The Potential Effects of Climate Change on the Productivity of U.S. Dairies
Climate change could affect the costs and returns of livestock production by altering the thermal environment of animals thereby affecting animal health, reproduction, and the efficiency by which livestock convert feed into retained products (especially meat and milk). In the United States, concentrated livestock operations are located in a variety of climatic regions, suggesting that the industry could adapt to future changes in temperature and weather patterns resulting from global warming. However, this adaption could be costly. We use nationally representative data on dairy producers coupled with finely-scaled climate data to empirically examine how producers’ costs, returns, and production systems vary across U.S. regions as a function of the local climate.
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