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Abstract

The competitiveness and productivity of Irish agriculture has been at the forefront of debate in recent times given successive and impending changes to agricultural policy. This paper examines the trend in total factor productivity in Irish agriculture over the recent past and explores the effects of specific variables on relative efficiency levels. The findings of this research have shown that productivity growth was highest in the Cattle Rearing sector followed by the Dairy, Cattle Finishing, Sheep and Cereals sectors during the period 1996 to 2006. The research has also shown that efficiency levels are, in general, positively correlated with extension use soil quality, the overall size of the farm, the level of intensification and the level of specialisation. The use of artificial insemination was also positively correlated with efficiency in the Dairy sector

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