SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF PRODUCTIVE, ENVIRONMENTAL, AND SOCIOECONOMIC FACTORS TO DISCRIMINATE DAIRY CATTLE PRODUCTION IN THE SOUTH OF BRAZIL
Abstract The South region of Brazil differs from the others due to its high milk production rates. Production heterogeneity, climate and soil diversity, and environmental and socioeconomic circumstances contribute to differentiate political-administrative regions. In this study, we aimed to spatialize the production, environmental, and socioeconomic factors that best discriminate bovine milk production in the states of the South of Brazil. Multivariate analyses were performed to discriminate both the studied variables and the mesoregion and cities of these states. The Western Catarinense and Northwestern Rio-grandense mesoregions showed the highest production indices, but they were discriminated at a low level (35.76 %). The formation of clusters showed that Casca, Marau, and Santo Cristo from the Northwestern Rio-grandense and Concordia, Coronel Freitas, Palmitos, and São Lourenço do Oeste from the Western Catarinense mesoregion had higher production indices. The municipal clusters were discriminated at a high level by production (98.24%) and by environmental and socioeconomic (72.75%) factors. Production variables were the most important for local clusters discrimination. The specificities and peculiarities to each region were evidenced through the heterogeneity of production and environmental and socioeconomic factors. Therefore, it is necessary to design and implement specific technological innovations to each region to maximize productive efficiency and minimize adverse environmental effects in dairy herds.