Examining Record Keeping and Benchmarking Effects on the Production and Performance of Cow-calf Farms in Canada
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Farmers and ranchers seek to adopt appropriate management practices tools and utilize a variety of strategies to reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve overall performance. This thesis was conducted to examine how appropriate management tools, specifically record keeping and benchmarking, affect production and performance on cow-calf farms in the Canadian Prairies and how market orientation and organizational learning mediate this relationship. Concurrently, this thesis looks at opportunity discovery within cow-calf operations, and what producers are doing to become more profitable. A theoretical framework was developed around managerial factors (market orientation and learning orientation), strategic factors (efficiency and product differentiation), and management tools (record keeping and benchmarking). Several hypotheses were built to examine the impact of these factors on beef production in the Canadian cow-calf industry. This thesis sheds more light on why record keeping and benchmarking are important for producers, what kind of factors influence cow-calf producers to use these management tools, and how managerial, structural factors, and management tools affect beef production efficiency and overall performance. Data was collected from mail and internet surveys of 110 cow-calf producers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Estimations are carried out using Binary Logit and Ordinary Least Squares models. Specifically, a Binary Logit model was used to examine the factors affecting the use of record keeping and benchmarking, and an Ordinary Least Squares model was applied to examine how managerial and structural factors, in addition to market orientation and learning orientation, affect production efficiency. The results suggest that almost all cow-calf producers have some level of record keeping but a significant number of them did not use benchmarking (comparisons with others). In addition, learning oriented producers were most likely to use both record keeping and benchmarking. Furthermore, benchmarking was also found to lead to greater beef production efficiency.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentBioresource Policy, Business and Economics
Copyright DateFebruary 2016
Cow-calf industry, Record keeping, Benchmarking