Proceedings

PR – Comparisons Between Organic And Conventional Dairy Systems: Cost Of Production And Profitability

Organic milk production in New Zealand has expanded in recent years in response to increasing global demand for organic product. Most comparisons between organic and conventional dairying available in the literature are from Europe or North America where the conventional systems are more intensive than conventional systems in New Zealand. This paper compares the cost of production and profitability of certified organic and conventional dairy farming over five years of a Massey University system comparison trial. The difference between these pastoral farming systems was predicted to be less than that noted in the more intensive EU and the US dairy farming systems as fewer changes are required to achieve organic certification. However the results highlight the vulnerability of both pastoral systems to climatic variability and identify the additional risks of organic dairy systems.

Keywords: organic, pastoral dairy farming, system comparison, long-term studies, profitability, cost of production

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Author(s): Harrington, K., Horne, D., Kelly, T., Kemp, P., Palmer, A., Shadbolt, N.M., Thatcher, A.

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Organizations(s): Massey University