Lettuce is vegetable seed specie very popular in Brazil since many years ago. The fact is that in the past(about 25 years ago) majority of lettuce varieties cultivated was butter head type and quantity of seeds used per hectare was very big(almost 1 kg). The market had changed a lot and the loose leaf type took the place of most popular lettuce type, followed by iceberg type. In addition to it the introduction of pelleted seeds starts to increase the use of higher quality of seeds. Also the change on the market since, growers started to by seedlings instead of product their own plants make the market much more professional in seeds requirement. Now days we see also a more diversification on this market with new types of lettuce to start develop (romaine, etc). Big percentage of the market at this time is supplied with pelleted seeds.
LOOSE LEAF TYPE, the most popular ICEBERGER Type- Second more popular
Please see below some news about Lettuce production cost in Brazil last months.
LETTUCE PRODUCTION costs- CEPEA (Sao Paulo University entity) a specialized group that generate information about vegetable and fruits published last June, some information about production costs for few species.
In case of lettuce they took production information on the green belt of Sao Paulo State. They took as reference a winter and summer production. For the winter they used period from May thru September 2015 while for summer they used period of October 2015 thru April 2016. Their info also considered two lettuce types, the loose leaf and iceberg segment in the two seasons.
CEPEA study indicates great variation for loose leaf lettuce type between winter and summer. They report about 15% higher costs for the summer production. On iceberg type they find very similar costs between summer and winter. Summer production was only 2% higher in cost. They also find loose leaf type cost about 11% more than iceberg in winter, while in summer it cost 25% more!
It is interesting to see that the above comparison consider costs per hectare. When you go to cost per lettuce unit (head), the iceberg lettuce cost much more! As an average between winter and summer iceberg cost per unit (head) is about 60% higher.
One of the reasons for such big difference in cost per unit is related to the plant rate used by hectare. They reported plant population for loose leaf type vary from 40 t0 48,000 plants per ha between summer and winter while iceberg vary from 22 to 25,000 plants per ha.
Costs per hectare vary from a minimum of USD6000 to a maximum of USD7600, considering only direct costs. Seed costs vary from USD 500 up to USD750 per hectare. For lettuce on this region more than 90% of areas use peleted seeds. Another curious topic variation between iceberg and loose leaf is that labor cost. In loose leaf it cost about 75 % more than in iceberg. Irrigation costs have the same trend.
Please see below some comparison of cost composition (% of total direct cost)
Other costs= mechanical operations, general expenses, working capital costs.