Browsing ETDs: Virginia Tech Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Department "Agricultural Economics"
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- The adequacy or inadequacy of the poultry marketing facilities in the valley of VirginiaBiggs, Gilbert W. (Virginia Tech, 1947-09-05)The increase in chicken production over the period 1910-1945 in the United States has compared favorably with the increase in production of livestock which compete with it for the farmers time and feed as well as tor a place on the table of the consumer. Turkey production has increased 252 per cent in the United States over the period 1929-1945.
- Adjustments in a farm business in response to an energy crisisBurton, Robert O. Jr. (Virginia Tech, 1976-07-07)Comparing farms using different corn tillage methods, farms using reduced corn tillage had higher returns to fixed resources than farms using conventional corn tillage in all cases, except when energy prices were increased by 50, 75, and 100 percent. At these higher energy price increases, since conventional corn tillage had lower energy costs per unit of feed produced, conventional corn tillage was more profitable. Quantities and costs of energy used to produce the feed for the cow herd were directly related to what crops were produced and what quantities of feed were purchased. Farms using reduced corn tillage were consistently the higher energy users compared with farms using conventional corn tillage, except when 75 and 100 percent energy price increases occurred; but this result might have been different if energy used to produce the purchased feed had been considered. Reductions in returns to fixed resources, when energy quantities are restricted, are much more severe than reductions in returns to fixed resources with energy price increases.l1 This result indicates that if government were faced w~th the choice of an energy conservation policy based on large energy price increases, or an energy conservation policy based on a strict rationing of energy inputs, the strict rationing policy would probably cause greater reductions in livestock farmer's income.
- Alternative methodological approaches to natural resource policy analysis: an illustration of an institutional approach to land use policy analysisLuzar, E. Jane (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1986)Policy economists are increasingly called upon to participate in the institutional design of natural resource policies, predict interpret impacts of alternative the direction of future policy policies, and formulations. However, many of the forces influential in the current reformulation of these policies extend beyond the exchange oriented scope of the traditional mainstream methodological perspective of contemporary economics. In particular, the inability of mainstream economics to analytically incorporate concepts of institutional change, as well as the analytical limitations imposed by its predictive epistemological basis suggest the need for an alternative analytical framework for use in policy analysis. This study explores the potential contribution of an alternative, institutional approach to policy analysis. Certain properties of the institutional approach identified in this study, including its nonpredictive epistemological orientation, focus on institutions as the unit of observation, reliance on behavioral analysis, and ability to incorporate a wider array of disciplinary perspectives are evaluated with respect to their contribution to policy analysis. The primary analytical technique of institutional economics, development of a pattern model, is analyzed in some detail and compared with traditional mainstream analytics. An illustration of an institutional approach to policy analysis is developed to examine policy considerations raised by the farmland retention issue. A pattern model is constructed to provide the framework for the institutional analysis. Primary components of the model, the policy environment and the actors within that environment, structure the qualitative and quantitative analysis. The pattern model is designed to increase policy economists' understanding of issues fundamental to the development of natural resource policies, e.g., Why is a particular policy chosen from the menu of possible policy options?, What motivates individuals to participate in a policy?, What is the process underlying policy formulation?, and, What is the institutional evolution of a policy? The conclusions to the study are two-part: first, conclusions and policy recommendations are offered for the specific case of the farmland retention issue. Second, for the more general case of natural resource policy analysis, an evaluation of the potential analytical contributions of an institutional approach or a blend of approaches is offered.
- Analysis of corn harvesting and grain handling systems in northeastern VirginiaBurrowbridge, Donald Robert (Virginia Tech, 1965-06-09)Typical grain and combination grain and Livestock farms in Northeastern Virginia were selected for study of the available resources and their restrictions for harvesting, handling, drying and storing corn. The costs involved in various combinations of machinery and equipment for performing the above operations were analyzed and the proper combinations of resources under alternative resource and price conditions determined. A model for approximating the seasonal movement of prices was developed and used to predict the variability in the historical average price in the area. An enterprise budget was presented as an example for preparing budgets and estimates for specific farm situations with conditions similar to those existing in the ares of this study. Significant differences were found among the farms in the returns from the corn enterprise due to the time of sale, seasonal fluctuations in price, the quality and quantity of corn disposed, and the methods and resources used to harvest, dry, and store corn. It was found that the size of the operation, the resources available, risk and uncertainty, and timeliness must be considered in order to select a profit maximizing grain handling system.
