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A Return of the Threshing Ring? Motivations, Benefits and Challenges of Machinery and Labor Sharing Arrangements

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  • Artz, Georgeanne M.
  • Colson, Gregory J.
  • Ginder, Roger

Abstract

Cooperative approaches provide an alternative for small- and medium-sized producers to obtain the efficiencies of large farming operations and remain competitive in an increasingly concentrated agricultural industry. This article examines the motivation and effectiveness of equipment and labor sharing arrangements in the Midwestern US. Case study evidence shows that in addition to cost savings, access to skilled, seasonal labor is an important motivation for farm-level cooperation. Key factors identified for successful cooperative agreements include compatibility of operations and members' willingness to communicate and adapt. Sharing resources is found to improve farm profitability, efficiency and farmers' quality of life.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 13065.

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Date of creation: 05 May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:13065

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Keywords: machinery sharing; skilled farm labor; productivity; farm-level cooperations;

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  1. Foreman, Linda F., 2006. "Characteristics and Production Costs of U.S. Corn Farms, 2001," Economic Information Bulletin 7205, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  2. Bronwyn H. Hall & Beethika Khan, 2003. "Adoption of New Technology," NBER Working Papers 9730, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Harris, Andrea & Fulton, Murray E., 2000. "Farm Machinery Co-Operatives: An Idea Worth Sharing," Miscellaneous Publications 31762, University of Saskatchewan, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives.
  4. Sunding, David & Zilberman, David, 2001. "The agricultural innovation process: Research and technology adoption in a changing agricultural sector," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 207-261 Elsevier.
  5. McBride, William D., 2003. "Production Costs Critical to Farming Decisions," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September.
  6. Fulton, Murray E. & Harris, Andrea, 2000. "The Cuma Farm Machinery Co-Operatives," Miscellaneous Publications 31774, University of Saskatchewan, Centre for the Study of Co-operatives.
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