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Abstract

Agricultural cooperatives, like other cooperative firms, face a wide array of choices in how they distribute and retain profits. These choices impact the cooperative’s solvency, liquidity, and cash flow as well as each member’s cash flow and realized return from the cooperative. Taxation at both the firm and the patron level further complicates the picture. In recent years the availability of the Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD) has impacted the profit distribution of many agricultural cooperatives (Barton, 2011). While cooperative CEOs and boards of directors appear to be astute in analyzing the tax and cash flow implications of profit distribution alternatives, it is not clear whether they understand the impacts on the members’ return from the cooperative. This paper explicitly examines that question using financial data from 10 case study grain and farm supply cooperatives in Oklahoma

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