Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)


The object of this study is to determine (1) how scarce feed and other resources should be allocated between livestock enterprises and (2) which management practices or levels should be selected on farms producing a given feed supply. The situation selected for study is an average of 160-acre farms in northeast Iowa which have supplementary dairy and poultry enterprises (i.e., where these two enterprises are not on a large-scale or commercial basis). The cropping program on these farms results in production of 2,652 bushels of corn, 1,230 bushels of oats, 120 bushels of soybeans and 68 tons of forage from pasture and hay land. In addition, optimum programs have been worked out with only 48 tons of forage to determine the effects of restriction in this resource on enterprise combinations. Soybeans are considered to be sold for cash, while grain can be either fed to livestock or sold.

Linear programming techniques are used in determining the most profitable management practices and resource allocations or enterprise combinations. In the major solutions, 43 activities or investment opportunities were included: dairy cows of above-average ability, average ability and below-average ability, each fed five different hay-grain combinations and using competitive labor; spring pigs of above-average, average and below-average efficiency; fall hogs with these same levels of efficiency; poultry with these three levels of efficiency, using competitive labor; beef cows; dairy cows as outlined above but using supplementary labor; and poultry as outlined above but using supplementary labor. Several different capital situations also were included in the optimum solutions.



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