Thoughts about the cactus project

Thoughts about the cactus project

Emily Cudhea-Pierce

I haven't had much to photograph the last few days of this project. Since I decided, much more logically, to use cactus to feed cattle, there wasn't much to physically do. I have been doing a lot of research and economic modeling. It hasn't been the most entertaining but I have become more organized with my arguments and I feel much more knowledgeable about what I'm talking about. The VENSIM modeling has been a struggle for me. my model went from being fairly straightforward to being pretty complex, with a LOT of help from Ammar. I was able to help a bit, but I don't know what I'm doing on the program enough to be helpful. I tried to add the weather as a variable and now the model won't work at all. Whoops! It worked long enough before the attempt to add the weather for us to get sufficient data. The model was very helpful. It told us that you would have to produce 68 million pounds of cactus in order to be profitable.

The idea is possibly economically feasible. It is also difficult to predict the price of cactus, as not many places produce cactus in such quantity. However, as time goes by, the price of corn goes up as there becomes less and less available. Likewise, if a trend in favor of cactus continues, the price of cactus would go down as it becomes more plentiful.

I never ended up figuring out exactly how long it takes cactus to grow. I would have guessed that it would take a very long time for the cactus to grow, but the information I did find said that 60,000 lbs of cactus could be grown per acre annually. Therefore I would guess it takes around a year for cactus to grow.

The cooking really did not go well... I'm glad I didn't continue with that part of the project. I'm not sure how to incorporate that into the presentation.  I'll go do some more work on the presentation.