Postprint version. Published in Agricultural Systems, Volume 46, Issue 3, January 1, 1994, pages 311-334.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Charles F. Nicholson was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/0308-521X(94)90005-Z.
We developed a deterministic, multi-period linear programming (LP) model of the dual-purpose (milk-beef) cattle production system in the Sur del Lago region of Venezuela. The LP model selected animal, forage, and purchased feed activities subject to nutritional, land, and herd composition constraints to maximize discounted herd net margin. A cattle nutrition model provided original coefficients for feeds and animal nutrient requirements. Revised coefficients resulted from an iterative procedure to avoid errors from the interaction between diet and requirements. Model applications demonstrated that alternatives to traditional feeding practices are profitable and nutritionally feasible. However, the benefits of alternative nutritional management depend on labor availability. Our simulation of price policy changes in the late 1980s indicated that dual-purpose producers may experience increased relative incentives for milk production under the new input and output prices. The model is adaptable to dual-purpose production systems elsewhere in Latin America.
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