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Natural Predators as Biological Controls

Costs Of Using this Method

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Cost varies from species to species, all depending on their usage, ability, and rareness of the species. Other forms include pesticide resistance management, worker protection, impacts on non-target pests, environmental considerations, and marketing practices (such as conventional vs. organic). The main problem is there is not an adequate research to provide a sufficient cost rate on any species. There is however, a price range on high and low valued crops with the use of augmentation. On high value crops, the expense of biological control may be somewhat low when compared to overall production costs. On low value crops, the use of natural enemies must be inexpensive to be determined. The use of augmentation however, is cost effective, but relies strongly on knowledge about it, and how to manage it effectively. But this form of biological control is costly and hard to manage, but very productive.

The cost of using pesticides has increased trumendously over the years. Many of the pesticides we use today, are made from petroleum based products and with the increasing price of oil, the cost of pesticides increases also. With the changing of government regulations, this slows down the deveopment rate and increases the cost of new products. Also with the substantial problems with pest resistance have also made it difficult for pesticides to last, and with the cost of fuel and labour, it all leads up to higher prices for pesticide users.

In a recent study done by the agricultural research firm, they determined the price for using chemical pesticide solutions compared to natural biological control. In this experiment they used one farmer’s farm land that was occupied by at least 10 aphids/ plant. They also determined that the aphids caused around $0.07 of damage. Researchers used lady beetles at two different densities: at 5 and 10 beetles per plant. The results were as follows:

 

Spray:

Chemical for one plant: $0.10

Labor to spray one plant (requires at least 2 minutes by a trained worker (2/60) hr x $10.00/hr =$0.33

Total= $0.43/plant

 

Lady Beetles:

$9.00 for 400=$0.023 each

5 beetles: $0.113/plant

10 beetles: $0.225/plant

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Natural Predators as Biological Controls