The Economic Benefits of Alternative Agriculture:
A Critique of the NAS Report
Leonard P. Gianessi
Resources for the Future is a private non-profit nonadvocary research
organization. We do not advocate more or less pesticide use. We do not take
stands on particular pieces of legislation. Our purpose is to help inform the
policy debate. It's in that spirit that we've prepared our critical analysis
of the NAS's report on Alternative Agriculture. We have discussed our
critique with Chuck Benbrook and Richard Wiles and I think it is fair to say
that they never intended for the case studies in their report to be published
as articles in scientific journals. As a result, there is a certain absence
of data for these farms. And yet, it is this very absence of data that makes
it impossible to find agreement with their conclusion that farmers who use
less pesticide inputs are doing better financially than growers who do not cut
I want to emphasize that there are certain parts of the report that are
quite good in our opinion. Chapter 1 on Agriculture and the economy is loaded
with really good information. It does a very good job of tracking changes in
U.S. agriculture over the last 40 years. When it comes to pesticides, while I
disagree with most of what the Academy's report has to say, there are certain
findings that I do agree with and I'll include those in my analysis. Our
concern is that if policymakers and legislators are about to take initiatives
based on the notion that farmers can cut back significantly on pesticide use
and do better financially, then those are terribly misguided initiatives that
may result in some severe economic consequences for our nation.
I'm going to first talk in detail about 5 of their case studies. And in
general I'm going to make 2 points. First, some of the alternative farmers
are using substantial amounts of pesticides--in some cases they are among the
most intensive users of pesticides in the country and have significantly
increased pesticide use not cut back. To call it alternative farming is
really stretching the point. Second, that when the Academy tells us that a
grower has cut back on use or ceased using pesticides in some instances, they
often don't provide enough information to assess whether the environment or
the economic conditions of the grower is better.
One of the case studies is the use of Integrated Pest Management
techniques in Florida's fresh market vegetable production. Two-thirds of the
acreage of fresh market vegetables in South Florida are estimated to use these
techniques. Extensive use is made of pest scouting services so that
pesticides are used only when economic thresholds are exceeded. There has
been reduced use of certain classes of pesticides--herbicides, insecticides,
and fungicides. There is little indication of how much of these chemicals are
being used--the growers refused to tell NAS how much of which chemicals they
use. But, in general, IPM technology in Florida probably has resulted in less
use of herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides. In their place, is a new
technology--an alternative agricultural technology--the use of plastic mulch
to control weeds and the use of fumigants to sterilize the soil. I'll talk
more about the environmental implications of that technology. But let's
acknowledge that it's led to significant yield increases.
Although the Academy doesn't identify the exact amounts used, they do
identify by names some of the pesticides used in these IPM programs. Maneb
and mancozeb are EBDC fungicides that the NRDC says pose unacceptable risks on
tomatoes. Paraquat has been banned in at least 3 countries due to farmworker
safety risks. In the NAS study of the Delaney clause just 2 years ago, 4 of
these chemicals were identified as known or suspected cancer agents. The NAS
faces this issue squarely. They recommend that as we approach regulation of
these chemicals, we may want to provide some prescriptive allowance for their
use in IPM programs. I endorse that recommendation. I'll be speaking at the
National IPM Conference here in Washington in November and that will be a
central message--if you're relying on certain pesticides in successful IPM
programs tell us what they are so that regulators can think about taking that
Let's look at one of these Florida alternative agriculturists in action.
This is a photo of an IPM tomato grower spraying fungicides--perhaps he's only
spraying fungicides 10 times instead of the conventional 20. This is probably
not everybody's idea of alternative agriculture. What makes the reduction in
use possible? Well, you can see the plastic strips down the rows. The tomato
plants are planted through the plastic--weeds can't emerge through the
plastic. The grower doesn't need herbicides to kill weeds.
In addition, before the field's planted, the IPM grower covers the field
with plastic and then fumigates the soil by injecting approximately 180 lbs.
per acre of methyl bromide. Methyl bromide is a pesticide; it's a liquid that
volatilizes into a gas. It kills everything--soil insects, weed seeds,
diseases, nematodes--all bacteria. So while it is accurate to say, as the
Academy does, that Florida IPM programs have significantly reduced the use of
insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides, it is also true that the programs
have significantly increased fumigant use.
