Field trials: castor bean crop development in Brazil

Regardless of the high value of castor bean oil on the international market, due to its chemical properties, this crop remains a niche production and does not make the object of thorough agronomic studies. With the intent of increasing its procurement, a large international player, has commissioned FGM International to support the value chain development. 

The challenge

Since it is a limited spread crop in mechanized farming systems in Brazil, the castor beans producers were in lack of accurate technical information concerning it and didn’t foresee the economic potential of castor beans. FGM International had to set up a field trial in order to build up a database and awake interest towards integrating castor beans in the crop rotation.

FGM results

FGM has identified and documented key  axes of improvement to increase yield and profitability. FGM’s client has benefited from actions ultimately leading to the structuring of castor bean production as well as a fundamental communication tool for area and volume expansion.


This service was delivered within a 5-years contractual relation with our client. The overall project was to promote castor bean production in several countries to multiply the procurement potential and mitigate the soaring price of castor oil. Trials were stepped-up in the area of a very large farming group in Mato Grosso; the group in question owns several farms and has been producing castor bean as secondary crop for several years.

Field trials

  • Design on the trials areas in accordance with the technical constraints of mechanized operations such as, plot size, distribution and operations schedule.
  • Organization of a 25-ha fields into 70 micro plots to assess 7 different criteria such as castor variety, sowing dates, sowing densities, fertilization programs and herbicides. Local providers, such as Kaiima, Heliagro and IMAmt were involved in the seed selection.
  • Performance of the full-time on-site agronomic follow-up during the cropping season (March to August 2020) .
  • Regular collection of plant statuses : phenological stages, flowering, fruit set, biometry, etc.
  • Statistical assessment of collected data and definition of the  best crop husbandry plan according to the local conditions.

Other related assignments

  • Organization and hosting of stakeholders meetings to share information about the status of the castor bean culture and production, and promote its development in Brazil,
  • Assessment of harvesting prototypes developed by Jorge Máquinas and JLS companies for castor beans,
  • Applied field information for ongoing local research projects,
  • Comparison of the economic results with other crops sown at the same period to highlight the potential of castor beans when produced according to the best practices identified during the trials.
Managing castor bean trial crops in Brazil

Managing castor bean trial crops in Brazil

Provided services in the frame of this project

Interesting reading relevant to this project



Number of experts

3 experts




1 Year


25 ha



Assigned competencies

  • Agro-Economist
  • Agronomists

Back to map