Special Issue "Livestock Farm and Agribusiness Management"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Economics, Policies and Rural Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 August 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Peter Tozer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, 4472 Auckland, New Zealand
Interests: farm and agribusiness management; agricultural economics; animal science; farming systems

Special Issue Information

Livestock agriculture, including bovine, ovine, equine, caprine, porcine, and poultry species, generated approximately $USD2.1 trillion in production value in 2016.

Livestock production produces food, generates income, and or is a source of wealth for peoples of different nations, socio-economic status, and cultures.

The management of livestock production systems has faced numerous challenges, environmental, economic, and social, to ensure that the systems are sustainable while still fulfilling their purpose of the provision of services to society.

For these reasons, it is necessary to improve knowledge and skills to ensure livestock agriculture can continue to provide benefits to society, but within the new paradigm of environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

This Special Issue will focus on the challenges facing managers of livestock production agribusinesses, from the large commercial scale down to the small scale, including subsistence production systems, and how these challenges can be overcome with changes to management through technology, practices, or skills. The application of these will lead to more productive, environmentally friendly, and economically and socially sustainable production systems and to improve the quality and safety of products from these systems.

Research on livestock production systems and agribusinesses that addresses the challenges of managing these systems is welcome.  The Special Topic issue is not limited by species or geography, studies submitted can cover any livestock species, including but not limited to beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, equine, or poultry. Research that reports feeding trials only, without a broader scope will not be considered for the Special Issue.

Dr. Peter Tozer
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Livestock management
  • Livestock systems
  • Agribusiness
  • Sustainable
  • Economic
  • Social Environmental