- An analysis of demand and price relationships between peanuts and cashew nuts in the United States, with emphasis on the salted nut tradeNuckols, Gray Norwood (Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1961)This study concerns the competitive position of peanuts and cashews in the salted nut trade of the United States. The effect of the price support and production control program for peanuts is evaluated in regard to the demand and price relationships between salted peanuts and cashews. This research analyses demand and price relationships for salted peanuts and cashews, compiles the available information on the world cashew nut industry, which has not heretofore been readily available to the public, and summarizes relevant information about the United States nut trade in terms of supplies, consumption, and price of peanuts and tree nuts with emphasis on the salted nut trade. The results of this research, in its present stage, do not suggest conclusively that salted peanut consumption is likely to be affected in a manner detrimental to the peanut industry, in the foreseeable future, by moderate price increases, or by competition from cashew nuts, as a result of the peanut price support and production control program. However, a substantial expansion of world cashew production has occurred in the recent past. Prospects for further expansion appear bright in view of the encouragement currently provided by India's plans for total economic growth. African production has also demonstrated capability of substantial expansion. Accordingly, a further increase in cashew imports by the United Stats might reasonably be expected.
- An analysis of feeder steer-heifer price differentials in the U. SJessee, David L. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1978)Because of a prevalent concern that feeder heifer prices are often bid below their true value, particularly in Virginia, a study was made of factors affecting price differentials between steers and heifers, and of variations in these differentials across regions and over time. The fall market sex price differential for feeder calves in Virginia (1964 through 1976) was compared to the differential in five other regions: the Corn Belt, the Southeast, the Plains, the Mountain States, and California. A cross-section time-series model was designed in which sex price differentials across years and regions were regressed against hay prices, short-term feeder cattle price expectations, the corn price, the fed cattle sex price differential, and the heifer-steer proportion on feed. In addition to these economic variables, five regional zero-one intercept shifters were included; all explanatory variables accounted for 84.8 percent of the variation in the feeder sex price differential, while the economic variables alone accounted for 71.6 percent of the variation across regions and over time. Based upon this research, the steer-heifer feeder price differential in Virginia may be expected in most years to exceed the sex price spread in other markets; however, the estimated effect of the economic variables was not sufficient to entirely account for the higher Virginia sex price differential. One possible reason is that some relevant economic variable(s) were excluded; or pricing distortions may exist due to a lack of price information or due to imperfections in the grading system.
- An analysis of financial statements of Virginia's retail farm equipment businessesGlass, Max Rolfe (Virginia Tech, 1962-05-05)Data obtained by mail questionnaire and financial statements of sixty-two firms permitted a partial description and analysis of Virginia's retail farm equipment industry. The data were combined and analyzed according to sale. and profit groups. The primary analysis used was comparative analysis. Selected business ratios, sales per employee, and returns to management were computed for each sales group. Analysis of gross margin by departments was made for thirty-three firms by sales groups within and among departments. Among and within analysis of variance was used to test whether statistically significant differences existed among sales groups. Separation of means was used to determine which means were significantly different. The standard deviation and coefficient of variation were calculated to measure the variation among firms. The range, arithmetic mean, and median were also computed. Regression analysis was employed to measure the effects of selected factors on net profits. Wide variations existed in net profits for the sample firms. Evidence of economies of scale was found. There were firms within each sales group which showed substantial profits. However, there were firms within four of the five sales groups which had severe 1osses. Volume of sales, other income, gross margin, operating expenses, advertising, and inventory turnover were statistically significant in explaining the variation in net profits. However, advertising and inventory turnover did not affect net profits as hypothesized.
