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The Structure and Profitability of Organic Field Corn Production


  • McBride, William D.
  • Greene, Catherine
  • Foreman, Linda


Results from long-term experimental trials suggest that similar yields and lower costs are possible from organic compared with conventional field crop production, but there is little information about the relative costs and returns on commercial farms. This study examines the structure and profitability of field corn production using a nationwide survey of corn producers for 2010 that includes a targeted sample of organic growers. Propensity score matching was used to develop a sample of similar conventional and organic farms based on farm and operator characteristics. Treatment-effect models were estimated using the matched sample to isolate the effect of choosing the organic approach on various levels of corn production costs. The procedure accounts for the impact of both observable and unobservable variables on corn production costs.

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  • McBride, William D. & Greene, Catherine & Foreman, Linda, 2013. "The Structure and Profitability of Organic Field Corn Production," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 149671, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:149671

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    1. McBride, William D. & Greene, Catherine R., 2008. "The Profitability of Organic Soybean Production," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6449, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
    3. Carlos D. Mayen & Joseph V. Balagtas & Corinne E. Alexander, 2010. "Technology Adoption and Technical Efficiency: Organic and Conventional Dairy Farms in the United States," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(1), pages 181-195.
    4. Delate, K. M. & Duffy, Michael & Chase, Craig A. & Holste, A. & Friedrich, H. & Wantate, N, 2003. "An Economic Comparison of Organic and Conventional Grain Crops in a Long-Term Agroecological Research (Ltar) Site in Iowa," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11818, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
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    organic; production costs; corn; Crop Production/Industries; Farm Management; Production Economics;

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