Soybean crop profitability: biodynamic vs conventional farming in a 7-yr case study in Brazil
Eliane Araujo Robusti (a1), Vagner Antonio Mazeto (a2), Maurício Ursi Ventura (a3), Dimas Soares Júnior (a4) ...
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1742170518000613Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 February 2019
Organic/biodynamic agriculture has been reported worldwide as a suitable system to conserve or even regenerate natural resources. Due to the lack of long-term studies regarding the profitability of tropical organic vs conventional farming, the economic performance of biodynamic vs conventional soybean was studied using data from a consecutive 7-yr case study in a farm with 48.4 ha of biodynamic soybeans in Paraná State, Brazil. Analyses of production costs and financial indicators were adjusted at updated values according to inflation in the period. Effective operational costs were 4.4% higher in biodynamic than in conventional farming. The biodynamic yields were lower (3.6%) than those of conventional. Prices were 57% higher in biodynamic than in conventional, making biodynamic farming more profitable than conventional farming, as shown by financial indicators (gross revenue, gross margin, net margin, net income and capital income were 50.7, 99.9, 122.9, 150.4 and 166.9%, respectively, higher in biodynamic than in conventional). The price equilibrium point (PEP) was 3.4% higher for biodynamic farming; the leveling point was 36.9% higher for conventional farming. Manual weeding and plowing increased organic costs. Higher biodynamic trading prices than those of conventional triggered a PEP suitable for covering higher costs and thus boosting profitability. Further investigations and policies are suggested to further improve biodynamic farming efficiency and sustainability.
Research publications concerning biodynamics