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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Economics of reducing insecticide use on celery through low-input pest management strategies

Published source details

Reitz S.R., Kund G.S., Carson W.G., Phillips P.A. & Trumble J.T. (1999) Economics of reducing insecticide use on celery through low-input pest management strategies. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 73, 185-197


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use pesticides only when pests or crop damage reach threshold levels Natural Pest Control

A randomised, replicated, controlled study in 1994-1997 in California, USA (Reitz et al. 1999) found pest damage on celery Apium graveolens was similar in plots receiving threshold-based insecticide applications (5-39% plants damaged) and conventionally treated plots (5-33%) in 1995-1997. In 1994, damage was greater in threshold-based (38% plants) than conventional (20%) plots. Net profit was similar between threshold-based and conventional plots in 1994-1995 and 1997. In 1996 (an unprofitable year) net loss was smaller in threshold-based than conventional plots. A separate randomised, replicated, controlled commercial trial in 1997 found similar yield and net profit from plots with threshold-based applications (1,105-1,121 marketable cartons and US$8,000-8,330) and conventional plots (1,104 cartons and US$8,330). In the 1994-1997 test, threshold plots received selective insecticides (3-4 applications/year) when pest insect thresholds were exceeded. Conventional plots received broad spectrum insecticides to prevent pest build-up (8-9 applications/year). Treatments were replicated four times in plots of 16 celery rows, 20 m long. In 1997, conventional plots (receiving insecticide and fungicide) were compared with plots receiving either threshold-based insecticide application, threshold-based fungicide application, or both. Up to four fungicide and seven insecticide types were used per treatment. Treatments were replicated four times (0.4 ha plots). Effects on natural enemies were not presented.