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Communication
Life Cycle Assessment of Water in Sport Equine Production in Argentina: A Case Study
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1084; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11111084 - 02 Nov 2021
Viewed by 342
Abstract
The application of life cycle assessment method (LCA) to animal production is a methodological option to assess the potential impact of products, services, or production processes in a comprehensive way as it considers both the quantity and quality of water in the life [...] Read more.
The application of life cycle assessment method (LCA) to animal production is a methodological option to assess the potential impact of products, services, or production processes in a comprehensive way as it considers both the quantity and quality of water in the life cycle approach. In this paper, the water footprint of jumping sport horses’ production has been determined using the LCA methodology for the first time ever. The results of this paper show that the production of medium- and high-performance sport horses uses a large amount of water. However, modifications to the diet (type and percentage of oils in the supplement, place of origin of feed, etc.) and in the management and destination of waste (animal box beds) can result in a reduction of the water requirement and the environmental impact of production. This type of studies should be developed in different farms in the future in order to give producers management alternatives that improve the sustainability of productions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livestock Farm and Agribusiness Management)
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Article
Bioeconomic Modelling to Assess the Impacts of Using Native Shrubs on the Marginal Portions of the Sheep and Beef Hill Country Farms in New Zealand
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 1019; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11101019 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 372
Abstract
New Zealand hill country sheep and beef farms contain land of various slope classes. The steepest slopes have the lowest pasture productivity and livestock carrying capacity and are the most vulnerable to soil mass movements. A potential management option for these areas of [...] Read more.
New Zealand hill country sheep and beef farms contain land of various slope classes. The steepest slopes have the lowest pasture productivity and livestock carrying capacity and are the most vulnerable to soil mass movements. A potential management option for these areas of a farm is the planting of native shrubs which are browsable and provide erosion control, biodiversity, and a source of carbon credits. A bioeconomic whole farm model was developed by adding a native shrub sub-model to an existing hill country sheep and beef enterprise model to assess the impacts on feed supply, flock dynamics, and farm economics of converting 10% (56.4 hectares) of the entire farm, focusing on the steep slope areas, to native shrubs over a 50-year period. Two native shrub planting rates of 10% and 20% per year of the allocated area were compared to the status quo of no (0%) native shrub plantings. Mean annual feed supply dropped by 6.6% and 7.1% causing a reduction in flock size by 10.9% and 11.6% for the 10% and 20% planting rates, respectively, relative to 0% native shrub over the 50 years. Native shrub expenses exceeded carbon income for both planting rates and, together with reduced income from sheep flock, resulted in lower mean annual discounted total sheep enterprise cash operating surplus for the 10% (New Zealand Dollar (NZD) 20,522) and 20% (NZD 19,532) planting scenarios compared to 0% native shrubs (NZD 22,270). All planting scenarios had positive Net Present Value (NPV) and was highest for the 0% native shrubs compared to planting rates. Break-even carbon price was higher than the modelled carbon price (NZD 32/ New Zealand Emission Unit (NZU)) for both planting rates. Combined, this data indicates planting native shrubs on 10% of the farm at the modelled planting rates and carbon price would result in a reduction in farm sheep enterprise income. It can be concluded from the study that a higher carbon price above the break-even can make native shrubs attractive in the farming system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livestock Farm and Agribusiness Management)
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Article
Producing Higher Value Wool through a Transition from Romney to Merino Crossbred: Constraining Sheep Feed Demand
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 920; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11100920 - 25 Sep 2021
Viewed by 428
Abstract
A strategy to increase wool income for coarse wool (fibre diameter > 30 µm) producers through a transition to higher value medium wool (fibre diameter between 25 and 29 µm) was identified, with previous analyses allowing sheep feed demand increases to impractical levels [...] Read more.
A strategy to increase wool income for coarse wool (fibre diameter > 30 µm) producers through a transition to higher value medium wool (fibre diameter between 25 and 29 µm) was identified, with previous analyses allowing sheep feed demand increases to impractical levels during the transition period. This study modelled a whole flock transition from Romney breed to a ¾Merino¼Romney flock through crossbreeding with Merino sires, with sheep feed demand constrained between 55% and 65% of total grown feed. Transition was complete after 12 years, and the final ¾M¼R flock had higher COS (cash operating surplus; NZD 516/ha) than the base Romney flock (NZD 390/ha). Net present value analyses showed the transition always had an economic benefit (up to 13% higher) over the Romney flock. In a sensitivity analysis with sheep and wool sale prices changed by ±10%, higher sheep sale prices reduced the economic benefit of the transition (NPV up to 11% higher) over the Romney flock, as sheep sales comprised a higher proportion of income for the Romney flock, and higher wool sale prices increased the benefit (NPV up to 15% higher) of the transition to ¾M¼R over the Romney flock. This study demonstrated a whole flock transition from Romney to ¾M¼R breed was profitable and achievable without large variation in sheep feed demand, although the scale of benefit compared to maintaining a Romney flock was determined by changes in sheep and wool sale prices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livestock Farm and Agribusiness Management)
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Article
Context Specificity and Time Dependency in Classifying Sub-Saharan Africa Dairy Cattle Farmers for Targeted Extension Farm Advice: The Case of Uganda
Agriculture 2021, 11(9), 836; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11090836 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Despite the huge potential for milk production, interventions to improve productivity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are barely based on specified farm classifications. This study aimed to develop robust and context-specific farm typologies to guide content of extension farm advice/services in Uganda. From a [...] Read more.
Despite the huge potential for milk production, interventions to improve productivity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are barely based on specified farm classifications. This study aimed to develop robust and context-specific farm typologies to guide content of extension farm advice/services in Uganda. From a sample of 482 dairy farmers, we collected data on farmer socio-demographics, farm management practices, ownership of farm tools and facilities, willingness to pay for extension services, milk production, and marketing. Farm typologies were obtained based on principal component and cluster analyses. Thereby, of the three dairy production systems that emerged, small-scale, largely subsistence yet extensive and low productive farms were more prominent (82.6%). Farms that were classified as large-scale, less commercialized yet extensive with modest productive systems were more than the medium-scale commercial farms with intensive and highly productive systems. However, the later were considered to potentially transform dairy farming in Uganda. It was also predicted that the validity of our farm classification may persist until half of the farms have moved between clusters. The study gives new insights on dairy production systems in Uganda, which can be used to organize more targeted research on farmers’ extension needs for facilitating delivery of relevant and effective extension services and designing appropriate extension policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livestock Farm and Agribusiness Management)
