Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2007
Publication Date: 7/15/2008
Citation: Gillespie, J., Wyatt, W., Venuto, B.C., Blouin, D., Boucher, R. The roles of labor and profitability in choosing a grazing strategy in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics. 40(1):301-313. Interpretive Summary: Grazing method and stocking rate can have a significant impact on profitability for beef producers. This study was conducted to investigate the labor requirement and profitability associated with a continuous grazing method at three stocking rates, low medium and high rate, and rotational grazing at a high stocking rate. The results of the study are applicable to the climate and forages of the U.S. Gulf Coast. A unique dataset was developed using a time and motion study method to determine labor requirements. The results from this study indicated that profits are lowest for a continuous grazing method at a low stocking rate and a rotational system at a high stocking rate. The primary reason for the lower profitability for the rotational system is labor. Total labor and labor in three specific categories are greater on per-acre and/or per-cow basis with rotational grazing than with the continuous grazing strategies. The results from this study will aid producers in determining grazing method and stocking rate for their individual situation and enterprise.
Technical Abstract: Labor required and profitability associated with continuous grazing at three stocking rates and rotational grazing at a high stocking rate in the U.S. Gulf Coast region are compared. A unique dataset is collected using a time and motion study method to determine labor requirements. Profits are lowest for low stocking rate continuous grazing and high stocking rate rotational grazing. Total labor and labor in three specific categories are greater on per-acre and/or per-cow bases with rotational grazing than with the continuous grazing strategies. Results help to explain relatively low adoption rates of rotational grazing in the region.