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Rainfall and Farm Efficiency Measurement for Broadacre Agriculture in South-Western Australia


  • Henderson, Benjamin B.
  • Kingwell, Ross S.


Few studies of farm technical efficiency consider differences in the physical environments of the farms. This study examines rain-fed broadacre agriculture and shows how neglect of rainfall differences between farms affects measures of farm technical efficiency (TE). Applying data envelopment analysis (DEA) to a sample of broadacre farms, TE measures unconfounded by rainfall variation are generated by specifying rainfall as a non-discretionary production input in an input-orientated DEA model. These unconfounded TE measures are compared to other TE measures generated by a conventional DEA model that does not explicitly include rainfall. The conventional DEA model reports lower levels of technical efficiency suggesting that measurement of TE should, where possible, include environmental effects, such as rainfall. Care is needed in using TE findings for farm management purposes.

Suggested Citation

  • Henderson, Benjamin B. & Kingwell, Ross S., 2005. "Rainfall and Farm Efficiency Measurement for Broadacre Agriculture in South-Western Australia," Australasian Agribusiness Review, University of Melbourne, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, vol. 13.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:auagre:126550

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. C. J. O'Donnell & W. E. Griffiths, 2006. "Estimating State-Contingent Production Frontiers," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(1), pages 249-266.
    2. Isabelle Piot-Lepetit & Dominique Vermersch & Robert Weaver, 1997. "Agriculture's environmental externalities: DEA evidence for French agriculture," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(3), pages 331-338.
    3. Fraser, I. & Cordina, D., 1999. "An application of data envelopment analysis to irrigated dairy farms in Northern Victoria, Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 267-282, March.
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