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A constrained integer programming model was developed and validated for evaluating the feasibility of finishing and slaughter of cattle and the distribution of boxed beef in any region of the United States. Due to data availability, the model was applied to a small area (Louisiana). Under constrained conditions, the model indicated that Louisiana’s need for less-than-Choice grade beef could be met by inshipments at lower costs than for instate feeding and slaughter. The finishing, slaughter, and distribution of forage-finished animals would be competitive with inshipped product only if the cost of the animal were reduced by 11% or more (i.e., live animal prices that would cover only the variable costs of feeding). The results might have been different if the entire Southeastern region could have been considered, as cattle densities are higher and feeding costs are lower in other states in the region.
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© 1994 American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.