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Article
Role of Camel Husbandry in Food Security of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 614; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070614 - 30 Jun 2021
Viewed by 609
Abstract
This paper examines the problem of food security in the Republic of Kazakhstan over the past 10 years. Based on statistical data, an assessment was made of the prevalence of malnutrition among the population of the country, including children under 5 years of [...] Read more.
This paper examines the problem of food security in the Republic of Kazakhstan over the past 10 years. Based on statistical data, an assessment was made of the prevalence of malnutrition among the population of the country, including children under 5 years of age. There has been a trend towards for an improvement in the nutrition of the population for a few indicators; however, further optimization of food security indicators is required to achieve the goals of sustainable development (SDGs) of the FAO WHO Agenda for the period up to 2050 in Kazakhstan and in its individual regions. The paper reflects data on demographic changes over the past 10 years and its self-sufficiency in basic foods for 2019. A high degree of self-sufficiency in meat products (117.6%) is revealed in the population of the Republic of Kazakhstan. However, self-sufficiency in dairy products is at an extremely low level (0.1%). Camel breeding has been successfully developing in the country over the past 10 years. However, the number of camels in the country is still at a low level. Camel milk can be considered as a great source of macronutrients, its daily consumption partially facilitates the problem of Food Security in Kazakhstan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livestock Farm and Agribusiness Management)
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Article
Drought Shocks and Gearing Impacts on the Profitability of Sheep Farming
Agriculture 2021, 11(4), 366; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11040366 - 18 Apr 2021
Viewed by 766
Abstract
The resilience and profitability of livestock production in many countries can be impacted by shocks, such as drought and market shifts, especially under high debt levels. For farmers to remain profitable through such uncertainty, there is a need to understand and predict a [...] Read more.
The resilience and profitability of livestock production in many countries can be impacted by shocks, such as drought and market shifts, especially under high debt levels. For farmers to remain profitable through such uncertainty, there is a need to understand and predict a farming business’s ability to withstand and recover from such shocks. This research demonstrates the use of biophysical modelling linked with copula and Monte Carlo simulation techniques to predict the risks faced by a typical wool and meat lamb enterprise in South-Eastern Australia, given the financial impacts of different debt levels on a farming business’s profitability and growth in net wealth. The study tested five starting gearing scenarios, i.e., debt to equity (D:E) ratios to define a farm’s financial risk profiles, given weather and price variations over time. Farms with higher gearing are increasingly worse off, highlighting the implications of debt accumulating over time due to drought shocks. In addition to business risk, financial risk should be included in the analyses and planning of farm production to identify optimal management strategies better. The methods described in this paper enable the extension of production simulation to include the farmer’s management information to determine financial risk profiles and guide decision making for improved business resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livestock Farm and Agribusiness Management)
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Article
Pasture-Based Livestock Economics under Joint Production of Commodities and Private Amenity Self-Consumption: Testing in Large Nonindustrial Privately Owned Dehesa Case Studies in Andalusia, Spain
Agriculture 2021, 11(3), 214; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11030214 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 520
Abstract
In this study, we apply the hypothesis of private amenity which simulates that the nonindustrial livestock farmers are assured an ex-ante normal minimum operating profitability rate for their investments in the production systems of livestock species based on grazing in a case study [...] Read more.
In this study, we apply the hypothesis of private amenity which simulates that the nonindustrial livestock farmers are assured an ex-ante normal minimum operating profitability rate for their investments in the production systems of livestock species based on grazing in a case study of dehesas in Andalusia, Spain. The ex-post measurement in the Agroforestry Accounting System of the commercial operating opportunity cost incurred by the owners at the close of the period corresponds to the lower limit of the additional amount of noncommercial intermediate product of the private amenity self-consumption service (ISSnca). When the livestock farmers obtain an above-normal operating profitability rate, it is assumed that the absence of opportunity cost results in the free use of the private amenity and, therefore, the latter is a free (noneconomic) service with zero value. In the case study of dehesa farms, the results show that the commercial operating profitability rates at basic prices are below the normal. When the ISSnca is included, the operating profitability rates at social prices for the livestock species exceed by 30%, on average, the assumed normal rate of 3%. However, due to the decline in the prices of the inanimate fixed capital in 2010, the average total profitability rate for the livestock species is estimated at 0.1%, which differs substantially from the assumed normal operating profitability rate. These results are of interest with regard to the design and application of official economic accounts at farm scale, which, as in the European Commission Farm Accounting Data Network, omit the measurement of ISSnca. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livestock Farm and Agribusiness Management)
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Article
Effects of Social Network on Herder Livestock Production Income and the Mediation by Fund Loans
Agriculture 2020, 10(12), 629; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture10120629 - 13 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 732
Abstract
Due to its alpine geography and harsh environment, the pastoral region of Qinghai Province is widely recognized as one of China’s concentrated and contiguous poverty-stricken regions, while climate change, market competition and grazing control exert further pressure on the income security of herders. [...] Read more.
Due to its alpine geography and harsh environment, the pastoral region of Qinghai Province is widely recognized as one of China’s concentrated and contiguous poverty-stricken regions, while climate change, market competition and grazing control exert further pressure on the income security of herders. After more than 1000 years of nomadic practice, cooperation and reciprocity have been entrenched in the culture of pastoral ethnic minorities, in which a well-developed social network may play a crucial role in herders’ social and economic activities, including their financial and production behaviors. Based on a questionnaire survey of 278 households in two counties of Qinghai, this study empirically examined the effects of herders’ social network on their livestock production income and the mediation function of fund loans therein. The social network was found to exert a significant positive impact on household income, and loans had a positive mediation effect. By comparison, the mediation effect of formal borrowing channels was statistically significant while that of informal channels was not, which may be attributed to the relative degree of maturity of the two disparate financial markets. It is suggested that a closer and more inclusive social network should be fostered, the quality of bank financial services should be improved, and the regulation on informal credit activities should be reinforced, so as to fully exploit the positive roles of the social network and fund loans for income growth of herder households in vast pastoral areas of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livestock Farm and Agribusiness Management)
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