Now, in Florida the most heavily used pesticide is methyl bromide--15
million lbs of it is being used with another 5 million lbs. of chloropicrin
which is added to the methyl bromide to give it some smell so that you will
know this poisonous gas is there. In 1979, Florida vegetable growers used 4.5
million lbs of pesticides. Nov they are using over 20 million lbs of
fumigants. The Academy got it wrong. There's been no decline in overall
pesticide use in Florida vegetable production. There has been a dramatic
increase. What do we know about the human health and environmental
consequences of methyl bromide use? Well, the Academy acknowledges that not
much is known.
There are two problems with the use of the plastic mulch not acknowledged
by the Academy. First is the cost. The Academy refers several times to the
cost of methyl bromide--about $124/acre. It doesn't tell us the cost of the
plastic. I looked up the cost of the plastic--$250/acre and the cost of the
disposal of the plastic is $75/acre. It's an expensive technology and the
Academy doesn't include the cost of the plastic in their estimates of costs.
The plastic is burned in the field or thrown away at the end of the year.
Some is recycled. We have an estimate of how much plastic was disposed of
from these plastic mulch operations--77,000 acres of plastic in 1987 were
disposed of in public land fills in Florida and California an area about
twice the size of the District of Columbia.
The Academy doesn't mention the problem of plastic disposal. I find it
very difficult to conclude that we're better off as a result of some
undetermined reduction in the use of herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides,
with an associated rise in the use of a fumigant that we don't know much about
and the creation of a terrific plastic waste disposal problem. I don't care
if you call it IPM or alternative agriculture, these are significant
A second Academy case study also deals with tomato IPM programs--this
time for California processed tomatoes--the Kitamura farm. Once again, the
farm uses pesticides. Herbicides, sulfur, insecticides, and fungicides. Once
again, they wouldn't tell the Academy how much they used of which compounds.
The innovative technique that the Academy found at the Kitamura farm was how
they controlled mold development on their tomatoes. They stopped irrigation
water 10 days earlier than the California Extension Service recommends. So
there's no water in the field for those 10 days that may lead to the
development of mold.
Moldy tomatoes are a real concern to the California tomato processors-
-they don't want mold growing in a can of tomatoes--so they reject entire
shipments of tomatoes if any mold is found. The Academy doesn't tell us which
(if any) fungicides that the Kitamura's used to use to control mold. They
just tell us that they turn off the water 10 days earlier.
Well, let's look at fungicide use in California processing tomatoes for
mold control. Not everyone treats for mold control
--the most commonly used mold control fungicide is chlorothalonil--40% of
acreage. Other fungicides are used to control mildew. Why can't the growers
using chlorothalonil to control mold simply adopt the Kitamura method of
turning off the irrigation water early?
The reason is the length of the tomato processing season which extends
from June through October. If you're harvesting in June, July, or August, the
only moisture you have to worry about is irrigation water. It's extremely hot
and it doesn't rain. Now, if you're harvesting in September and October, in
addition to irrigation water, there are other sources of moisture. It starts
to rain again, also the temperature drops--dews and humidity become heavier.
So if you signed a contract to deliver in September or October, simply cutting
off your irrigation water 10 days early may not solve your mold problems and
you may have to use a fungicide. The Academy doesn't tell us when the
Kitamuras deliver their tomatoes. One potential solution is to get the
California tomato processors to rearrange their schedules. And this
possibility was raised in a recent study of alternative agriculture conducted
in California--the Academy doesn't discuss the issue at all. All they say is
that the Kitamuras turn their water off 10 days early. They don't give us all
the information we need to evaluate the economic factors involved in this
practice and its applicability in the state.
The Pavich California grape farms are another of the Academy's case
studies. The farm is quite prosperous. It uses some pesticides--fumigation,
some insecticides, and sulfur as a fungicide. When it comes to the
insecticides, the Academy makes the following 4 statements. Pavich's farm is
completely surrounded by conventional farms, those conventional growers use
insecticides 4-6 times a year, Pavich only has to use insecticides once every
couple of years or so, and the Academy says they don't understand how Pavich
is able to do without insecticides.
