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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.