Abstract

Sorghum profitability was studied in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, in arder to determine the reasons for which farmers of this region continue to grow the crop. Production costs of Rancho "El Paraíso" and of the "El Casanaleño" commons during the period 1987-91 were estimated, and a survey was carried out in the same period to determine the average cost of sorghum production in the area. The profitability indicator (current net value, return rate, and cost-efficiency ratio) for the fa1lwinter 1990-91 agricultural period was estimated based on yield, national and international prices, and interest rates of crediting banks. Results indicated that for regular farmers production costs were 57% lower than those estimated by commercial banks, because farmers do not use fertilizers or pesticides, and they undertake fewer agricultural tasks. Taking into account current production levels, sale prices in Mexico, and actual production costs, this crop turns out to be profitable. However, if international duty-free prices are considered, sorghum production is not profitable.