Estimating Economic Thresholds for Pest Control: an Alternative Procedure

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An alternative methodology to determine profit maximizing economic thresholds is developed and illustrated. An optimization problem based on the main biological and economic relations involved in determining a profit maximizing economic threshold is first advanced. From it, a more manageable model of 2 nonsimultaneous reduced-from equations is derived, which represents a simpler but conceptually and statistically sound alternative. The model recognizes that yields and pest control costs are a function of the economic threshold used. Higher (less strict) economic thresholds can result in lower yields and, therefore, a lower gross income from the sale of the product, but could also be less costly to maintain. The highest possible profits will be obtained by using the economic threshold that results in a maximum difference between gross income and pest control cost functions.

Keywords: economic thresholds; economically optimal pesticide use; profit maximization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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