Level and variability of the economical benefits of rotations for the Andean Foothills of Bío-Bío Region

Jorge A. González U.1, Emilio Francisco G.1 y William Foster B.2

Agricultural activity in the Andean foothills, VIII Region, due to economic and political changes, has reduced the surface area cultivated and the number of crops, and has damaged the soil and affected the development of rural sectors. One possible change that might be of economic benefit is to rely to a greater extent on crop rotations. The cultural rotations previously proposed for the region were quantified and analyzed economically, based on a nominal annual valuation, and corrected to real values, which included expected margin and the risk associated or variability of that income. Information was used from a long-term experiment of dry-land crop rotations of the Quilamapu Regional Research Center of the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA). The average gross margin per hectare varied between $160.000 ha-1 in the wheat-rape-oats-lentils rotation (R5) to $250.000 ha-1 in the wheat-oat rotation (R1). R5 also registered the greatest coefficient of variation, and as such appears to be the least recommendable rotation. Wheat-sowed pasture (3 years) (R4) registered a margin of $230.000 ha-1 and the lowest coefficient of variation (0.27). Rotations with natural fertilized pasture have intermediate economic behavior. The complementary analysis by crop sequences derived from each rotation suggests that there is no crop that is especially recommendable to begin each rotation cycle.

Keywords: foothills, rotation alternatives, economic benefit, risk.
1 Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Centro Regional de Investigación Quilamapu, Casilla 426, Chillán, Chile. E-mail: jgonzale@inia.cl
2 Universidad Católica de Chile, Facultad de Agronomía e Ingeniería Forestal, Casilla 306, Correo 22, Santiago, Chile. E-mail: webmaster@faif.puc.cl