Florida is typical of many southeastern states in that it exports feeder cattle and imports carcass and boxed beef. The objective of this paper is to estimate the cost of retaining feeder cattle in Florida, feeding these cattle to slaughter weights, slaughtering them, and distributing the meat to retail outlets. A mixed integer programming model is developed. The optimal number and location of feedlots and slaughter plants are determined. The results indicate that at production levels exceeding 600,000 head, the cost of producing carcass beef in the State is comparable to the average for the United States.


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