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Critical factors affecting risk and profitability for cattle owners under contract grazing include cattle weight at purchase and time spent on pasture and feedlot. Buying lighter animals and placing them in pastures before sending them to feedlot is the most profitable as well as least risky option. Even in the least risky scenario, the cattle owner would still incur losses 28% of the times. The results also show a possibility that at contract-grazing rates of $0.41 per pound of gain or more, the cattle owner would place cattle directly on the feedlot, bypassing the pasture.


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