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Abstract

In the Northern Great Plains, crop and livestock producers view forage crop production as an important component of their farm management system. During periods of increased environmental risk, alternative annual forage crops may provide producers with a risk reducing alternative to traditional forage crops. An alternative forage crop production study (20 varieties) was conducted by SDSU. Production yield data was analyzed using alternative decision making criteria when outcomes are uncertain. Empirical results provide insight on forage crop planting decisions with respect to the importance of optimal harvest timing, and the ranking of alternative forage crops as a cash crop or as a grazing resource for livestock. The management decision criteria used to evaluate the economic value of the forage crops included are: a) Expected Value, b) Max-Min, and c) Minimum Variance. Triticale and Barley rank the highest with respect to Expected Value criteria, but Oats and Barley dominate based on risk avoidance criteria (Max-Min and Minimum Variance criteria). Rankings for summer forage crops indicate that sorghum varieties ranked highest for economic value. However, the millet varieties rank higher with respect to the risk avoidance criteria.

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