I have two different hypotheses--first, Pavich is benefitting from his
neighbors' use of insecticides. He farms in the middle of an insect-free zone
thanks to his neighbors. The Academy doesn't mention this possibility at all.
A second hypotheses is that his neighbors aren't spraying insecticides either.
There are no spray records in the NAS report for Pavich's neighbors. The NAS
simply asserts that they spray. Maybe they've stopped spraying too. Maybe
insect pressure has been very light in recent years.
Let's look at Pavich's use of sulfur to control diseases. This is the
budget published by the Academy comparing Pavich's disease control costs with
the conventional costs incurred by other growers. Pavich spends more
--about 50% more for disease control material than do his neighbors. In most
of the Academy's report they emphasize that growers who spend less on
pesticides do better than the ones who spend more. But here we have Pavich
spending more and doing better. Of course, he's using organic sulfur. He has
to pay a premium price for freshly mined sulfur to be certified as organic.
Sulfur is not a synthetic organic chemical--but it is a pesticide. Sulfur has
been recommended for years as a disease control material. Pavich wouldn't
tell NAS how much sulfur he uses. The only reference the Academy makes is
that Pavich makes several trips through the field spraying sulfur. I figure
Pavich is spraying 100 lbs of sulfur/acre per year. I've been told that grape
growers who rely on sulfur exclusively can make as many as 20 trips through
their fields. Pavich isn't alone in spraying sulfur to control grape
Sulfur is the most commonly-used fungicide in California grape
production: 3.5 million lbs/year. However, growers often use it in
combination with synthetic organic chemicals such as captain because there are
diseases that sulfur won't control. Sulfur is used primarily for powdery
mildew control. The other fungicide that's used for that purpose is
Triadimefon. About 36000 lbs were used in 1985. Triadimefon is a newly
registered fungicide by EPA. It's exhibited low toxicities to fish, wildlife
and humans. It's passed those new battery of EPA toxicity tests. And its
used at extremely low rates .2 lb per acre. So who's using more pesticides -
Pavich spraying of sulfur at 100 lbs/acre or the growers using triadimefon at
.2 lb/acre. What would happen if the growers using triadimefon switched to
sulfur in order to be certified as organic? There would be an increase in the
use of sulfur of about 18 million lbs/year. Do we want that? Wouldn't that
be a significant increase in pesticide use and not a decrease?
The Kutztown Farm is a Pennsylvania farm that grows corn and soybeans as
feed crops for cattle. There are 2 parts to the farm. A part of the farm is
operated under contract from the Rodale Research Institute. No pesticides
have been used on that portion of the farm since 1978. The part I'm going to
talk about is the non-Rodale part. The same farmer runs both parts. During
the time period 1978-82 the farmer applied herbicides to the corn and soybeans
on the nonRodale part. However, in 1983, he stopped applying herbicides to
the soybeans while continuing to apply herbicides to corn.
So the first question I have is why does he continue to use herbicides in
the corn? It's the same grower who is doing so well on the Rodale part of the
farm without herbicides. Why, when given a choice, does he use herbicides?
The Academy doesn't tell us. There must be some constraints that ought to be
identified so that we can fully evaluate this practice.
The Academy states that soybean yields at the farm are above average and
cites the following data. As you can see, soybean yields at the Kutztown Farm
exceeded Pennsylvania averages for the years 1978-82. But this information is
for the Rodale part of the farm where he wasn't using herbicides in 1978-82
and which is much more intensely managed than his nonRodale farm. It's only
in 1983 that he stopped using herbicides on soybeans on his nonRodale farm.
But the Academy doesn't present any yield data for the nonRodale farm for
1983-1986; in fact, there's no yield data for his nonRodale farm for any year.
