What Could a Farmer or Rancher Do with a 1.4 Billion PowerBall Win?


What could you buy in agriculture with $1.4 billion?

With the Powerball at world-record lottery levels, it has farmers and ranchers dreaming big. After all, there are endless possibilities as to what someone could do with $1.4 billion.

It got us thinking: “What could farmers and ranchers actually buy with that kind of money?”

We’ve gathered up our nine ideas as to what producers could buy. Since the majority of lottery winners take the cash prize, we’ve calculated the values at the $868 million cash-out value.

1.  Save the Greater Sage Grouse?

Nope.  Sorry.  Not even 1.4 Billion is enough to cover just what the government thinks it's going to need to save that bird.  A a well-regarded study claims that if the sage grouse had been declared an endangered specie, it would have cost the U.S. more than $5.6 billion in annual economic output. Wyoming alone is claiming that the conservation regulations put in place that prevented the greater sage grouse from being listed as endangered “will cost the state $1 billion in total economic impact, including thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in lost revenue to state and local governments.”  

2.  What about wolves? or Livestock predation costs?

The WS predation management program provides a significant benefit to livestock producers and the public. In an analysis of 1998 (NASS) data, Bodenchuk, Mason, and Pitt found that for every dollar spent for predation management, $3 worth of livestock were saved. The full impact of a $20 million investment in predation management ($9 million in federal funds and $11 million in cooperative funds) was a $250 million net increase in economic activity. Using today's livestock values, the cost:benefit ratio would be much greater. For every federal dollar spent on predation management $10.88 in livestock is saved. Counting cooperative dollars, the cost:benefit ratio is $1:$4.87.

Livestock protection activities to reduce predation from coyotes have cost:benefit ratios ranging from 1:3 to 1:27.

Wyoming's predator management program relating to livestock is cost effective, according to an analysis by the University of Wyoming's College of Agriculture. For each dollar spent in Wyoming on predation management, the benefit to livestock producers is $1.60 to $2.30.

Over at Agweb.com, they've got a few more ideas…

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