Costs of Agronomic Practices: Profitability at Different Scales of Sugarcane Production in Brazil
The diversity in agronomic practices being used by sugarcane producers in Brazil determines differences in economic performance and cost structure. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the cost of six systems of agronomic practices using fixed or variable rates for soil amendment, fertilizer, and defensive applications and assess the profitability of these systems at three scales of sugarcane production. We then describe the data sample related to the 2019–2020 harvest season and collected from fifty-five sugarcane producers in the central-south region of Brazil. Thereafter, using a quantitative approach, a cost analysis was performed, and the cumulative frequency of the net revenue for the three scales of production (small, medium, and large), was calculated using a Monte Carlo simulation. The cost analysis indicated that fertilizer had the highest cost considering the agronomic practices adopted at the three scales of production analyzed. The cumulative frequency analysis results from the Monte Carlo simulation showed the highest net revenue per hectare for medium sugarcane producers. In addition, the presence of economies of scale was not confirmed because the lowest cost was found in small-scale sugarcane producers and the highest net revenue was obtained by medium-scale sugarcane producers.