I'd like to see the yield data in particular for 1986. The farmer had a
terrific problem with weeds in 1986. It was wet and he couldn't get his
cultivation equipment to control the weeds. That type of situation is
precisely why most growers rely on herbicides instead of cultivation to
control weeds. So again we don't have any information to make a decision as
to the economic effects of this alternative agricultural practice for this
The Academy tells us in a case study of the Sabot Hill Farm outside of
Richmond, Virginia, that the farm owners devised a totally unique way of
dealing with the problem of johnsongrass, a weed in soybeans. They decided to
stop treating johnsongrass as a weed and instead, based on their experiences
in South America, to actually grow johnsongrass as a hay. So they have 300
acres of hays in which they plant johnsongrass seed and they harvest the hay
to feed animals.
The Academy calls this a totally unique way of dealing with a weed.
Well, it turns out that the owners of the farm did not have to go to South
America to learn about this technique. Johnsongrass is grown as a hay on a
significant number of acres in the southeastern US--as you can see--about
103,000 acres of johnsongrass acreage in Alabama. The Academy hasn't
discovered anything new here.
The problem with johnsongrass is that if not controlled in soybeans, it
can overwhelm the soybean crop as you can see in this photo of treated and
untreated soybean plots. The Academy admits that often when the Sabot Hill
owners try to harvest soybeans they find that there's so much johnsongrass
J that they just harvest the soybeans as hay, along with the johnsongrass. I
don't think that we want US soybeans grown under such conditions. The Sabot
Hill growers have given up trying to produce a regular cash crop of soybeans.
That doesn't strike me as effective alternative agriculture. In fact this
farm has gone out of business since 1986. The land is being subdivided for
The Academy cites a tabulation of production costs by soybean growers in
Southwest Minnesota in 1986 as evidence that growers who reduce pesticide
costs do better financially. The 20% of the growers with the lowest net
returns per acre spent $5 more for chemicals than did the 20% of the growers
with the highest net returns per acre. However, a reduction in costs for
pesticides does not mean a reduction in use. Those two sets of growers could
be using exactly the same amount of pesticides. Pesticides are like anything
else--you can get them on sale. The yield difference between the two sets of
growers is dramatic--the low return growers incurred $70 of variable costs per
acre and produced yields approximately 50% lower than their high return
What accounts for this? Farming is a risky business. Often growers
incur their costs only to have their yields wiped out by a hail storm, a late
summer pest infestation, or late summer rains that prevent harvest. The
Academy says that they assumed that all the farms in the region face similar
problems. If one farm gets hail, they all do. But, Southwest Minnesota is
comprised of 16 counties of approximately 10,000 square miles-an area larger
than the state of New Jersey. All I'm saying is that you can't reject the
hypothesis that the farmers who have the lowest net returns per acre have
faced unfavorable growing conditions in comparison to the high return farmers.
An additional reason to reject this tabulation is that in 1986 in
Southeast Minnesota a similar tabulation of soybean growers came to exactly
the opposite result. Growers with the highest return per acre were spending
$3 more per acre than the growers with the lowest returns per acre. The
Academy doesn't cite this tabulation. Depending on which one that you cite,
it can show either result--more pesticide spending leads to the highest net
return per acre or to the lowest. You can cite either study, depending on
your point of view.
A second tabulation cited by the Academy is for Kansas wheat growers.
The 25% of the farms with the highest net income spent only $1.19 per acre on
pesticides while the growers with the lowest net return spent over $6 per
acre. Again, there is no information on the amounts of pesticides used by the
2 groups of growers. Let me illustrate how, in actuality, it may be that the
growers who are spending more may actually be using far less pesticides than
the growers who spend less.
We recently profiled herbicide use by Kansas wheat growers. About all
that Kansas wheat growers use is a broadleaf weed control herbicide--as you
can see the major herbicides for 1987 Kansas wheat were 2,4-D and
chlorsulfuron--both with about one-fourth of the acreage.
Looking at the costs and usage rates for these 2 compounds we see that
chlorsulfuron costs 5 times more per acre and is applied at dramatically
reduced usage rates per acre. So my hypothesis for Kansas wheat is that the
growers who were spending the most were using the least. Chlorsulfuron was a
new herbicide--maybe they had trouble applying it--these new low rate
herbicides can be very tricky. Meanwhile, the growers spending the least with
the highest returns per acre were applying good old reliable 2,4-D. This
hypothesis can't be rejected because there is no data in the Kansas wheat
tabulations that indicate quantities of pesticides used. Lower expenditures
for pesticides does not mean lower use amounts.
