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Abstract

Parametric linear programming is used to determine the effect of various rice prices combined with the relaxation of acreage controls on the economic viability of the rice enterprise on farms in the irrigation areas of southwestern New South Wales. The relative effects of alternative rice marketing and production policies on the distribution of net incomes among farm size groups is also examined. On 300, 500, and 1,000 acre farms it was found that the price of rice could fall to $25 per long paddy ton before rice is deleted from optimum programmes. Farms in excess of about 400 acres would have had higher percentage net returns to capital and management if acreage controls were eliminated and rice was priced at "free" market levels in the period 1964-68 when rice prices were favourable. Smaller farms would have been better off under the then existing production and marketing arrangements. In periods of depressed world and pool rice prices such as from 1968-71, all farms up to approximately 1,000 acres would have had larger percentage net returns with acreage controls and a pooling of domestic and export prices.

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