Economic Performance in Alberta Dairy: An Application of the Mimic Model

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  • Dairy production at the farm-level is undergoing a rapid transformation in preparation for more open competition in the future. However, the means by which dairy farms can best improve their economic performance is of some question. Using measures of allocative, technical, and overall efficiency as indicators of a latent \"performance\" variable, this study specifies and estimates a multiple-indicator, multiple-cause (MIMIC) model of Alberta dairy production. Variables thought to \"cause\" performance include herd size, milk yield, breeding and veterinary expense, capital-to-labour ratio, concentrate-to-forage ratio, and operator experience. The results show that gains in performance may be made through increased capital intensity, greater spending on breeding and herd health, and, albeit marginally, through increased milk yields. Despite current trends toward larger dairy herds, this may not be a fruitful avenue for future improvements in dairy efficiency.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International