The Academy is fairly explicit in telling us where soybeans should be
grown in the US. They point to the costs of producing a bushel of soybeans
and note that it costs 2-3 times as much to produce a bushel of soybeans in
the Southeast-Delta region as it does in the Corn Belt-Great Plains region.
And one of the reasons is the high cost of pest control in these regions.
They have a lot more insects and diseases in these regions.
The Academy suggests that it should be national policy to stop producing
crops in regions where the production costs are so high in comparison to other
regions. All the Academy has done is to confirm findings of USDA's National
Pesticide Assessment Program which estimated a few years ago what would happen
to soybean yields without insecticides. And, in fact, USDA estimated that in
a normal year without insecticides that soybean yields would decline by 19% in
the Delta states and by over 50% in the southeast while a loss of soybean
insecticides in the Corn Belt and Lake states would only cause small increased
yield losses because they have less insects.
Now USDA uses this information to argue that insecticides should be
available for Southeastern soybeans, but the Academy says, that's why we
should get these regions out of soybeans--they're too dependent on pesticides-
-the environment will get better if they're not producing the crop. Let's
look at the value of the soybean crop in some of these southeastern states.
$300 million in Mississippi, for example. These are some of our poorest
states and soybeans are a real important cash crop there. The Academy doesn't
tell us what the land will be used for if they don't grow soybeans. How much
income will they lose? Also, how do we know the environment is going to get
better? The Academy simply asserts that the environment will be better
without soybeans. What crop are they going to grow that doesn't need a lot of
pesticides? They need insecticides no matter what crop they grow.
The Academy is enamored as much of the press has been with the bug vacuum
cleaner. The Academy published a picture like this in their report and in
very waffling language tells us that the vacuum cleaner may work in some
situations and some crops to make some insecticide use unnecessary. It's
expensive--a retrofitted tractor costs $10,000 and a new one can cost $80,000.
And all for some undetermined reduction in pesticide use. California
strawberry growers are using this technique. Well, strawberry growers have a
lot of cash. Their income per acre is $24,000.
Is the Academy suggesting that wheat growers with returns of $300/acre
make this investment and see if it works? What do strawberry growers do in
addition to the bug vacuum cleaner? Well, in addition to some insecticide
use, we see that what strawberry growers really do is use fumigants. Over 300
lbs of fumigants per acre. Once again, these fumigants kill everything in the
soil before the crop is planted. It kills all the soil insects.
vacuum cleaner has to do is vacuum off the unfortunate bugs that fly in during
the year. The Academy doesn't discuss this. For the bug vacuum cleaner to
work, do we have to use 300 lbs/acre of fumigants to sterilize the soil?
I think that a far more serious problem in relation to alternative
agriculture that receives hardly any attention from the Academy is the problem
of labor and management time. If you look at input indexes for agriculture
since 1947 you can see the tenfold increase in the amount of chemicals used.
You can also observe a decline of about 67% in the amount of labor used in US
crop production. Pesticides have served to replace labor. Many of those jobs
were backbreaking jobs such as hoeing weeds in cotton fields.
The Academy doesn't address the need for labor in alternative
agriculture. Available surveys of organic growers indicate that the shortage
of labor is a significant problem, for example, for organic growers in New
York, 33% said that an adequate labor supply was a significant problem. How
much more labor would alternative agriculture require? One more worker per
farm? That's 2 million workers. Many farm operators have off-farm jobs. Do
they have to-give them up and return to the farm for the intense management of
The Academy refers several times to food cosmetic standards as a prime
reason for high pesticide use. They cite no examples. Citrus thrips damage
to oranges is often cited as an example of a purely cosmetic change for which
a substantial amount of pesticides are used. Thrip damage to the peel will
leave a characteristic russetting appearance but doesn't change the fruit
itself. Why can't this particular practice of spraying for thrips be simply
In 1986, in California about four hundred thousand pounds of insecticides
were used to control thrips.
