PR - RETURNS TO RECORD-KEEPING AND BENCHMARKING FOR CANADIAN COW-CALF PRODUCERS
Farmers and ranchers seek to adopt appropriate management tools and utilize a variety of strategies to reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve overall performance. This paper examines how farm management tools, specifically record keeping and benchmarking, effect production and performance on cow-calf farms in Canada and how market orientation and organizational learning mediate this relationship. 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). Data was collected from a panel of 61 cow-calf producers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Estimations are carried out using Ordinary Least Squares models. The results suggest that the almost all respondents maintain some level of record keeping but a significant number of them did not use benchmarking. In addition, learning oriented producers were most likely to use both record keeping and benchmarking. While we do not examine the impact of record keeping and benchmarking on profitability, our results show that benchmarking leads to greater beef production efficiency.