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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PACIFIC AREA-WIDE PEST MANAGEMENT PROGRAM FOR INTEGRATED METHYL BROMIDE ALTERNATIVES-ECONOMIC EVALUATION

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

2009 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Provide comprehensive economic assessments of alternative management strategies based on performance observed in research trials described in the subsections on cut flowers, strawberries, almonds and stone fruit, walnut, grapes, and sweet potato production. 2. Conduct multi-media-based educational outreach to foster grower utilization of program findings.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
1. To assess economics of alternative replant management strategies, all costs and resulting crop returns will be measured and estimated for the treatments evaluated in field trials associated with the area wide program. The alternatives investigated will include but not be limited to the following: strawberries – low rates of drip applied fumigants, new fumigants, semi impermeable film and steam treatments; cut flowers – shank and drip fumigation, walnuts, almonds, and stone fruits – spot treatments, application methods that minimize non-target fumigant emissions, delayed planting; sweetpotato – alternative fumigation materials, solarization, herbicides, and cultivar selection. 2. Educational outreach will be achieved via oral presentations in counties where crops are grown, newsletter features from the associated Farm Advisors, articles in the popular press, and an article in California Agriculture. Documents SCA with UC Davis.


3.Progress Report

An economic analysis was completed of alternative preplant fumigation treatments for almonds based on trial results. The fumigant alternatives included Chlorpicrin, Methyl Bromide(MeBr)98% plus Chlorpicrin 2%, Telone II, Telone C 35, & 50/50 MeBr plus Iodomethane. The treatments were broken down into full floor vs. strip & tarped vs. non tarped treatments. The analysis involved calculating the application costs and the costs of the materials at the rates applied. The application rates varied with materials. All other production costs were equal across treatments and not included in the analysis. The costs of the materials, tarp and application were obtained from suppliers. Iodemathane is not available commercially and not included in the analysis. Per broadcast acre, the MeBr with Chlorpicrin was the highest($2,200/acre), Chlorpicrin($2,000/acre), Telone C35($1,800/acre), and Telone II($620/acre). The strip reduced the cost per acre to about one third of the cost per orchard acre. The cost of the tarp included the material & installation for a total of $500 per orchard acre. Only the strip treatments used tarps. Consequently, the highest cost was the MeBr Chlorpicrin combination and the lowest cost was Telone II strip without the tarp. Yield responses were measured as the cumulative yields from 2006-2008 in lbs. per acre and also 2008 only. For Chlorpicrin, the highest yields were for the strip without the tarp, for Telone C35 Telone II, and the MeBr Chlorpicrin combination the highest yields were for the full floor treatment. A cost benefit analysis was performed based on the average annual yield increase for each of the treatments over the control & the cost of the treatment per acre. The cost per lb. of increase in yield was calculated for each of the treatments. This approach allows for ranking the performance of the treatments without assigning a market price to the almonds. This is important because the price received is highly variable each year. If the market price per lb. is greater than the calculated cost per lb. of increase, then the treatment is profitable to adopt. If it is lower, then it will cost more to attain the yield increase then the income from the yield increase. The most efficient treatment is the one with the lowest cost per lb. of yield increase. The most efficient treatment was the Telone II strip at a cost of $.32/lb. of increase followed by the Chlorpicrin strip at $.50/lb. The Teone C 35 strip and the Telone II strip with tarp had costs per lb. of increase at $.77 & $.75/lb. The MeBr Chlorpicrin mix with strip application and the Telone 35 full floor application both had a cost per lb. of increase cost of $1.00/lb. The strip treatment was the most cost effective for Telone II, Telone 35 and the MeBr Chlorpicric combinations due to significantly lower treatment cost even though the yield was lower with the strip than the full floor treatment. For Chlorpicrin, the strip reduced the cost but also increased the yield making the strip the most efficient. The cost of the tarp was not cost effective for any of the treatments. The ADODR monitors this SCA-maintains a file, review annual reports, meeting with cooperator.


Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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