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Abstract

The majority of calf production in Alberta occurs in conjunction with grain growing enterprises. This study hypothesized that a major reason for this occurrence is the risk reduction opportunities which arise from on farm "portfolios" of grain and cattle. Annual rates of return were calculated over an 11 year period (1979-1989) for a 100 head cow herd in east central Alberta, and then compared to the performance of investments in grain growing land over the same period. The returns from cow-calf production were found to be uncorrelated with the returns from investment in grain growing land. In order to improve the length of the data series, correlations were also computer between the revenue from cattle and grain production, over an 18 year period (1974-1991). Revenues from grain and cattle were similiarly found to be uncorrelated with each other, leading to the conclusion that joint production of grain and cattle does, significantly, reduce the degree of risk exposure.

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