Evaluating the relative worth of public range improvements to a cow-calf ranching operation through computer simulation Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7s75dg06v

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  • A computerized ranch simulation model of an eastern Oregon cattle ranch was tested for its ability to evaluate the economics of public rangeland improvement practices. The model was used to estimate likely impacts of various public policy alternatives for rangeland improvement on the relative profitability of a 400 mother cow ranch operation under alternative cattle prices at constant costs. The simulation model described herein is a tool to assist in making decisions concerning the efficient use of available public resources (i.e., labor, capital) in agriculturally dependent areas. Statistical analysis of the results showed the model was sensitive to different range improvement prescriptions at different sizes. The model was insensitive to changes caused by random forage production values. Subjective interpretation of annual changes in net worth among alternatives over time provided information useful for decision-making. A scoping process was used to reduce the number of alternatives for intensive evaluation. At each step in the scoping process a more specific decision criterion was imposed and the least desirable alternative(s) eliminated. When the number of alternatives was reduced to a manageable level or when decision criteria were exhausted, the remaining alternatives were compared on a year-by-year basis in order to ascertain if there were any qualitative differences. From the private point-of-view, it could be inferred that public investments in range improvements would best be concentrated on projects with earlier returns. From the public decision-makers' point-of-view, this information would be only one of many decision variables to consider in the selection of an alternative.
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