The economic feasibility of off-stream water and salt to reduce grazing pressure in riparian areas Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/4t64gr65r

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  • Properly functioning riparian systems are vital to the health of watersheds and provide an important forage and habitat resource for livestock and wildlife. Riparian grazing management strategies that are economically feasible and achieve environmental goals are needed by resource managers and livestock producers. The objective of this thesis was to examine the economic impacts of providing off-stream water and salt in pastures to influence cattle distribution between riparian and upland areas. A field test of the project was conducted at Oregon State University's Hall Ranch in Union, Oregon during mid July through August of 1996 and 1997. A bioeconomic nonlinear programming model using collected data was constructed to test the economic feasibility of the project for a 300 cow-calf operation in northeastern Oregon over sixty years. Nine states of nature were created from historical data to account for the uncertainty of precipitation and cattle market prices. When an environmental management objective of restricting riparian vegetation utilization to thirty-five percent was strictly enforced, permitted animal unit months from summer pastures on public lands were reduced from traditional levels. This reduction resulted in a long run equilibrium herd size that was ten percent lower than current levels. However, when the dispersion project was employed, cattle were distributed more evenly across pastures and consumed more upland forage before desired ripanan levels were reached. Consumption of more upland forage allowed the long run equilibrium herd size to remain at traditional numbers. This result combined with improved animal performance yielded positive net returns for the project. The off-stream water and salt dispersion project has an annual expected net return of $4,517, $7,358 and $11,054 at low, median and high cattle prices, respectively, for a 300 cow operation in northeast Oregon.
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