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Out-sourcing the Dry Season: Cattle Ranchers' Responses to Weather Shocks in the Brazilian Amazon

AAEA member releases new research in AJAE

Ranchers sell animals for fattening (e.g., to confinement operations) when pre-dry season rainfall signals indicate that it will a severe season.  If the pre-dry season temperature is higher than usual, however, they sell more animals for slaughter rather than fattening. 

In the new article “Out-sourcing the dry season: Cattle ranchers’ responses to weather shocks in the Brazilian Amazon” in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Marin Elisabeth Skidmore from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Wisconsin-Madison find out how ranchers anticipate and prepare for an extreme dry season.

Skidmore says, “The fact that ranchers sell animals for slaughter when temperatures are high indicates that the current technology in the region does not protect animals against heat stress.  This suggests that agroforestry or other cooling systems that provide shade would be beneficial in the region.  This will be particularly important as the dry season becomes longer and more severe, as other scientific papers indicate (e.g., Leite-Filho, 2019).  Confinement operations, which decouple food supply from the current local weather, are also likely to be increasingly important in a historically pasture-based region.

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
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(414) 918-3190