Analysis of the determinant factors affecting changes from dairy to cattle production in the Cantabrian Coast: Empirical analysis for an inland area of Galicia.

  • Alfonso Ribas Álvarez Dep. de Economía Aplicada. U. de Santiago de Compostela
  • Edelmiro López Iglesias Dep. de Economía Aplicada. U. de Santiago de Compostela
  • María Loureiro Ramón y Cajal IDEGA. U. de Santiago de Compostela


This paper analyzes the factors that contribute to changes in farming specialization, and it assesses the importance of such factors in the occurred transformations from dairy to cattle farms in Northern Spain. In line with this objective, we examine the role played on this process by the farms’ characteristics as well as farmers’ socio-economic factors. Furthermore, we asses the role played by public land consolidation policies, which were the main structural policies applied in this area during the last decades. Our data came from a representative sample of 458 livestock farms (active in 1999) in the province of ACoruña, during the period 1985-1999. From the total, 46 farms switched their productive orientation quitting dairy and entering into cattle production during the period of study. The rest kept their dairy specialization. Results indicate that dairy exit is positively related to farmer’s age. At the same time, it is negatively related to the following variables: dairy production per cow, total land, the existence of heirs, and the amount of family members working outside the farm. Furthermore, the fact that the farm had been involved in a land consolidation process did not have any direct effect on this change of productive orientation.