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Characteristics, Costs, and Issues for Organic Dairy Farming

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  • McBride, William D.
  • Greene, Catherine R.

Abstract

Organic milk production has been one of the fastest growing segments of organic agriculture in the United States in recent years. Despite the growing number of organic dairy operations, the characteristics of organic dairy operations and the relative costs of organic and conventional milk production have been difficult to analyze. This study, using 2005 ARMS data for U.S. dairy operations, which include a targeted sample of organic milk producers, examines the structure, costs, and challenges of organic milk production. The analysis addresses economies of size, regional differences, and pasture use in organic milk production and compares organic and conventional milk production costs. The findings suggest that economic forces have made organic operations more like conventional operations and that the future structure of the industry may depend on the interpretation and implementation of new organic pasture rules.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Research Report with number 55952.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:55952

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Keywords: dairy; organic; milk production; costs of production; pasture; Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS); Agricultural and Food Policy; Crop Production/Industries; Demand and Price Analysis; Production Economics;

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References

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  1. MacDonald, James M. & O'Donoghue, Erik J. & McBride, William D. & Nehring, Richard F. & Sandretto, Carmen L. & Mosheim, Roberto, 2007. "Profits, Costs, and the Changing Structure of Dairy Farming," Economic Research Report 6704, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. Manchester, Alden C. & Blayney, Donald P., 2001. "Milk Pricing In The United States," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33612, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Dimitri, Carolyn & Greene, Catherine R., 2002. "Recent Growth Patterns In The U.S. Organic Foods Market," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33715, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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Cited by:
  1. Aimee N. Hafla & Jennifer W. MacAdam & Kathy J. Soder, 2013. "Sustainability of US Organic Beef and Dairy Production Systems: Soil, Plant and Cattle Interactions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(7), pages 3009-3034, July.
  2. Wolf, Christopher A. & Tonsor, Glynn T. & Olynk, Nicole J., 2011. "Understanding U.S. Consumer Demand for Milk Production Attributes," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 36(2), August.
  3. Delbridge, Timothy A., 2013. "Threshold Effects in Transition to Organic Dairy Production," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150554, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Marasteanu, I. Julia & Jaenicke, Edward C., 2013. "Agglomeration and Spatial Dependence in Certified Organic Operations in the United States," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149551, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  5. Delbridge, Timothy A., 2013. "Threshold Effects in Transition to Organic Dairy Production," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150610, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  6. MacDonald, James M., 2011. "Why Are Farms Getting Larger? The Case Of The U.S," 51st Annual Conference, Halle, Germany, September 28-30, 2011 115361, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).

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