Economic analysis of navel orangeworm control strategies in almonds, pistachios, and walnuts
Commodity Protection and Quality
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Collect baseline pest management data and calculate the cost of current and alternative NOW management practices. Estimate the resource and labor use for each set of practices for each of the three crops.
2. Compare the efficacy of current and proposed NOW management programs in terms of gross income and control costs. Gross income which reflects both yield and quality.
3. Determine the economic impact of adoption of non - EC pest management on California growers of each commodity taking into account the pest management costs and any changes in efficacy.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The economic analysis phase will estimate the total on – farm costs of the base control method and the alternatives for each commodity – material combination identified. The on – farm costs include the application cost plus the materials cost.
All aerial and ground applications will be done by custom operators with a per acre charge. All custom operator charges, air and ground applications, will be determined from surveys of commercial service providers.
We will collect material cost data from local suppliers, including volume discounts, if possible. The number of applications and application rates per applied acre will be determined in the first phase of the research and verified through the product labels.
For each commodity, we will calculate the on farm per acre pest management cost for each NOW control alternative and the base practices and compare the per acre costs. The final analysis will take any differences in efficacy into account and estimate the additional impact of lost income due to any decrease in yield or quality. We will also calculate the potential number of pounds of EC pesticides eliminated with full adoption of the alternatives proposed.
This Specific Cooperative Agreement was established to support Objective 1A of the parent project, determining the current cost of producing almonds. Navel orangeworm is the most destructive lepidopteran pest of almonds and pistachios in California. One of the challenges in controlling this pest is determining the optimum level of its control, as almond prices fluctuate. A University of California Davis economist, supported by this project completed a cost-and-return analysis for almonds in 2011 and spent 2012 validating the conclusions. The results are available at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu/files/AlmondSprinkleVN2011.pdf. The total cost of production is $3,974 per acre, of which insect and gopher control account for $328 (8.25%). This economic analysis will allow growers to determine the cost/benefit of new strategies developed by this project including mating disruption and the use of selective insecticide chemistries, and determine the best way to integrate these findings into their existing management scheme.