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Optimal pest control in agriculture

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  • Christiaans, Thomas
  • Eichner, Thomas
  • Pethig, Rudiger

Abstract

Based on economic methodology we model an ecosystem with two species in predator-prey relationship: mice feed on grain and grain feeds on a resource. With optimizing behaviour of individual organisms a short-run ecosystem equilibrium is defined and characterized that depends on the farmer’s use of fertilizer and on the mice population which, in turn, is affected by pesticides. In that way, a microfounded agricultural production function is derived. Linking a sequence of short-run ecosystem equilibria yields the growth function of the mice population which is thus derived rather than assumed. In each period the farmer harvests all grain in excess of some given amount of seed. If she maximizes her present-value profits, optimal farming is shown to depend on the prices of pesticide and grain. It is either optimal to use no pesticide or a moderate amount of pesticide or to apply a chattering control. Pest eradication is never optimal. On the other hand, if the farmer takes into account steady state mice populations only, it may be optimal to eradicate mice or to use no or a moderate amount of pesticide depending on prices as well as on the shape of the grain production function which is determined by micro parameters of grain reproduction.
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Suggested Citation

  • Christiaans, Thomas & Eichner, Thomas & Pethig, Rudiger, 2007. "Optimal pest control in agriculture," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3965-3985, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:31:y:2007:i:12:p:3965-3985
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    Cited by:

    1. Sébastien Foudi, 2012. "Exploitation of soil biota ecosystem services in agriculture: a bioeconomic approach," Working Papers 2012-02, BC3.
    2. Otwin Becker & Ulrike Leopold-Wildburger, 2020. "Optimal dynamic control of predator–prey models," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 28(2), pages 425-440, June.
    3. Guy Meunier, 2014. "Land-sparing vs Land-sharing with incomplete policies," Working Papers 2014-05, Alimentation et Sciences Sociales.
    4. Cobourn, Kelly M. & Goodhue, Rachael E. & Williams, Jeffrey C., 2009. "The Role of Harvest Timing in Pest Management: Grower Response to Infestation by the California Olive Fruit Fly," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49475, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Cobourn, Kelly M. & Burrack, Hannah J. & Goodhue, Rachael E. & Williams, Jeffrey C. & Zalom, Frank G., 2011. "Implications of simultaneity in a physical damage function," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 278-289, September.
    6. Cobourn, Kelly & Goodhue, Rachael & Williams, Jeffrey & Zalom, Frank, 2008. "Pests and Agricultural Commodity Losses: Evaluating Alternative Approaches to Damage Function Estimation," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 271508, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    7. Ceddia, M.G. & Heikkil, J. & Peltola, J., 2009. "Managing invasive alien species with professional and hobby farmers: Insights from ecological-economic modelling," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1366-1374, March.
    8. Foudi, Sébastien, 2012. "The role of farmers' property rights in soil ecosystem services conservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 90-96.
    9. Cobourn, Kelly M. & Goodhue, Rachael E. & Williams, Jeffrey C. & Zalom, Frank, 2008. "Pests and Agricultural Commodity Losses: Evaluating Alternative Approaches to Damage Function Estimation," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6530, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Chen, Yong & Jayaprakash, Ciriyam & Irwin, Elena, 2012. "Threshold management in a coupled economic–ecological system," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 442-455.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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