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Jenna Hammond

Calculus 2
Fall 2013

Question The goal of selling the pig is to maximize the profit of the pig. The
question is asking when is the best day to sell the pig so that Farmer Brown will gain
the most profit.

Variables in the problem
T = time in days
W = weight in pounds
P = price in dollars per pound
C = cost of keeping pig for t days in dollars
Pr = profit from selling pig in dollars

The profit would be the revenue minus the cost of the pig
R(t) = revenue after time t
C(t) = cost after time t
Pr(t) = profit after time t

Pr(t) = R(t) C(t)

Reveune from the pig is the weight on day t * market value on day t
If the pig gains 5 pounds per day and starts with a weight of 200 pounds this can be
written as (200 + 5t). If the market value starts at 65 cents per pound and decreases
by 1 cent per day, this can be written as ( 0.65 0.01t )

The cost to keep the pig per day is 45 cents. ( -.45t )

Combning this information we get the new function;

Pr(t) = (200 + 5t) * (0.65 0.01t) 0.45t

After you get the function, you can graph it using a graphing calculator and find the
maximum value of the function. The function is a quadratic, so it is a parabola and
will only have one maximum value. From the graph we get that the maximum value
of t = 8.

Therefore, the best day to sell the pig would be on the 8
th
day to get the maximum
amount of profit of $133.2 by plugging 8 in for t in the function.

Follow Up Question

If the estimated market value is different, you would simply need to change the
value in the function to match the given value and follow the same process. For the
values given;

Daily change in price/lbs Optimal # of days to sell Profit
$0.008 15 $139
$0.009 11 $135.55
$0.01 8 $133.2
$0.011 5 $113.92
$0.012 3 $130.66

Additional Questions
1) If the estimate for the daily change in price per pound is off from $0.01 by
$0.02 then the profit the farmer could gain could vary by a small dollar
amount in the positive or negative direction. If the price/lb is less that the
estimate she could actually make more money but wait longer, if the price/lb
is more than the estimate she would make less but also wait less time
2) The farmer did make other significant assumptions. She assumed the pig
would gain a constant 5 pounds every day. In reality the weight gain could
vary from day to day.
She also assumed the cost per day to keep the pig would stay constant, but if
the pig constantly gains weight the cost to keep and feed it would increase as
the weight increases.