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The extent of forage purchasing behavior in milk production and its impact on profitability are analyzed using data from the 2000 and 2005 dairy versions of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey. Forage outsourcing is more common with hay than with silage and haylage, and is more prevalent in the western United States. Though silage and haylage outsourcing is found to impact profitability, the major profitability drivers appear to be farm size and efficiency. Evidence of significant forage contracting is found in the western United States.


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