This paper analyzes technical efficiency and productivity growth of dairy farms in southern Germany. We compare the performance of farms operating on permanent grassland and conventional farms using fodder crops from arable land. Using a latent class stochastic frontier model, intensive and extensive production systems are identified for both types of farms. We estimate stochastic output distance functions to represent the production technology. TFP change is calculated and decomposed using a generalized Malmquist productivity index. Our results show that grassland farms can in general keep up with conventional farms. The productivity on intensive (extensive) grassland dairy farms grew by 1.15% (0.93%) per year, compared to 1.19% (intensive) and 1.0% (extensive) on conventional farms.


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