Changes on 112 New York Dairy Farms From 1974 Through 1983

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The purpose of this report is to examine the changes on 112 New York dairy farms during the period from 1974 through 1983, and compare those farms with dairy farm business summary and Census of Agriculture farms during the same period. Tracking the identical 112 farms over a ten year period enabled an analysis of changes which would not have been possible by comparing annual business summaries over those ten years, since the summaries do not necessarily contain the same farms each year. 1 All dollar values are adjusted to 1983 values so that inflationary changes are eliminated in the comparisons. Thus, dollar changes are real rather then mere inflationary changes. Farm business management projects in New York are sponsored jointly by the New York State College of Agriculture and Life sciences at Cornell University, and County Cooperative Extension offices. Extension agents and farm management specialists enroll dairy farmer-cooperators and collect their business records annually. Information collected includes a fully itemized income statement and balance sheet, as well as numerous business factors and production information useful in studies of dairy farming. These records provide the basis for extension education programs and data for applied research such as the present study,2 During the ten year period from 1974 to 1983, an average of 579 farm business records have been included in each annual "Dairy Farm Management Business Summary" (DFBS) (Bratton, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979
Smith, 1980, 1981, 1982
Smith and Putnam, 1983 and 1984). Because participation is voluntary, new cooperators are enrolled every year while some former cooperators drop out. Hence, the number of different farms that have been DFBS participants over the years is significantly greater than the yearly average. There are, however, a number of farmers who participate quite consistently. DFBS data from the most recent ten-year period available contain a panel of 112 farms that have participated each and every year from 1974 to 1983. It is this group of farms which will be examined in this study, and compared to the average DFBS farm and to averages from the Census of Agriculture data for New York and the United states.
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A.E. Ext. 85-19
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Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University
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