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Financial Benefit of Using Crop Protection Decision Rules Over Systematic Spraying Strategies

November 2007 , Volume 97 , Number  11
Pages  1,484 - 1,490

F. Fabre, M. Plantegenest, and J. Yuen

First author: INRA, UR 407, Unité de Pathologie Végétale, BP 94, 84143 Avignon Cedex, France; second author: INRA/Agrocampus Rennes, UMR 1099, Unité Mixte de Recherche BiO3P, 65 rue de Saint-Brieuc, CS 84215, 35042 Rennes, France; and third author: Department of Forest Mycology and Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7026, SE 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.

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Accepted for publication 15 June 2007.

Decision rule models are considered to be one of the main cornerstones of the implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) programs. Even if the need for such programs to offer cost advantages over conventional strategies is a major incentive for IPM adoption, few studies focus on this financial dimension. In this article, a modeling approach of the response of a pathosystem to a disease control method and of the predictive performance of decision rules is used to explore how some basic factors act on the likelihood of adoption of decision rule models strategies (such as using an IPM system) over systematic strategies (such as systematic-spraying and never-spraying strategies). Even if the average cost of using the decision rule strategies is always lower than the average cost of systematic strategies in several different scenarios, the models developed here showed strong effects of different pathosystems and decision rules on financial benefits. The number of production situations where decision rules are of interest is highly correlated with their accuracy. However, because of the inescapable trade-offs between decision rule accuracy and limiting factors such as its user-friendly characteristics, the use of decision rules is unlikely to reduce costs to <70% of the costs of systemic strategies. In more general terms, this study provides quantitative guidelines on the financial advantage that decision rules can offer in plant protection as well as a better understanding of their potential usefulness.

Additional keywords:control strategies, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve.

© 2007 The American Phytopathological Society