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Abstract

Recent investigations have provided mixed assessments of farm firm efficiency. This analysis examined the efficiency of a homogeneous sample of central Illinois grain farms over a six-year period. A best-practice frontier was constructed using the ray-homothetic function, which allowed optimal farm output to vary with factor intensity. Efficiency measures were found to increase with temporal aggregation. The ray-homothetic approach was found to attribute high scale inefficiencies to larger sample farms in cases where the factor shares did not vary appreciably across farms. The findings suggest that policy recommendations regarding farm efficiency must be made with care.

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