From what I have seen of small and large dairy farms in Wisconsin, I would guess that large farms are more efficient. They keep more animals on similar sized plots of land as the larger farms, and they likely do not have a large increase in the number of milking equipment.
The debate on which is more humane for the animal however, would go the other way.
Small farms may be more efficient in one critical way, energy usage. Small farms have the freedom to utilize animal power for fertilizing, tilling, etc… This can prove to be cheaper in the long term. It may also introduce other benefits such as increased fertilizer and reduced erosion from tractor paths. Small farms are also able to diversify their product much more easily. This will prove to be very efficient with dramatic fluctuations in the current and future climate.
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