Optimising an integrated crop-livestock farm using risk programming

  • SE Visagie Department of Logistics, Stellenbosch University
  • HC de Kock Department of Logistics, Stellenbosch University
  • AH Ghebretsadik Department of Logistics, Stellenbosch University


Numerous studies have analysed farm planning decisions focusing on producer risk preferences. Few studies have focussed on the farm planning decisions in an integrated croplivestock farm context. Income variability and means of managing risk continues to receive much attention in farm planning research. Different risk programming models have attempted to focus on minimising the income variability of farm activities. This study attempts to identify the optimal mix of crops and the number of animals the farm needs to keep in the presence of crop production risk for a range of risk levels. A mixed integer linear programming model was developed to model the decision environment faced by an integrated crop-livestock farmer. The deviation of income from the expected value was used as a measure of risk. A case study is presented with representative data from a farm in the Swartland area. An investigation of the results of the model under different constraints shows that, in general, strategies that depend on crop rotation principles are preferred to strategies that follow mono-crop production practices.


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