Group Title: economic benefits of alternative agriculture
Title: The Economic benefits of alternative agriculture
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00095695/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Economic benefits of alternative agriculture a critique of the NAS report
Physical Description: 21, 31 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Gianessi, Leonard P.
Donor: unknown ( endowment )
Publication Date: 1989?
Copyright Date: 1989
Edition: Draft
 Subjects
Subject: Pests -- Integrated control -- United States   ( lcsh )
Alternative agriculture -- United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States of America
 Notes
General Note: Typescript; "Draft" typed on all numbered leaves.
Statement of Responsibility: by Leonard P. Gianessi
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095695
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 436864472

Full Text





DRAFT


The Economic Benefits of Alternative Agriculture:
A Critique of the NAS Report

by

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

back.

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.








DRAFT


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








DRAFT


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

into account.






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









DRAFT


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.










DRAFT


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

tradeoffs.







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.








DRAFT


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








DRAFT


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








DRAFT


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

diseases.



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









DRAFT


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








DRAFT


to the economic effects of this alternative agricultural practice for this

particular grower.






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.








DRAFT


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

housing.







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

neighbors.



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.








DRAFT


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








DRAFT


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








DRAFT


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








DRAFT


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

alternative agriculture?



*** ****



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








DRAFT


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

disallowed?



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

pruning.



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









DRAFT


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

eat.



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








DRAFT


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









DRAFT


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?










DRAFT


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

neighbors.



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

pesticide use.



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.





















DRAFT


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


INTEGRATED


PEST MANAGEMENT


(IPM)


o Two-thirds


of


acreage


in IPM


programs


o Extensive scouting

o Reduced use of

o Herbicides


o Insecticides

o Fungicides

o IPM Technology


o Plastic


for pests


(21% reduction)


mulch


o Soil fumigant

o Significant yiel


use


d increases


FLORIDA


PRODUCTION:









IN PEPPER AND TOMATO IPM


FLORIDA


o Fenvalerate
o Endosulfan


o Methomyl


o Chlorothalonil


o Paraquat


o Methyl
o Maneb


Bromide


o Mancozeb


PESTICIDES USED


PROGRAMS










FLORIDA VEGETABLES: 1979


1000 LBS AI


(LB AI/ACRE)


PER YEAR


HERBICIDES


INSECTICIDES


FUNGICIDES


FUMIGANTS


1.1


213


918


1884


886


4.8


9.8


4.6


OTHER


PESTICIDE USAGE,


654


3.4








RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDES USED IN FLORIDA 1986-87


(lbs/yr)


Methyl Bromide

Chloropicrin


Aldicarb


14,418,000

4,797,000

5,629,000


Carbofuran

Parathion


26,000

103,000

680,000


Methomyl


RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDES


USED


IN FLORIDA 1986-87










FUMIGANT USE FOR PEST CONTROL


Methyl Bromide

Plastic Mulch


LB/Acre

180.00


$/Acre

124.00

250.00
75.00


(plastic
(plastic


purchase)
disposal)


(77,000 Acres of
Landfills in Cal


Plastic
ifornia


Mulch
& Flor


Disposed o
ida 1987)


f in Public









CALIFORNIA


PROCESSING TOMATOES


- IPM


KITAMURA FARM


o Herbicide


Use: Napropamide,


Pebulate,


Trifluralin


o Sulfur

o Minimal


Use for Mite


Control


Use of Insecticides


and Fungicides


o Mold Control


by Early


Termination


of Irrigation









FUNGICIDES USED ON CALIFORNIA PROCESSING TOMATOES


% OF ACRES


TREATED


Sulfur

Chlorothalonil

Triadimefon


64%

39%

18%


Copper 12%

Metalaxyl 9%








CALIFORNIA


PROCESSING TOMATOES


(1987)


Tons H
(mil


arrested
lions)


June

July

August

September


October


.1


1.9

2.5

1.9








FRESH GRAPES IN CALIFORNIA: THE PAVICH FARM


o 609 Acres


in Kern


and Tulare


County


o Yields


exceed


state


average


o Fumigation


for nematode


control


o Weed control


o Mowing


and hand weeding


o No herbicides


o Occasional


insecticide


spot


spraying

fungal


is applied


IN CALIFORNIA:


THE PAVICH FARM


FRESH


GRAPES


to prevent


disease


o Sulfur




PAVICH


INSECTICIDE


USE VERSUS


NEIGHBORING


FARMS


o The Paviches'


California


vineyards


are literally


surrounded
operations.


by


conventional


grape-growing


o Most
apply


conventional


four


grape


growers


to six applications


in California
of insecticide.


o Most


years,


the Paviches


are able


to avoid


spraying


insecticides


on any


of their


vineyards


in California.


o How and why


the system


works


remains


largely


unknown







COSTS OF PAVICH VINEYARD


AND UC ENTERPRISE


BUDGET


$/ACRE


UC

39


Herbicide


Ground cover


maintenance


PAVICH

0


22


Disease and pest control


Total pre


materials


harvest cash costs


Cash cost per box


142


220


1118


1436


COMPARATIVE


2.14 2.20













USE OF FUNGICIDES FOR POWDERY MILDEW CONTROL


LBS
PER
ACRE
TREATMENT


LBS
PER
ACRE


OF
TREATMENTS


SULFUR


TRIADIMEFON


11.3


113.0











FUNGICIDES USED IN CALIFORNIA GRAPE PRODUCTION


(lbs/year


3,562,


Sulfur

Benomyl

Captan


- 1985)


