Economic Assessment of the Productive Parameters in Meat Sheep Production Using Discrete Event and Agent-Based Simulation

Thayla Sara Soares Stivari Reijers, Gustavo Lineu Sartorello, Oscar Alejandro Ojeda-Rojas, Camila Raineri, Marcos Nogueira, Rodolfo Silva, Thiago Barros Brito, Alda Lúcia Gomes Monteiro, Augusto Hauber Gameiro


A hybrid stochastic model was developed including discrete events and agent-based simulations in order to identify the productive parameters and management criteria that most affect meat sheep production. A sheep herd on a pasture termination system, without weaning and with natural mating, was outlined. In order to devise this herd, a pre-existing database from between 1999 and 2013 was used. This conceptual model included the flushing, mating, gestation, lactation, termination and maintenance phases. Health, feeding and management criteria were also considered and recommended. Simulation scenarios were built which were later evaluated by regression analysis. The net operational margin was between R$ 11 741.80 and R$ 21 389.80, and an average of R$ 14 412.14 ± R$ 3 873.02 for different scenarios. Food costs had the greatest impact (25.4%) in relation to operating costs, while health costs were the lowest (1.3%). The abortion rate showed a higher linear response in contrast to the birth rate and the net operating margin, upon analysing ewe productivity parameters. However, neonatal mortality showed the greatest impact on net profit and on general lamb mortality. Carrying out economic analyses within the livestock sector can make a difference within such a competitive market, where prices are not controlled, only costs. The use of discrete event and agent-based simulation methodologies allowed for the assessment of different approaches to sheep production. The present study demonstrated the tool’s potential within the scope of meat sheep production, but this model can act as a guideline for other animal production systems.

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Journal of Agricultural Studies   ISSN 2166-0379

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