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Abstract

U.S. dairy operations are sorted via a multinomial logit model into three production systems - pasture-based, semi-pasture-based, and conventional. Region, farm size, financial situation, and production intensity measures impact system choice. Analysis follows to determine the impact of production system on enterprise profitability. Region, farm size, and demographic variables impact profitability, as does system choice - semi-pasture-based operations were less profitable than conventional operations on an enterprise, per hundredweight of milk produced basis. Significant differences were not found in the profitability of pasture-based operations versus those using other systems.

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