Climate Change and Productivity of Northeastern Dairy Farms

WashU affiliated authors: Hyun Soo Suh (Dept. of Economics)

Abstract: This article examines the impact of extreme weather on dairy farm productivity in the northeastern U.S., accounting for the effects of extreme temperatures on dairy cow productivity and on feed production—the predominant feeding system in the region. Using a stochastic frontier production model and 2010–20 dairy farm-level data, we find that although heat stress impacts cow productivity negatively, it increases feed production. No discernable impacts of extreme cold temperatures were found. Additional results indicate the presence of significant labor-augmenting productivity and that larger farms experience larger productivity growth thanks to increasing returns to scale and allocative efficiency.

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