Profitability of no-till grain production systems

Rafael Fuentes-Llanillo, Tiago Santos Telles, Bruno Volsi, Dimas Soares Júnior, Sérgio Luiz Carneiro, Maria de Fátima Guimarães


In general, the technical and agronomic benefits of no-till farming are widely known and well documented in the literature. However, studies focusing on the economics of no-tillage are scarce. In this context, the objective of this study is to determine whether no-till grain production systems that follow the principles of conservation agriculture are economically profitable by analyzing gross margins per hectare per year over six harvests for the agricultural years 1998/1999 to 2003/2004. In addition, a possible link between profitability and different no-till methods in terms of degree of soil turnover, crop rotation, and whether machinery used in agricultural operations is owned or rented is investigated. For this purpose, the multi-case analytical method was applied to thirteen grain producing family farms in Northern Paraná state, Brazil. Based on the results, two ranges of agricultural production variable costs and gross margins were identified. Higher gross margins were associated with longer use of the no-till system, ownership of machinery and equipment, specialization in grains, rotation of the commercial crops used, and higher variable costs. Lower gross margins were associated with outsourcing of sowing, small-scale cropping, and lack of crop rotation. It is concluded that family mechanized no-till systems of grain production in north Paraná are profitable.


Economic analysis; Gross margin; No-till system; Conservation agriculture; Family farming.

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Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433/1679-0359
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional