Archive – 2023

GPS Units -- Wolf-Livestock Research Series

Wolf-Livestock Interaction Research Study

One of the objectives of the wolf-livestock interaction study is to quantify the influence of wolf presence on cattle performance and grazing behavior across herds of cattle grazing on rangelands. In order to accomplish this, cattle will be randomly selected from wolf-affected and control herds to be fitted with a GPS collar that will track their movement during the summer grazing season. In this post, we discuss the GPS units we chose for this project as well as the configuration changes that were required in order to extend battery life in order to capture data for the duration of the …

Wolf - Livestock Interactions in California -- New Research

Wolf-Livestock Interaction Research Study

State legislators have established a pilot Wolf Conflict Program (WCP) with an initial $3 million allocation in the 2021/22 California State Budget to provide compensation to livestock producers for wolf depredation events and losses in productivity due to wolf presence. Clear research needs have arisen as a stakeholder working group has attempted to make the WCP science-based, efficient, and transparent. We will tackle these questions as part of our recently funded research projects.

Livestock Guardian Dogs for Predator Control: Do the Benefits Outweigh the Costs?

Predators are a major economic threat to sheep production operations in the U.S. Non-lethal depredation tools are often used to mitigate these pressures. Livestock guardian dogs are one of the most popular non-lethal tools employed by sheep operations. However, there has been little research on whether or not these "tools" are worth their cost. In this blog post, I summarize some research conducted using data from California to answer this question. 

How Meatpacker Procurement Policies Impact Producers in the Beef Supply Chain


In late 2016, Tyson Foods, Inc. announced that it would no longer purchase Holstein cattle at its Joslin, IL harvest facility. This alteration to Tyson’s procurement policy provides a unique opportunity to estimate how producers in the beef supply chain were affected. Results from this study, orginally published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, indicate that Tyson’s decision resulted in a 5.5% reduction in live Holstein prices and a 3.5% reduction in dressed prices. Price impacts were more significant for Holstein feeder cattlel; prices for feeder cattle were reduced by 22% immediately after the decision and eventually stabilized 4.8% …