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Pheromone-based pest management can be cost-effective for walnut growers

  • Author(s): Steinmann, Kimberly P
  • Zhang, Minghua
  • Grant, Joseph A.
  • Pickel, Carolyn
  • Goodhue, Rachael E
  • et al.
Abstract

Many organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides currently used by California walnut growers have been linked to negative environmental or human health impacts, increasing the probability of use restrictions and phase-outs. We assessed the acceptability of alternative reduced-risk strategies by comparing their costs to those of pest management programs currently in use among San Joaquin County walnut growers. To do this, we analyzed data from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s legally mandated Pesticide Use Reports on actual pesticide applications for 3 years, from 2002 to 2004. While many factors other than cost influence growers’ pest management choices, we found that alternative strategies can be cost-competitive with conventional approaches, depending on the pest pressure and savings due to reductions in secondary pest outbreaks.

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