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Forage production variability is incorporated into a decision theory framework for a beef producer in East Texas. The results suggest that the least risky, and also the most profitable, approach to intensive forage beef production is to plan for relatively poor weather conditions and low forage production. This results in a more diverse forage system and a smaller herd size than would be found optimal under the assumption of constant average forage production. These results also demonstrate that the assumption of constant average forage production may results in grossly exaggerated estimates of expected net returns.


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