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Agricultural and Resource Economics

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

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Ratios And Benchmarks As Tools For Local Food Hub Decision-Making: A Comparative Case Study, Savanna May Lyons Jan 2016

Ratios And Benchmarks As Tools For Local Food Hub Decision-Making: A Comparative Case Study, Savanna May Lyons

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Food hubs, or local food aggregation and distribution businesses, are triple-bottom-line firms that play an increasingly important role in connecting small and mid-sized farmers to wholesale and retail markets. This paper explores how food hubs can use their financial data to identify and address strengths and challenges in their operations. We propose a “dashboard” of key metrics and benchmarks for food hub managers, and apply it a comparative case study of four food hubs over three years of operations. We compare and contrast the liquidity, cash flow, efficiency, solvency and repayment capacity of the four cases, and analyze cross-cutting themes ...


New Models To Estimate Costs Of Us Farm Programs, Xiaohong Zhu Jan 2016

New Models To Estimate Costs Of Us Farm Programs, Xiaohong Zhu

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In this study, I extended the stochastic model built by Babcock and Paulson (2012) to conduct a one-year cost projection for crop insurance in order to investigate its feasibility of being solely provided by private firms. Based on the 52 years’ yield data from 1961 to 2012, the risk consequences from insuring crop yield and revenue against losses are estimated to be far beyond what private insurers could bear on their own. However, reinsurance from the government provides an attractive incentive to insurance firms. Among the six insurance policies researched in this study, the minimum expected net underwriting gains to ...


Three Essays On Crop Yield, Crop Insurance And Climate Change, Lisha Li Jan 2015

Three Essays On Crop Yield, Crop Insurance And Climate Change, Lisha Li

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The main subject of this dissertation includes the study of the impact of weather on crop yields and developing crop revenue insurance product. The dissertation limits its analysis to the state of Iowa because it's a critical corn production area in the United States. Chapter 2 introduced a dynamic linear model to measure weather-adjusted trends in Iowa corn yields. The weather factors consist of the amount of rainfall, temperature and a measurement of soil moisture. Results show a significant improved yield growth in the 1990s, controlling for the impact of weather. Results also indicate that the critical temperature varies ...


Three Essays On Modeling Biofuel Feedstock Supply, Wei Zhou Jan 2015

Three Essays On Modeling Biofuel Feedstock Supply, Wei Zhou

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The general theme of this dissertation is modeling biofuel feedstock supply. All three essays focuses on different topics relating to the theme. The first essay considers supply of corn stover for a commercial production of a cellulosic ethanol plant. The economic trade-offs in determining the plant size under uncertain future corn stover yields and cellulosic ethanol prices are analyzed. We also estimate the impacts on optimal plant sizes under two payment schemes for corn stover procurement: plant pays for transportation cost and farmers pay for the transportation cost. My second essay analyzes the impact of ethanol mandates on corn prices ...


Three Studies On Applying Positive Mathematical Programming And Bayesian Analysis To Model Us Crop Supply, Michael Hudak Jan 2015

Three Studies On Applying Positive Mathematical Programming And Bayesian Analysis To Model Us Crop Supply, Michael Hudak

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this dissertation is to find a practical way of obtaining a reasonable crop supply model for the US using a limited dataset. This model can then be used for forecasting and impact modeling. The method that is central to this model is Positive Mathematical Programming (PMP) that allows for the calibration of a nonlinear programming model to mimic the observations. This method is improved by implementing Bayesian Analysis to allow for the model to consider a distribution for the supply elasticity.

Using this method a national model was formed using only five years of data. While there ...