Citrus thrips are only a problem in California and Arizona, they are not
a problem in Florida and Texas. Currently, California has the greatest share
of the fresh orange market. Most of Florida oranges go into processing. This
dominant role for California in the fresh orange market is largely based on
the perceived quality of California oranges. If California oranges began
appearing mottled from thrip damage and Florida could still produce unmottled
oranges because they don't have the thrips problem, then we'd expect Florida
oranges to gain more of the fresh market at California's expense.
What about the California growers simply selling their oranges in the
processing market? It turns out that since production costs are so high in
California that growers would lose about two dollars per box if they were sold
in the processing market. The success of the California orange industry is
predicated on selling fresh market oranges at a very high price per box to
cover the high cost of production including irrigation, frost control, and
The whole issue of cosmetic changes needs to be explored. Some of the
changes appear to be cosmetic--squash plants that are attacked by a virus that
discolors them--insecticides are used to control the insects that carry the
virus. There are federal grades for squash-should we change the grades to
allow the green and deformed squash to be given the premium grades? Would it
make any difference to change the grades? Our preliminary research indicates
that it probably wouldn't-wholesalers and retailers have their own standards
that far exceed federal ones. Produce is rejected even if it meets federal
standards but is not to the liking of the wholesalers.
Advocates of reduced pesticide use acknowledge that a change in these
cosmetic standards would result in more insects in our foods, but they argue
essentially that the insects pose no harm to people and may even be good to
I'm just not sure how ready the general public is to accept insects in
their peppers or maggot damage inside an apple. Thresholds for this type of
contamination are very low.
The use of parasitic insects to control unwanted pests is often suggested
as an alternative to the use of chemical pesticides--and the National Academy
identifies this technique as worthy of more research. Here we have a predator
stink bug about to do serious harm to a green stink bug.
Cotton insect control costs have traditionally been high in the
Mississippi Delta--the costs per harvested acre of about $57. A project was
recently funded to investigate the use of a natural predator for tobacco
budworm--one of the major pests of cotton.
And technically the project was a success. A tiny wasp was successfully
reared that provides adequate in-field control of the tobacco budworm.
However, the cost of the wasps as a control measure is prohibitive. Each
wasp costs $.10, by releasing 10,000 wasps per acre 2 or 3 times during the
growing season effective control can be had for $2-3000/acre. And remember
the budworm is just 1 of 9 insects currently controlled for $57/acre. The
Academy acknowledges that biological control programs have not been too
popular because of their costs, but they don't mention how significant these
costs are in comparison to chemical controls.
Peanuts are a crop for which a significant amount of fungicides are used
to prevent diseases such as pod rot. The Academy suggests that research into
genetic resistance may produce significant opportunities to reduce fungicide
use in peanuts.
And, indeed, ongoing research at the University of Georgia indicates that
the peanut variety florunner has partial resistance to leafspot and as a
result, the amount of fungicide applications can be cut in half.
However, there's one small problem--the new variety produces an excessive
amount of vine growth. (Peanut fields are a tangle of vines anyway.) So the
solution is to use a growth regulator to control the excessive vine growth--so
that harvesting can occur.
The only growth regulator that was available to peanut farmers was Alar-
-they called it Kylar. Without using Kylar to control the excessive vine
growth, the disease resistant cultivor can't be successfully used and
fungicide use can't be reduced. There are tradeoffs, some uses go down, other
uses go up.
How is it all going to turn out? Well, IPM is being endorsed. These are
the crops with high rates of IPM adoption, millions of dollars have been spent
already to establish these programs. Economic thresholds and scouting are
used. Pesticide use is minimized. So what happens to apple IPM programs when
Alar is banned? Well, it turns out Alar was a terrific IPM material.
When Alar was applied in July it aided greatly in preventing premature
fruitdrop. A benefit of this to IPM lay in allowing toleration of greater
numbers of leafminers, mites, and leafhoppers, all of which may contribute to
causing premature fruitdrop when populations exceed tolerable levels. So
without Alar the threshold levels have had to be reduced by 50% and a lot more
insecticides will be used in apple orchards now that Alar is gone. For
example, apple growers are spraying leafminers when there are only 7 per 100
leaves instead of 14. Insecticide use is going to go up. Beneficial insects
are going to be wiped out. So if you love IPM, do you love Alar?
