Economic Benefits of Using Sterile Insect Technique and Mating Disruption to Control Codling Moth
- Lee Cartier
In the Okanagan/Similkameen region, the tree fruit industry value chain forms a significant part of the Agricultural Products Cluster. In 2011, 8677 acres of apples comprised 38% of the total horticulture land base. The remaining acreage was planted primarily to sweet cherries (3500 acres) and wine grapes (8100 acres). However, the tree fruit industry value chain is undergoing significant transformational change as the apple acreage has declined from 13 430 acres in 2001, a loss of 4753 acres. This change in the primary production base has had profound processing and marketing implications for the apple sector, and for the government programs such as the Okanagan Kootenay Sterile Insect Release Program (OKSIR) that provide services to the sector.
A social benefit-cost analysis (B/C) was used to evaluate the OKSIR. This analysis measures both the benefits, in the form of cost savings and Sterile Insect Release services that accrue to the commercial apple and pear producers, and the benefits that non-agricultural residents receive, the consumer surplus. The study compares the Benefit/Cost ratios for both the existing Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to control Codling moth and the use of a mating disruption (MD) technique. The net benefit for MD ($281.47/acre) is higher than for SIT ($258.65/acre). This is also reflected in the higher NPV for MD.
The break-even point for SIT is 6238 acres and 1264 acres for MD. The lower acreage requirement for MD reflects the lower costs associated with MD, and supports the idea that MD is a viable method for controlling Codling moth in areas with relatively small acreages.
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- Anne BrownEditorial Assistant