annual net incomes, expressed in 1979 dollars, were obtained from heavier stocked, continuously grazed systems which received winter feed. For the 1961-1974 period, annual net income stability was not increased by selecting combination of grazing systems. However, when only the last 5 years were included in the analysis, the stability of annual net income was improved by selecting a combination of grazing systems. Supplemental winter feeding did not have a significant effect on annual net incomes. However, under heavier stocking rates the standard deviation of annual net income was approximately doubled when cows did not receive supplemental winter feed. Annual income and income variability was determined to have increased during the last 5 years of the study, relative to the total study period. It is hypothesized that a portion of this increased variability at the heavier rates of stocking is the result of changes in the composition of vegetation. The general increase in variability across all systems indicates that ranch operators may need to consider alternatives for risk management as well as management for profits.