ECONOMIC EVALUATION OF CUCUMBER AND FRENCH BEAN PRODUCTION: COMPARING INTEGRATED AND ORGANIC CROP PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

M.C. García, A. Belmonte, F. Pascual, T. García, A. Simón, M.L. Segura, G. Martín, D. Janssen , I.M. Cuadrado
In Spain, the province of Almeria has 30,000 ha of greenhouses available for the production of vegetables. Currently, in over half of this area, plant health is managed using biological control. A small but growing proportion of out-of-season vegetables are grown following ecological farming protocols but there are doubts as to the economic feasibility of organic production. The aim of this study was to compare the economic benefits derived from cucumber and French bean production under integrated and organic management protocols. Field tests were undertaken at the IFAPA Centre of Mojonera-La Cañada in Almeria in 4 commercial greenhouses of 1,500 m2 with identical structures, representative of those used in Almeria. Two of these greenhouses were managed according to European Organic Production protocols, whereas the other 2 greenhouses followed the Regulation of Integrated Production of Andalusia. The study was repeated during three consecutive years. Cucumbers were cultivated from late September to late January, and bean crops from mid-March to mid-June. To assess the gross margin obtained from each cropping system, we compared the different costs of fertilizers, pesticides and biological control organisms, and the prices received from the actual sale of the produce in their respective markets. The results indicate that irrespective of the year, the gross margin from organically produced beans was more than double that of IPM produced beans. However, differences in the economic benefits between organic and IPM produced cucumbers were seasonally dependent.
García, M.C., Belmonte, A., Pascual, F., García, T., Simón, A., Segura, M.L., Martín, G., Janssen , D. and Cuadrado , I.M. (2012). ECONOMIC EVALUATION OF CUCUMBER AND FRENCH BEAN PRODUCTION: COMPARING INTEGRATED AND ORGANIC CROP PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT. Acta Hortic. 930, 115-120
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.930.14
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.930.14
biological control, greenhouse, fertilization, cost-benefit analysis, regulation
English

Acta Horticulturae