- An analysis of linkages between the manufacturing and agricultural sectors in VirginiaNieves, Leslie Anne Dugdale (Virginia Tech, 1977-05-04)In an effort to discover the trade-offs involved in pursuing the policy alternatives of increasing manufacturing employment in rural areas while still maintaining a viable agricultural sector, this study explored some interrelationships between the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. The objectives of the study were to determine the relationship of changes in manufacturing employment to agricultural sector changes in: (1) labor employment, (2) land use, (3) capital investment and (4) farm family income levels. The data covered the period from 1950 to 1974. Partial correlation analysis was used to examine the degree and direction of relationship between manufacturing and agricultural sector variables for the State and subregions. The results indicated that increasing manufacturing employment is associated with agricultural decline. Nonfarm land use and the dual employment of farm operators were found to be increasing across the State. Investment in agriculture was shown to be adversely affected by proximity to manufacturing employment growth. Farm family income levels and their rate of increase were only partially explained by changes in manufacturing employment. While the decline in agricultural employment may not be affected by local policy, the resultant exodus of rural population may be moderated by the availability of employment alternatives in manufacturing
- Analysis of loan penetration for agricultural lenders in a ten county study area of VirginiaHayth, George Lynwood (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1982)The purpose of this study was to analyze loan penetration for agricultural institutional lenders in a 10 county area of Virginia and to generate specific recommendations to the Roanoke Association of the Farm Credit Banks of Baltimore. Alleghany-Bedford-Botetourt-Craig-Franklin-Halifax-Henry-Patrick-Pittsylvania-Roanoke County area of Virginia. This area had a very diversified commodity mix, but the main enterprises included dairy, tobacco, and beef. The case study approach was used to assemble information on the agricultural lenders in the study area rather than a statistically valid random sample. Forty-two agricultural lenders were surveyed for a response representing 86 percent of the total debt outstanding. While the Farm Credit Service was the largest agricultural lender in Virginia and the United States, Farmers Home Administration was the largest agricultural lender in the study area. Over $181 million of agricultural debt was outstanding as of December 31, 1980 in the study area. Over 60 percent was farm mortgage debt. Almost 2/3 of total farm debt outstanding was in Franklin, Halifax, and Pittsylvania Counties. The major portion of debt outstanding was to dairy, tobacco, and beef producers. In contrast to FmHA and commercial banks, Farm Credit served older borrowers who had more equity. The average Farm Credit borrower had a lower gross farm income than FmHA borrowers. Farm Credit serves a great deal of parttime farmers, particularly beef producers concentrated in the area of the main offices. It was concluded that the Roanoke Farm Credit Association should be more aggressive. Recommendations to improve Farm Credit's market penetration were developed under three different leadings. Farm Credit should develop a young farmer program. This would enable them to obtain some of the better FmHA borrowers. The marketing programs of Farm Credit need to be emphasized and other marketing services should be offered. The services suggested included tax, estate and financial planning. Farm Credit's market penetration was expected to increase in the future. Cutbacks in FmHA lending and uncertainty and changes for many commercial banks will contribute to this increase.
- An analysis of profit margin hedging strategies in the broiler industryShapiro, Neil Philip (Virginia Tech, 1976-10-15)The focus of this study on hedging strategies differs from previous studies in four major ways: l) both costs and selling price are simultaneously hedged, 2) profit margins are computed daily for up to nine months into the future, 3) hedges can be placed five to six months in advance of production, and 4) production costs and profit margins are computed on a weekly basis. Weekly RTC iced broiler production costs were estimated using weekly changes in corn and meal prices and monthly changes in other feed costs, processing costs, transportation and offal value. Weekly production costs were compared to weekly N.Y.C. wholesale broiler prices to determine profit margins. These estimated weekly profit margins served as a benchmark for evaluating alternative hedging strategies. Expected future monthly net profit margins (ENPM) using futures prices and basis estimates for corn, meal, and iced broilers were estimated daily using the production cost formula. The daily ENPM were analyzed to determine their ability to forecast actual profit margins. The ENPM's were poor predictors of actual profit margins. They demonstrated seasonal biases and substantial over and under estimation of actual margins. Forecasted and actual profit margins varied inversely, so positive profit margins were locked in, while negative profit margins were not. Five hedging strategies were developed based on the relationship discovered between expected and actual profit margins. Over the time period 1970-1975, these strategies doubled profit margins and cut profit margin variation substantially.
- Analysis of repayment ability for agricultural loans in Virginia using a qualitative choice modelPark, William N. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1986)Agricultural loans issued to farmers in Virginia from the years 1980-1985 are examined to determine the factors which significantly predict repayment ability. Through a review of literature, extension meetings, conferences and informal conversation with agricultural lenders in the state, a list of financial variables and operation characteristics is compiled and analyzed. Results of the analysis are considered in terms of their immediate and potential assistance to lenders in making loan decisions. Using data from various commercial banks, Production Credit Associations and Farmers Home Administrations throughout Virginia, a model is developed to determine repayment ability of a borrower. Results indicate that several factors are significant in determining this process. Financial ratios such as percent equity, current debt, cash flow I and cash expense-cash receipt are important in determining if a borrower will repay his loan as scheduled. A number of operation characteristics were also found significant. These include: the number of creditors of the borrower, the amount of diversification of the operation and the amount of non-farm income. The results of the study should prove to be a significant aid to lenders and implies need for further research in the loan repayment area.
