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Crop Choice, Non-Target Pest Levels, Yield Loss and Their Effect on Insecticide Use in South Dakota


Author Info

  • McDonald, Tia Michelle

    (Department of Economics, South Dakota State University)

  • Keating, Ariel Ruth

    (Department of Economics, South Dakota State University)

  • Scott Fausti

    (Department of Economics, South Dakota State University)

  • Li, Jing
  • Lundgren, Jonathan G

    (Department of Economics, South Dakota State University)


Agriculturally, South Dakota is a unique state possessing the highest rate of adoption for genetically modified crop varieties. In 2009 ninety-six percent of corn acres planted in South Dakota were genetically modified compared with eighty-five percent nationally (Economic Research Service). Additionally, South Dakota has seen a dramatic increase in the number of acres treated with insecticide over the past 20 years. These two situations taken together seem to be counterintuitive. Some genetically modified varieties, such as Bt corn, are equipped with genetic defenses so that they can protect the plant from target pests. Intuitively, one would expect to see a decrease in insecticide use as adoption of genetically modified varieties increase. Recent studies have found that there is a reduction in herbicides applied to herbicide tolerant varieties. Here in South Dakota, though, producers have expressed the opinion that the increase in insecticide use is the result of the emergence and spread of the soybean aphid in the state. This research seeks to address the underlying causes of the increase in insecticide use.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by South Dakota State University, Department of Economics in its series Research Reports with number 201001.

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Length: 2 Pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sda:rerepo:201002

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Keywords: Bt corn; GM crops; insecticide;

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