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Dairy productivity and climatic conditions: econometric evidence from South-eastern United States


  • Deep Mukherjee
  • Boris E. Bravo-Ureta
  • Albert De Vries


Climate change and food security have become critical issues in the agricultural policy agenda. Although global warming is expected to increase both the frequency and severity of heat stress on dairy cattle, there are very few economic studies focusing on this issue. This paper contributes to the literature by integrating the frontier methodology, commonly used in applied production economics, with heat stress indexes used by animal scientists but largely ignored by economists. Our econometric models are useful to quantify gross benefits expected from adaptation to climatic conditions represented by the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) and alternatively by the Equivalent Temperature Index (ETI). Stochastic production frontier analysis is used to measure technical efficiency for an unbalanced panel of 103 dairy farms located in Florida and Georgia. Five alternative model specifications are evaluated. The results reveal that both THI and ETI have a significant nonlinear negative effect on milk production. The climatic indexes when incorporated in the frontier specification absorb some of the output shortfall that otherwise would be attributable to inefficiency. The results indicate that using fans combined with sprinklers is an effective adaptation to offset output losses stemming from heat stress conditions.
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Suggested Citation

  • Deep Mukherjee & Boris E. Bravo-Ureta & Albert De Vries, 2013. "Dairy productivity and climatic conditions: econometric evidence from South-eastern United States," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 57(1), pages 123-140, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajarec:v:57:y:2013:i:1:p:123-140
    DOI: 10.1111/ajar.2013.57.issue-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William Greene, 2010. "A stochastic frontier model with correction for sample selection," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 15-24, August.
    2. Darwin, Roy, 2001. "Climate Change and Food Security," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33645, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Barrios, Salvador & Ouattara, Bazoumana & Strobl, Eric, 2008. "The impact of climatic change on agricultural production: Is it different for Africa?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 287-298, August.
    4. Boris Bravo-Ureta & William Greene & Daniel Solís, 2012. "Technical efficiency analysis correcting for biases from observed and unobserved variables: an application to a natural resource management project," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 55-72, August.
    5. Nazmi Demir & Syed F. Mahmud, 2002. "Agro-Climatic Conditions and Regional Technical Inefficiencies in Agriculture," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 50(3), pages 269-280, November.
    6. Daniel A. Summer & Christopher A. Wolf, 2002. "Diversification, Vertical Integration, and the Regional Pattern of Dairy Farm Size," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 24(2), pages 442-457.
    7. repec:zwi:journl:v:43:y:2012:i:1:p:55-72 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Key, Nigel D. & Sneeringer, Stacy & Marquardt, David, 2014. "Climate Change, Heat Stress, and U.S. Dairy Production," Economic Research Report 186731, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Lachaud, Michee & Bravo-Ureta, Boris & Ludena, Carlos, 2015. "Agricultural Productivity Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC): An analysis of Climatic Effects, Convergence, and Catch-up," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211721, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Qi, Lingqiao & Bravo-Ureta, Boris E. & Cabrera, Victor E., 2014. "From Cold To Hot: A Preliminary Analysis Of Climatic Effects On The Productivity Of Wisconsin Dairy Farms," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 172411, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Gabriela Pérez Quesada, 2017. "Technical efficiency of dairy farms in Uruguay: a stochastic production frontier analysis," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0517, Department of Economics - dECON.
    5. Njuki, Eric & Bravo-Ureta, Boris, 2014. "A Bayesian Approach to Analyzing the Economic Costs of Environmental Regulation in U.S. Dairy Farming," Working Papers 33, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    6. Roibás, David & Wall, Alan & Pérez, José A., 2014. "The influence of meteorological conditions on dairy production," Efficiency Series Papers 2014/02, University of Oviedo, Department of Economics, Oviedo Efficiency Group (OEG).
    7. Lachaud, Michee Arnold & Bravo-Ureta, Boris E. & Ludena, Carlos E., 2015. "Agricultural productivity growth in Latin America and the Caribbean and other world regions: An analysis of climatic effects, convergence and catch-up," Working Papers 40, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.

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