- An analysis of retail apple marketingAust, Phillip Michael (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1972)In an attempt to provide a consistently high quality product to the consumer, the apple industry is currently considering making condition a part of grade. Information concerning apple movement at the retail level is needed to help determine where such standards should be set. To provide such information, a study of six stores located in Southwest Virginia was undertaken to determine how long apples remain in retail displays under current marketing practices. Observations were also made on marketing practices which affected the quality of fruit reaching the consumer. Each store was studied for a minimum two week period. Current stocks and incoming lots were color coded and counted each day to determine the length of time apples remained on the retail shelf. Samples were taken of lots when they entered the store and after they had been on display. An oral interview was conducted with each of the produce managers. The results indicate that 95 percent of bagged, loose, and overwrapped apples were sold within 7, 9, and 12 days respectively. Sales of bagged apples were 4 times that of overwraps and loose combined. The results of the produce managers' interviews indicated that they are usually satisified with the product they are receiving. The study indicates that the required shelf life of apples could be reduced through improved merchandising practices. The quality of apples reaching the consumer could be improved by making condition part of grade.
- An analysis of seasonal home development and its fiscal impacts on local governmentKarmokolias, Yannis (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1975)
- An analysis of sources of growth in French agriculture 1960-1984Bouchet, Frederic C. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1987)Agricultural production in France has increased considerably since the late fifties, turning France into a net exporter in world markets. This has generated a heated policy debate between France and the United States, centering around different views of the sources of growth in French agricultural production between 1960 and 1984. To shed some light on this debate, these sources of growth were analyzed. A sectoral model of the French agricultural sector is developed. It is based on the assumption of profit maximization. Duality theory is used to derive short- and long-run output supply and input demand equations. All variables controlled by the decision-maker are endogenized. These include output supplies (cereals, other crop products, milk, other animal products), use of variable inputs (feeds, fertilizer-energy, hired labor), and optimal quantities of the quasi-fixed factors (family labor, capital). The data used in estimation comes from published sources, except for series concerning French agricultural research expenditures, preferential credit rates, and agricultural labor. These were collected from unpublished sources specifically for the study. In general, signs of estimated coefficients conform to theoretical expectations. Technological change is estimated to have played the major role in inducing production growth. Technology-led increases are attributed mostly to French research expenditures in the case of cereals, and, in the case of milk, both to French research expenditures and to transfers of technology. Credit policies have also played a role, being responsible for an estimated 8.6 and 10.4 percent of the growth in cereals and milk production. These results have important policy implications. First, if rapid technological gains have brought France into a situation of comparative advantage, we should expect to see French policy-makers shift toward a freer market stance in trade negotiations. Second, because of massive technology transfers and shrinking export markets, the problem of protection of national research is likely to become a part of trade policy debates. Third, even if international negotiations succeeded at reducing price supports, such steps could be quickly outweighed by continual outward shifts of the supply curves if efforts to develop agricultural technology are pursued.
- An analysis of the effects of institutional, biological and economic forces on the Virginia oyster fisheryMarch, Richard Alan (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1986)The Virginia oyster industry changed markedly in the period between 1950 and the present. This change has been the result of a variety of forces which can be conveniently classified as economic, biological and institutional. In general, biological forces initiated a series of changes in the fishery which have had economic impacts and impacts on the institutional structure of the fishery. The biological forces have had a much more severe impact on the seed-planting, or private grounds, sector than on the public grounds sector. The dependence of the seed planting sector on public seed beds and the different regulatory regimes applicable to the public and private grounds makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions on the relative merits of alternative tenure structures. The magnitudes of economic, biological and public policy forces as contributing factors to the decline of the oyster fishery are estimated and it is concluded that the biological forces have played the dominant role in the decline of the Virginia oyster fishery. It is suggested that attention be focused on the physical and management inputs to the production of oysters and on methods for bringing forth an appropriate resource mix. It is argued that either a predominantly private grounds fishery, a predominantly public grounds ‘' fishery, with appropriate institutional modifications to allow efficient harvest technologies to be used without threatening the viability of the resource base, or a mixed tenure system could be used and with appropriate management could result in substantial revitalization of the Virginia oyster industry. However, because of the biological changes which have occurred, management, whether public or private, takes on a much more important role in determining the future of the Virginia oyster fishery.