I'd like to make three points in conclusion. First, I don't think that
the Academy's report supports their conclusion that farmers who are cutting
back on pesticides are doing better. They cite expenditure data, not usage
data. They say fungicide use is going down without saying fumigant use is
going up. They don't present yield data from their alternative farms during
years with severe pest problems. They don't consider alternative hypotheses
as to why some growers have been able not to spray as often as their
Secondly, I'm very concerned about the use of this report as a blueprint
as to where additional research funds are to be spent. Should we continue to
pour money into tomato IPM programs in Florida? Will we support research into
the use of bug vacuum cleaners? Will there be more research into soil
fumigants? Will research produce parasitic wasps that are too expensive for
use? I think that the priorities of the research need to be clearly focused
with a clear view toward producing beneficial techniques for use in farming.
The report is too much of a long shopping list where any technique merits
serious consideration if it can be studied as any kind of an alternative to
I know there have been successes in reducing pesticide use profitably; I
know there have been failures. Let's not delude ourselves that we have enough
to establish research priorities.
Thirdly, there are many totally uncoordinated initiatives with regard to
pesticides. The initiative for research into IPM is just one of these. There
are food safety initiatives, groundwater initiatives, farmworker protection
initiatives, state actions; food processing companies are refusing to accept
certain pesticide residues; EPA continues its reregistration efforts;
manufacturers are dropping product registrations. And all this is happening
in a totally uncoordinated way. I keep looking for the guiding hand that's
not there. You can spend millions of dollars in designing effective IPM
programs and lose an effective IPM material because of groundwater or food
safety concerns and it's back to the drawing table.
I don't think we have the information we need to set the priorities for
research or regulations or to understand all the consequences of our action's
as we approach this very complicated issue.
FRESH MARKET VEGETABLE
o Extensive scouting
o Reduced use of
o IPM Technology
o Soil fumigant
o Significant yiel
IN PEPPER AND TOMATO IPM
FLORIDA VEGETABLES: 1979
1000 LBS AI
RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDES USED IN FLORIDA 1986-87
RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDES
IN FLORIDA 1986-87
FUMIGANT USE FOR PEST CONTROL
(77,000 Acres of
Landfills in Cal
f in Public
Use for Mite
Use of Insecticides
o Mold Control
FUNGICIDES USED ON CALIFORNIA PROCESSING TOMATOES
% OF ACRES
FRESH GRAPES IN CALIFORNIA: THE PAVICH FARM
o 609 Acres
o Weed control
and hand weeding
o No herbicides
THE PAVICH FARM
o The Paviches'
to six applications
o How and why
COSTS OF PAVICH VINEYARD
AND UC ENTERPRISE
Disease and pest control
harvest cash costs
Cash cost per box
USE OF FUNGICIDES FOR POWDERY MILDEW CONTROL
FUNGICIDES USED IN CALIFORNIA GRAPE PRODUCTION
USED IN CALIFORNIA
USE AT KUTZTOWN
SOYBEAN YIELDS (Bushels/Acre)
HILL FARM HAY
SABOT HILL FARM
IF WEEDS BECOME A PROBLEM IN THE FIELD, THEY MAY HARVEST THE
SOYBEANS ALONG WITH THE WEEDS AS A HAY CROP.
MINNESOTA: SOYBEAN PRODUCTION
PER ACRE FARMS
PER ACRE FARMS
PER ACRE FARMS
OF PRODUCTION FOR DRYLAND
USE OF WHEAT
% of Acres
FOR WHEAT HERBICIDES
YIELDS AND PRODUCTION COSTS,
INSECT CONTROL COSTS
COST OF WASPS FOR CONTROL OF TOBACCO BUDWORM IN COTTON
# of wa
# of tr
sps to release
Cost per acre
COST OF WASPS FOR CONTROL OF TOBACCO
BUDWORM IN COTTON
^ -. . _. __ __ ._.---- - -----
US IPM USE,
% of Total
IPM TREATMENT THRESHOLD LEVELS