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Performance Benchmarking for Ontario Dairy Farms: Shaping the Future through Understanding the Present

The dairy industry has made significant contributions to the Canadian economy. The Department of Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (FARE), in collaboration with the School of Computer Science, is developing a performance benchmarking application for dairy farmers to input data and be given performance results compared to their peers in their geographical area. Benchmark results will help dairy farmers understand their operations’ performance, and set performance goals to remain competitive and viable. The benchmarking application will have two interfaces– a website, and an application for mobile devices. Farmers will submit their farms’ information into the application, and it will return benchmarking results along with data displayed in graphs, tables etc. Users can also register an account to save their benchmarking results online for later viewing. Developing and using the benchmarking model will benefit the farmers by improving their understanding of their relative performance, and assist them in finding ways to close performance gaps through improvements in size, technology adoption, and capital structure. Funding for this project is, in part, provided by the Institute for the Advanced Study of Food and Agricultural Policy. The data for building the initial model will be provided by Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO).

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