- An analysis of the relationship between sectoral activity, diversification, and structural change in the economyBasu, Rathin (Virginia Tech, 1990-04-03)The purpose of this study is to analyse the changes, if any, that take place in regional economic structures in the process of diversification, and the roles of sectors in such changes. Input-Output and Structural Path Analysis are used to develop indices that may be used for carrying out the analysis of these issues. A method is also developed for examining the role of linkages with respect to the fundamental structure of production outlined by Simpson and Tsukui. Using these indices and methods, the economic relationships between sectors and the economic structures of six planning districts in Virginia, in addition to the economies of the state of Virginia and the U.S. are analysed and compared. On the basis of these analyses, it is concluded that: (a) The feature of bloc independence found at the level of first order transactions in an economy is diluted at the level of higher order transactions in the metals bloc. However it persists strongly at higher levels of transactions in the nonmetals bloc. (b) The sectors of the metals, nonmetals and services blocs show a proportionate development of linkages irrespective of the degree of diversification of the economy. (c) Contrary to Hirschman's suggestion that complexity of linkages increases with diversification, the results suggest that diversification leads to less complexity in the linkage relationships. (d) The linkages of the agricultural sectors in Virginia are biased towards the services sectors. In the case of the agricultural sectors at the national level, the linkages are biased primarily towards the manufacturing sectors. The implications of these findings for development policy are discussed.
- An assessment of the impact on agricultural prices and output of anticipated versus unanticipated monetary variabilityKwack, Chang Keun (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1986)The effects of anticipated versus unanticipated money growth on total, nonfarm, and farm real gross domestic product, real net farm income, real prices received by farmers for crops and livestock, and the real value of agricultural exports are evaluated. The distinction between anticipated and unanticipated components of money growth is motivated by the new classical rational expectations assertion that. anticipated money growth is discounted by agents and has no real effects, while unanticipated money may have real impacts. The differentiation of money growth into anticipated and unanticipated components follows a rational expectations scheme using Granger causality tests. The money growth equation and the output, real price, and agricultural export equations are estimated by a two-step estimation procedure. The regression results for total and nonfarm real gross domestic product and real net farm income indicate an influence from both anticipated and unanticipated components of money. On the other hand, real farm gross domestic product appears to be affected by only unanticipated components of money. The regression results for prices received by farmers for crops and livestock, and the real value of agricultural exports indicate little influence from either anticipated or unanticipated components of money. In sum, the results suggest that neither anticipated nor unanticipated money is always neutral, but only limited evidence is found of monetary impacts specifically on agriculture.
- Basis variability in the feeder cattle contract before and after cash settlementCurrin, Lisa Carol (Virginia Tech, 1993-06-15)Relationships between the futures price, cash price, and U.S. Feeder Steer Price in the final eight weeks of trading on the feeder cattle futures contract were analyzed. Models were developed to examine continued problems with basis variability in the feeder cattle futures contract. The results of these models indicated that the change from physical delivery to cash settlement and the use of the U.S. Feeder Steer Price as a settlement index for the contract did not improve problems associated with basis variability.
- The capitalized income to an additional acre of flue-cured tobacco compared to the sale price of tobacco allotment, Pittsylvania County, VirginiaAigner, Frank D. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1960)
- A case study of investment in agricultural sustainability: adoption and policy issues for nitrogen pollution control in the Chesapeake Bay drainageNorris, Patricia E. (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1988)Nutrient loadings to the Chesapeake Bay are a source of concern for water quality agencies. In particular, excess nitrogen loadings from agricultural production activities threaten water quality in the Bay. Questions have been raised about how effectively traditional BMPs can control nitrogen loss from crop production. This study examines agricultural nitrogen pollution control from an input management perspective. Using an economic and physical model, seven production systems and nitrogen management strategies are compared in terms of input use, profitability, and nitrogen loss potential. Results suggest that several of the production systems will reduce residual nitrogen without reducing profits. However, it is recognized that factors in addition to profitability will influence producers' nitrogen management decisions. Therefore, using the results of a farmer survey, adoption models are estimated to examine the impact of production system characteristics and producer characteristics on the decision to use an alternative production system and nitrogen management strategy. Finally, a sensitivity analysis is conducted to examine the impact of alternative policy tools on adoption incentives. Both financial incentives and education and information programs are found to be important tools for influencing producers' decisions. Producers' interest in the alternative systems and desire for information on the systems suggest that agricultural research will contribute by assuring that producers have access to adequate information on the alternative systems.