384


12,928

178,713

16,237

36.395


Maneb


Triadimefon


FUNGICIDES


USED IN CALIFORNIA


GRAPE PRODUCTION












USE AT KUTZTOWN


(NON-RODALE)


TIME PERIOD


CROPS


ACTIVE INGREDIENTS


1978-1982


Corn/Soybeans


atrazine,
butylate,


alachlor,


linuron


1983-Present


Corn


atrazine, metolachlor


1983-Present


HERBICIDE


FARM


Soybeans


none used
















SOYBEAN YIELDS (Bushels/Acre)
(RODALE)


Kutztown Farm
State


1978
38.8
31.5


1979
36.8
32.0


1980
27.9
24.5


1981
44.0
31.0


1982
42.8
32.0









SABOT


HILL FARM HAY


ACREAGE,


1986


Alfalfa -

Mixture (F
legumes,


Orchard Grass

escue, Johnsongrass,
millets)


Orchard Grass


125


300


65









HARVESTED


HAY CROPS:
(SELECTED)


ALABAMA,


1987


(Acreage)


Bermudagrass


654.000


Tall


Fescue


1,021,000


Johnsongrass


103.000


















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


($/ACRE)


TOTAL
VARIABLE
COSTS


FERTILIZER AND
PESTICIDE COSTS


YIELD
(BU/Acre)


LOW RETURN
PER ACRE FARMS

HIGH RETURN
PER ACRE FARMS


70.24


17.67


26.8


49.10 12.34


SOUTHWEST


COSTS, 1986


45.8











SOUTHEAST


MINNESOTA:


SOYBEAN


PRODUCTION


COSTS,


($/ACRE)


TOTAL
VARIABLE
COSTS


FERTILIZER


AND


PESTICIDE COSTS


LOW RETURN


HIGH


PER ACRE FARMS


RETURN PER


ACRE FARMS


92.27
65.81


21.62
24.90


1986








OF PRODUCTION FOR DRYLAND


SOUTHWEST KANSAS,


1986


(per acre)


25% of
Farms with
Highest Income


25% of
Farms
Lowest


with
Income


Pesticides


Total


Costs


106.37


164.29


Total Costs/Bu


3.10


1.19


6.47


COST


5.24


WHEAT






USE OF WHEAT


HERBICIDES,


KANSAS,


1987


% of Acres
Treated)


4-D


Dicamba

MCPA

Chlorsulfuron

Metsulfuron


Grass


Herbicides


29


27

1










COSTS


AND USAGE


RATES


FOR WHEAT HERBICIDES


Active
Ingredient


2.4-D


Chlorsulfuron


Per
Acre
Cost

1.25

5.36


LB AI/
Acre


.50

.02







YIELDS AND PRODUCTION COSTS,


(SOYBEANS)


Delta


South
East


Corn
Great


Belt-
Lakes


Northern
Plains


Yiel
(B


Total
Var
($/


d/Acre
ushels


able
Bu)


Fertili
Pesti
Costs


Cost


2.80


zer and
cide
($/Bu)


19


38


34


22


3.15


1.69


1.31


1.31


1.21


.64


.49


REGIONAL


1986










SOYBEANS:


VALUE


OF PRODUCTION,


1987


(million


dollars)


as
sippi
lina
see


$3
2
1
1


Illinois
Iowa
Ohio
Minnesota


1776
1838
810
1034





INSECT CONTROL COSTS


MISSISSIPPI


- DELTA


Thrips


Plant


Bugs/Fleahoppers


Boll Weevil


Boll Weevil/Bollworm/Budworm


Bollworm/Budworm


Aphids

Spider


$/Acre

5.53

8.74

2.66

9.27

18.39


Armyworms


4.81

457 01


TOT tl


2.57

5.24


Mites


COTTON











COST OF WASPS FOR CONTROL OF TOBACCO BUDWORM IN COTTON


Cost pe

# of wa
each

# of tr


r wasp


sps to release
treatment (per


eatments


$.10


10,000


acre)


2-3


Cost per acre


COST OF WASPS FOR CONTROL OF TOBACCO


BUDWORM IN COTTON


$2000-$3000







NEW YORK


ORGANIC


FARMERS


(1986


SURVEY)


Sig
(% of


nificant
Growers


Problems
Identifying)


Weed Management

Insect Management

Plant Diseases


Dependable


High


Supply


of Labor


Labor Costs


66

32

24

32

12


^ -. . _. __ __ ._.---- - -----








US IPM USE,


% of Total


Under


Acres


IPM


Apples

Citrus

Cotton

Peanuts


Rice


1986


65

70

48

44

39











APPLE PESTS,


IPM TREATMENT THRESHOLD LEVELS
(NEW ENGLAND)


Leafminers (mi

Mites (mobile

Leafhoppers (n


nes/100 leaves)

mites/leaf)

ymphs/100 leaves)


With Alar

14

2.4

10-30


Without Alar

7

1.2

5-15




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