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Profitability and factors affecting grazing season length were econometrically analyzed using a representative sample of Irish dairy farms. The objective of this study was to explore what potential exists on Irish dairy farms to extend the grazing season and to quantify the possible economic benefits that result from lengthening the grazing season. Regression results indicate that location factors affect the length of the grazing season, but even when physical factors are controlled, farmer characteristics, such as education, also affect the grazing season length. The results of a panel data analysis show that significant cost reductions can be achieved by extending the grazing season. Overall, the findings indicate that lengthening the grazing season offers a cost-saving alternative on many Irish dairy farms, which could contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the Irish dairy sector.


open access article