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The Structure and Profitability of Organic Field Corn Production

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  • McBride, William
  • Greene, Catherine
  • Foreman, Linda

Abstract

Results from long-term experimental trials suggest that similar yields and lower costs are possible from organic compared with conventional field crop production, but there is little information about the relative costs and returns on commercial farms. This study examines the structure and profitability of field corn production using a nationwide survey of corn producers for 2010 that includes a targeted sample of organic growers. Propensity score matching was used to develop a sample of similar conventional and organic farms based on farm and operator characteristics. Treatment-effect models were estimated using the matched sample to isolate the effect of choosing the organic approach on various levels of corn production costs. The procedure accounts for the impact of both observable and unobservable variables on corn production costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. with number 149671.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:149671

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Keywords: organic; production costs; corn; Crop Production/Industries; Farm Management; Production Economics;

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  1. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity score matching methods for non-experimental causal studies," Discussion Papers 0102-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  2. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Delate, K. M. & Duffy, Michael & Chase, Craig A. & Holste, A. & Friedrich, H. & Wantate, N, 2003. "An Economic Comparison of Organic and Conventional Grain Crops in a Long-Term Agroecological Research (Ltar) Site in Iowa," Staff General Research Papers 11818, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Carlos D. Mayen & Joseph V. Balagtas & Corinne E. Alexander, 2010. "Technology Adoption and Technical Efficiency: Organic and Conventional Dairy Farms in the United States," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(1), pages 181-195.
  5. McBride, William D. & Greene, Catherine R., 2008. "The Profitability of Organic Soybean Production," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6449, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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