Livestock policy alternatives: national and interregional analysis
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Four policies dealing with concerns and perceived problems in the livestock sector of the agricultural economy are investigated. The four issues examined are increased meat exports, increased use of roughage feeds in beef production, greater beef imports and lower beef marketing weights;Offsetting feed grain and soybean exports with meat exports benefits both livestock and crop farmers. Net farm income increases as much as 140 percent at high levels of meat exports. Also, employment in the agricultural sector increases 81 percent as we substitute the value added export of meat for feed grains and soybeans;Increasing production of roughage-fed beef as a substitute for grain-fed benefits most regions with relative advantages in roughage production. Nationally, net farm income declines by less than 1 percent, but employment in the agricultural sector increases by 3 percent;Increasing beef imports decreases land use by nine million acres as feed demands decline. With lower domestic beef production and feed production net farm income falls by 12 percent. Employment in the agricultural sector is adversely affected, falling by 8 percent;Feeding beef animals to lighter weights increases feed efficiencies per animal, but also increases total feed demands since a larger breeding herd is required to produce more feeder cattle. Net farm income is higher by 4.6 percent and employment in the agricultural sector increases by nearly 2 percent.