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Economic analysis of a Bacillus thuringiensis-based integrated pest-management program in fresh-market tomatoes
- Trumble, J.T., Carson, W.G., White, K.K.
- Journal of economic entomology 1994 v.87 no.6 pp. 1463-1469
- Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, insect pests, Bacillus thuringiensis, integrated pest management, methomyl, permethrin, chemical control, insect control, crop damage, crop yield, costs and returns, profitability, economic analysis, California
- Economic analyses were conducted on fresh-market tomato plantings in 1992 and 1993 that compared the benefit of an integrated pest-management (IPM) program based on a registered Bacillus thuringiensis preparation with the current chemical-standard pesticide practices and an untreated control. The IPM program used three or four applications of B. thuringiensis as needed. The chemical-standard treatment consisted of seven to nine applications of methomyl and permethrin. The effect of each pesticide-use program on insect populations, fruit damage, yield, crop value, cost of control, and net profit was determined. The chemical-standard and IPM treatments reduced pest populations and damage, resulting in better yield and net profits as compared with the control treatment. In 1992, net profits were higher by approximately $500-1,000/ha in the IPM program as compared with the chemical-standard treatment. In 1993, the chemical-standard program performed slightly better by approximately $300/ha. However, given shipping prices over the past 5-yr period, the IPM approach would outperform the chemical-standard treatment in terms of net profit > 80% of the time. In addition, the economic results from the IPM program are conservative because some significant benefits, such as a potential reduction in development of pesticide resistance, reduced soil compaction, less potential for damage to the environment, and less possibility of human health concerns, were not included.