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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Economic analysis of navel orangeworm control strategies in almonds, pistachios, and walnuts

Location: Commodity Protection and Quality

2010 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. Documents SCA with University of California Davis.


3.Progress Report

This research contributes to objective 2 of the in-house project. The goal of this project is to revise the current economic model for evaluating management techniques for navel orangeworm in almonds. One ARS entomologist based in Parlier, CA, one entomologist at UC Davis and one UCCE economist at Davis, CA, are collaborating with the Almond Board of California to assess the economic benefit to growers of the proposed changes to current management practices in almonds. Factors that will be examined include the price of insecticides, cost of labor for orchard sanitation, and price of mating disruption, in conjunction with changes in the value of almonds will be determined. The cost-benefit ratio of these different practices alone and combined. The desired outcome will be a variety of control methodologies that will be tied into the current value of almonds and the geographic location of the orchard. A teleconference meeting was held in May with a representative of the Almond Board of California at UC Davis to establish the parameters to be used in the economic model and identify information that will be needed from the almond industry. Insecticide useage statistics and economic data will be provided by the Almond Board of California.

Cooperator activity was monitored by reports at a stakeholder meeting in August, presentations made to the Almond Board of California, telephone conversations and e-mail.


Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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