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Adaptation of suckler cow farms to weather and beef price risks :Modelling approaches

Claire Mosnier
Abstract : Suckler cow farmers face weather and price risks which can threaten farms durability. In this thesis, focus was on assessing impacts of weather and price risks on farmers decisions related to herd and crop management and on the subsequent economical results. To achieve this objective we have originally and innovatively combined panel data analysis and simulation methods. We have thus 1) determined correlations between weather and price variability and variations of farms indicators, 2) built an econometric model to estimate a production function under two sources of uncertainty, 3) developed a recursive farm model in discrete stochastic programming. Suckler cow Farmers have been found to be risk averse; this aversion decreases with increasing wealth. We simulate that tactical decisions were far more important to face weather and price risks than strategic decisions to prevent impacts of risks. Main observed and simulated adjustments to face unfavourable weather shocks are 1) the increase of concentrate feed in animal diets and of purchased fodder in order to maintain animal production objectives, and 2) area of pasture harvested for haymaking. Regarding beef price variations, when they affect prices of the different kinds of animals in the same proportion, no production adjustment is made. Beef price variations directly impact on beef receipts. Weather variations weights on herd costs not only of the current year but also on the following year. In addition, losses caused by unfavourable weather conditions are not compensated by gains in good ones and consequences of two successive years with very low crop yields induce a dramatic fall of profit. Consequently, if the probability of occurrence of extreme weather event increases with climate change, expected profit of suckler cow farmers is likely to be weakened.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 16, 2009 - 8:00:00 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 4:36:02 PM
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Claire Mosnier. Adaptation of suckler cow farms to weather and beef price risks :Modelling approaches. Sciences of the Universe [physics]. AgroParisTech, 2009. English. ⟨NNT : 2009AGPT0006⟩. ⟨pastel-00005178⟩

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