Determining the optimal selling time of cattle: a stochastic dynamic programming approach

Susana Mejia, Andrés Ramírez Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The world meat market demands competitiveness, and optimal livestock replacement decisions can help to achieve this goal. In the article, there is introduced a novel discrete stochastic dynamic programming framework to support a manager’s decision-making process of whether to sell or to keep fattening animals in the beef sector. In particular, the presented proposal uses a non-convex value function, combining both economic and biological variables, and involving uncertainty with regard to price fluctuations. The methodology is very general, so the practitioners can apply it in different regions around the world. There is illustrated the model convenience with an empirical application, finding that the methodology generates better results than actions based on the empirical experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-527
Number of pages11
JournalAgricultural Economics (AGRICECON)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision analysis
  • Farm management
  • Simulation

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