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By Oliver W Castalonge

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Extra info for Agricultural systems : economics, technology and diversity

Sample text

Because the data panel from Statistics Sweden ended in 2002, pooling it with the data from the questionnaire collected in the beginning of 2005 obviously implies that data from different years are pooled. If some farmers have made large changes to their dairy farms, such as investing in new barns or milking systems after 2002, this is reflected in the questionnaire but not in the accounting data from Statistics Sweden and this can influence the results. If flaws like this have affected the data, they are more likely to affect variables describing investments in fixed assets at the farm than values and management routines, which are more likely to be stable over time.

Based on experience gained from the work with this research project, I think that the optimal way to collect data for such a study would be by telephone interviews. Ideally, a battery of questions would be constructed and sent to the farmers well in advance of the telephone interview, so that they can prepare answers to the questions. With this approach, difficult questions can then be explained directly, and all questions are likely to be answered. However, this approach would be very time consuming and thus expensive both for the researcher and the farmers.

Economic output efficiency is calculated by first solving the following linear program: max  , y* pi ' y i* i subject to  y i  Y  0 * xi  X  0 N1'   1 0 (9) Equation 9 calculates the maximal revenue that the farm can receive if outputs are combined in their optimal way. Economic output efficiency, EOi for the ith farm, is then solved by the following equation: EOi  pi ' y i pi ' y i* (10) where the actual revenue is compared to the maximal revenue that would be obtained if inpts were combined in the optimal way.

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