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Much of the increase use of vertical coordination in the U.S. swine industry has taken place through contract production. While the incidence of contracting is much higher in nontraditional hog production areas, a growing number of Midwestern producers are being faced with contract options. A variety of contractual arrangements are available through feed companies, integrators, genetics firms, and packers. However, little is known about the profitability and risk characteristics of these alternatives. This research suggests that risk neutral producers in the Midwest would prefer independent production, and risk averse producers would prefer to choose among the various types of coordination arrangements.


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