An economic analysis of waste management for Texas cattle feedlots: an analysis of system alternatives and policy implications



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Texas Tech University


Over 20 percent of the nation's fed cattle are finished each year in the Texas High Plains. Each animal that is fed produces approximately one dry ton of collectable manure. This equals about two dry tons of collectable manure per year per head of feedlot capacity. Given the amount of cropland in crop production on the High Plains, there is a potential demand for all manure produced.

The general objective of this thesis was to determine efficient waste management strategies which would be environmentally benign while benefiting agricultural producers. Specific objectives were sought with respect to the physical aspects, cost of manure management, derivation of manure demand curves, and possible policy implications.

Mathematical optimization models for two study areas in the Texas Panhandle were developed with the objective of maximization of net returns. The primary differences between the Northern Farm Area and the Transition Farm Area were the addition of cotton production in the Transition Farm Area as well as decreased farm size. Crop supply and input demand functions were determined using duality theory.



Feedlots, Cattle, Feedlot runoff