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Abstract

A stochastic distance function frontier was estimated using data from a national survey of organic farmers to evaluate the effect of farm-specific attributes on efficiency. Farm-specific and regional variables that shift efficiency were incorporated into the multioutput distance function, including organic farming experience, use of soil-improving inputs, and farmer involvement in research. Participation in research projects reduces the level of on-farm technical inefficiency with mean technical efficiency of participating farmers 25 percent higher than nonparticipating farmers. The results suggest that differences in productivity across organic farmers are closely linked to input use and observable management decisions.

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