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Journal Article

The economics of farming expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado under possible effects of climate change


Monaco,  Henrique
External Organizations;

Ortiz,  Carlos
External Organizations;

Caetano,  Lilian
External Organizations;


Müller,  Christoph
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Jägermeyr,  Jonas
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Supplementary Material (public)

Monaco, H., Ortiz, C., Caetano, L., Müller, C., Jägermeyr, J. (2024 online): The economics of farming expansion in the Brazilian Cerrado under possible effects of climate change. - International Food and Agribusiness Management Review.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_29795
This analysis assesses the financial viability of legally investing in native Cerrado vegetation deforestation for crop production, considering climate change. The study uses data from twelve different crop models based on three different climate models to evaluate potential future crop yields in cleared land for growing soy and maize. The outcomes show that in many micro-regions, investments in clearing land for crop production would destroy economic value, that is, generate a negative net present value because of low/negative and volatile cashflows driven primarily by future yields as affected by climate. Our analysis was carried out based on present agricultural practices and technology. As climate changes, farmers may adapt their practices, which can lead to more resilient and productive crops, or grow different crops, which could provide better returns on investment in clearing land than the ones resulting from our analysis. Despite various uncertainties, farmers, policy makers and financial institutions should be aware of the climatic and financial risks associated with land clearing in Brazil, mainly in micro-regions in which all scenarios resulted in negative outcomes in the investment analysis. This study indicates that land expansion opportunities on degraded land should be prioritized over additional land clearing.