Key, Nigel

January, 2024

Propensity score matching is used to estimate how direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing influences farm survival and growth over 5-year periods. Results show that beginning farms with DTC sales grow more slowly but are more likely to survive in business compared to similar farms without DTC sales. The study finds that DTC marketing is associated with lower financial performance and a greater likelihood of facing borrowing constraints, which might help explain the slower farm growth. DTC marketing is also associated with lower farm income volatility, which might help explain the higher survival rate.