Thompson, Nathanael M.

By: Lusk, Jayson L.; Thompson, Nathanael M.; Weimer, Shawna L.
There has been substantial productivity growth in the broiler industry; however, high growth rates might adversely affect animal welfare, resulting in calls for slow-growth breeds. This research shows production costs are 11%'25% per pound higher for slower-growing breeds than for modern breeds, depending on the target endpoint. Breakeven wholesale price premiums needed equate net returns of slow- to fast-growth broilers range from $0.10/lb to $0.36/lb. Annual costs of an industry-wide conversion to slow growth are $450 million for consumers and $3.1 billion for producers. Consumer willingness-to-pay would need to increase 10.8% to offset the producer losses.
By: Thompson, Nathanael M.; Edwards, Aaron J.; Mintert, James R.; Hurt, Christopher A.
This paper re-evaluates practical methods of forecasting corn and soybean basis in the eastern Corn Belt. The accuracy of forecast methods differs over the course of the crop-marketing year. At harvest, historical moving average forecasts perform best. Post-harvest forecasts may be improved at short forecast horizons (<8'12 weeks ahead) by combining historical moving averages and recent basis levels. Results suggest that using 3-to-5-year moving average forecasts for corn basis and a 2- or 5-year moving average for soybean basis from harvest through April. The accuracy of these corn and soybean basis forecasts decreases markedly during the summer months.
By: Thompson, Nathanael M.; DeVuyst, Eric A.; Brorsen, B. Wade; Lusk, Jayson L.
We estimate the value of using genetic information to make fed cattle marketing decisions. Efficiency gains result from sorting cattle into marketing groups, including more accurate optimal days-on-feed and reduced variability of returns to cattle feeding. The value of using genetic information to selectively market cattle ranged from $1–$13/head depending on how a producer currently markets cattle and the grid structure. Although these values of genetic information were generally higher than those reported in previous research, they were still not enough to offset the current cost of genetic testing (about $40/head).
By: Thompson, Nathanael M.; DeVuyst, Eric A.; Brorsen, B. Wade; Lusk, Jayson L.
We estimate the value of using information from genetic marker panels for seven economically relevant feedlot cattle traits. The values of using genetic information to sort cattle by optimal days-on-feed are less than $1/head for each of the traits evaluated. However, the values associated with using genetic information to select cattle for placement are as much as $38/head. The most economically relevant genetic traits are average daily gain and marbling. It would not be profitable at the current testing cost of $38/head to sort cattle by optimal days-on-feed, but it could be profitable to use the genetic tests for breeding cattle selection.