In 1962-63 a survey was conducted of forty-three dairy farmers in the Nambrok-Denison area of the Central Gippsland Irrigation District, near Maffra, in Victoria. One of the main purposes of the survey was to obtain estimates of resource productivities, using the Cobb-Douglas production function approach. This approach, to be successful, requires (inter alia) a high degree of uniformity between farms as regards soil, climate, stage of development and technical efficiency in management. A detailed soil survey of the area was available, and all eligible farms on a group of closely similar soil types were included in the sample. The restricted area ensured uniformity of climate (23" rainfall) and the fact that the farms were part of a Soldier Settlement Commission development, commenced in 1951, suggested that there would be less variance in stage of development and technical efficiency than is encountered in most farm surveys (assuming the Commission's selection procedures have some efficacy).


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