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Abstract

The objective of this study was to provide empirical insight into dairy farmers' goals, relative risk attitude, sources of risk and risk management responses. The study also examines whether organic dairy farming, leads to important risk sources not experienced in conventional farming and, if so, how those extra risks is managed. The data originate from a questionnaire survey of conventional (n=370) and organic (n=160) dairy farmers in Norway. The results show that organic farmers have somewhat different goals than conventional farmers, and that the average organic farmer is less risk averse. Institutional risk was perceived as the most important source of risk, independently of conventional or organic production system, while organic farmers indicated greater concern about forage yield risk. Keeping cash on hand was the most important strategy to manage risk for all dairy farmers. Diversification and different kinds of flexibility was regarded as a more important risk management strategies among organic than conventional farmers.

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