Economic gains from crop-livestock integration in relation to conventional systems


ABSTRACT The objective with this study was to calculate the total cost of maize production and beef cattle in permanent pasture activities in separate production systems (conventional) and integrated systems (maize production plus beef cattle), as well as to verify economic gains explained by the economy of scope. The first step for the development of the research was to obtain field experimental data. Six experimental treatments were studied: corn grain production, beef cattle in permanent pasture, and four integrated systems based on different crop and pasture sowings. The second step consisted in the collection, calculation, and allocation of variable and fixed costs to estimate costs of production in the systems. The crop-livestock integration showed economic gains in relation to conventional systems, which can be explained by the dilution of fixed costs and the presence of shareable inputs, resulting in economy of scope. It was also possible to demonstrate that total unit costs of both crop and livestock were lower in crop-livestock integration, showing that integrated systems resulted in economic benefits as compared with conventional ones.



economic analysis, economy of scope, integrated systems