The article presents the economic situation of farms specialising in milk production in Poland in the 2004-2009 period. These data base on the survey of agricultural holdings in the European Union carried out under the Farm Accountancy Data Network system. The research aimed at determining the size of production scale, measured by the number of cows on the farm providing enough income to pay for the work of farmers and their family members at the parity level, i.e. level which is achieved by those employed in the national economy. The income situation of farms was analysed taking into account the support in the form of direct payments and without this support. Research shows that parity income is achieved in farms that have stronger links with the market. On average for the 2004-2009 period, farmers keeping at least 28 cows with a yield at the level of the 5,300 kg of milk and without payments were able to achieve income which surpassed parity income. The situation of those farms is stable to the point that small fluctuations in the milk prices, or the prices for means of production, do not cause a negative financial result. Farms with smaller herds of cows are much more susceptible to changes in the market economy and it is often the case that the EU payments save their economic situation. On the basis of the results obtained, it can be concluded that given the appropriate scale, intensity and organisation of production agricultural holdings can provide stable welfare to families.
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