Economic Evaluation of Beef Cattle Production Models and Marketing Alternatives in Hawaii

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2021: $51,386.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2022
Host Institution Award ID: G375-21-W8616
Grant Recipient: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Mark Thorne
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Dr. Dillon Feuz
Utah State University

Information Products


  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: grazing management
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, business planning, market study, risk management
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    This project will engage in economic research to evaluate alternative beef cattle production models and marketing options for Hawaii. The primary goal of this research will be to develop decision support tools that will allow Hawaii beef producers to objectively evaluate production costs across different production models, potential profit margins for different marketing alternatives, and assess and manage production and market-related risk factors. The project will utilize data compiled from University of Hawaii-Manoa studies into grass-finish beef carcass quality (Kim et al. 2015) and pasture management (Fukumoto et al. 2015, Oshiro and Thorne 2018, Thorne et al. 2016, Thorne et al. 2015) to derive different potential production model choices along with data collected from cooperating producers through surveys and interviews to determine production costs. These data will be formulated into decision support tools that will help producers navigate the transition to the best beef production option for them. Technical guides and extension factsheets will be drafted to support the project findings and disseminated to key audiences including beef cattle producers, land managers, and policy makers.  A series of workshops in each of three counties will engage Hawaii Beef Cattle Producers with curricula designed to increase knowledge on determining production costs, risk management, and marketing decisions. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Research Objectives

    1. Evaluate the production costs and associated risks for different beef cattle production and marketing models currently used in Hawaii.
    2. Evaluate the costs and benefits and associated risks of transitioning from a current production and marketing model to a grass-finish, local market model.
    3. Develop decision support tools to allow beef cattle producers to systematically evaluate the costs and risks associated with transitioning between different production systems and marketing alternatives.

    Educational Objectives

    1. Conduct two educational workshops each for Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai counties to a) help producers understand grazing management strategies, cost of production, and marketing risk factors; and b) introduce and instruct beef cattle producers on the use of the web-based decision tools developed.
    2. Provided presentation and training on the use of the decision support tools at the UH Livestock Extension Annual Field Day Program (fall 2021 and 2022) and a seminar for UH-Manoa Faculty.
    3. Produce relevant technical guides and extension factsheets on the use of the decision support tools, assessment of production costs, marketing alternatives, risk management, and grass-finish beef production for Hawaii.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.