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Vertical Economies of Scope in Dairy Farming


  • Mayen Carlos D

    (New Mexico State University)

  • Balagtas Joseph V.

    (Purdue University)

  • Alexander Corinne E.

    (Purdue University)


With the exception of Azzam and Skinner (2007), the economic literature on farm structure has largely neglected issues of vertical organization of the farm. In this article we estimate a multi-stage, multi-output cost function in order to measure vertical economies of scope in organic and conventional dairy farms. In particular, we model the integration of production of grains and forages on dairy farms. We find negligible vertical economies of scope for conventional dairy farms but significant vertical economies of scope in organic dairy production. The large vertical economies of scope for organic dairy farms are consistent with higher costs of obtaining organic feed through market transactions associated with an underdeveloped market for organic feeds.

Suggested Citation

  • Mayen Carlos D & Balagtas Joseph V. & Alexander Corinne E., 2009. "Vertical Economies of Scope in Dairy Farming," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-17, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:7:y:2009:i:1:n:8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Xiaodong Du & David A. Hennessy & William M. Edwards, 2007. "Determinants of Iowa Cropland Cash Rental Rates: Testing Ricardian Rent Theory," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 07-wp454, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    2. Sergio H. Lence & Ashok K. Mishra, 2003. "The Impacts of Different Farm Programs on Cash Rents," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 753-761.
    3. Yoder, Jonathan & Hossain, Ishrat & Epplin, Francis & Doye, Damona, 2008. "Contract duration and the division of labor in agricultural land leases," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 714-733, March.
    4. Lyubov A. Kurkalova & Christopher Burkart & Silvia Secchi, 2004. "Cropland Cash Rental Rates in the Upper Mississippi River Basin," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 04-tr47, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nehring, Richard F. & Gillespie, Jeffrey M. & Hallahan, Charles B. & Sauer, Johannes, 2012. "Economic Efficiency of U.S. Organic Versus Conventional Dairy Farms: Evidence from 2005 and 2010," 2012 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2012, Birmingham, Alabama 119769, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Nehring, Richard & Gillespie, Jeffrey & Hallahan, Charles & Sauer, Johannes, 2015. "The Economics and Productivity of Organic versus Non-organic U.S. Dairy Farms," 2015 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia 196805, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    3. Tsakiridis, Andreas & Hanrahan, Kevin & Breen, James & Wallace, Michael & O’Donoghuea, Cathal, 2016. "Feed substitution and economies of scale in Irish beef production systems," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 244769, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Lakner, Sebastian & Breustedt, Gunnar, 2015. "Efficiency analysis of organic farming systems- a review of methods, topics, results, and conclusions," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212025, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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