Factors Affecting Cow-Calf Herd Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A Cobb-Douglas stochastic frontier function is estimated for the cow-calf enterprises in the Texas Rolling Plains using Standardized Performance Analysis (SPA) data. We find that factors promoting higher herd productivity include machinery investment, pasture-quality improvement, and protein supplement. In contrast, herd productivity is compromised by a longer breeding season, percentage of hired labor, and deviation from mean annual rainfall. Interestingly, more technically efficient farms tend to emit fewer greenhouse gas units per unit of output. For example, net greenhouse gas emissions are 6.12 and -8.70 pounds of carbon equivalent, respectively, for farms with technical efficiency below 0.8 and above 0.96.
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Wang, Tong; Park, Seong C.; Bevers, Stan; Teague, Richard; Cho, Jaesung, Factors Affecting Cow-Calf Herd Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 38, Issue 3, December 2013, Pages 435-456

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