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Abstract

One alternative to a cow-calf-yearling operation is a stocker operation. Relative profitability of cow-calf-yearling versus stockers is well documented. Little is known, however, about the economics of the transition process itself. We analyze benefits, costs, and risks of switching from cow-calf-yearling to stockers over a one-year versus seven-year transition period. Results show a gradual transition is superior to an abrupt transition. A gradual transition to stockers generates more net present value than cowcalf-yearlings, given a sufficiently high discount rate or short planning horizon. Farm managers and consultants should include transition-period benefits and costs when analyzing alternative enterprises.

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