Management Systems to Improve the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Dairy Enterprises
News & Information
Boris Bravo-Ureta, Project Director
The dairy industry in New England is characterized by small and medium size operations. According to recent work by the Economic Research Service from the USDA, economies of size is a major feature of prevailing dairy farming technologies across the United States which puts small farms at a cost disadvantage. An implication of this technological feature is a positive association between farm size and profitability. Unfortunately, the data collected and used by the USDA to undertake this cost and profitability work only includes the state of Vermont within the New England region.
Another important topic affecting the sustainability of dairy farms in urbanizing areas is the implementation of nutrient management practices (NMPs) designed to mitigate adverse environmental effects associated with dairy farm manure. Econometric models will be used to quantify the various components that affect output and productivity growth, and the competitiveness of dairy farms in Connecticut and New England.
This type of analysis can have important implications concerning strategies and policy actions that might be needed to promote competitiveness and increased profitability. Econometric models will also be estimated, utilizing detailed data available for a few Connecticut dairy farms, at the individual field level and over a period of four to five years, to analyze the variables that affect a farmer's choice when implementing nutrient management plans. The results of these analyses will be helpful in formulating policy options designed to promote the adoption of NMPs which are consistent with farmer behavior and environmental quality.
This summary of the Management Systems to Improve the Economic and Environmental Sustainability of Dairy Enterprises was written by Boris Bravo-Ureta.