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Optimal Pest Control in Agriculture

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Christiaans
  • Thomas Eichner
  • Rüdiger Pethig

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Christiaans & Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2005. "Optimal Pest Control in Agriculture," CESifo Working Paper Series 1507, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1507
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Thomas Christiaans & Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2005. "A Micro-Level 'Consumer Approach' to Species Population Dynamics," CESifo Working Paper Series 1530, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Eichner, Thomas & Pethig, Rudiger, 2006. "Economic land use, ecosystem services and microfounded species dynamics," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 707-720, November.
    3. Bruce A. Babcock & Erik Lichtenberg & David Zilberman, 1992. "Impact of Damage Control and Quality of Output: Estimating Pest Control Effectiveness," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(1), pages 163-172.
    4. Pethig, Rudiger, 2004. "Agriculture, pesticides and the ecosystem," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, pages 17-32.
    5. Robert G. Chambers & Erik Lichtenberg, 1996. "A Nonparametric Approach to the von Liebig-Paris Technology," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(2), pages 373-386.
    6. Feder, G. & Regev, U., 1975. "Biological interactions and environmental effects in the economics of pest control," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 75-91, December.
    7. Thomas Eichner & Rüdiger Pethig, 2003. "A Microfoundation of Predator-Prey Dynamics," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 110-03, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
    8. David Finnoff & John Tschirhart, 2003. "Protecting an Endangered Species While Harvesting Its Prey in a General Equilibrium Ecosystem Model," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 160-180.
    9. Thomas Crocker & John Tschirhart, 1992. "Ecosystems, externalities, and economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(6), pages 551-567, November.
    10. Catalina Carrasco-Tauber & L. Joe Moffitt, 1992. "Damage Control Econometrics: Functional Specification and Pesticide Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(1), pages 158-162.
    11. Grimm, Sadi S. & Paris, Quirino & Williams, William A., 1987. "A Von Liebig Model For Water And Nitrogen Crop Response," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 12(02), December.
    12. Finnoff, David & Tschirhart, John, 2003. "Harvesting in an eight-species ecosystem," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 589-611, May.
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    Citations

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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. Guy Meunier, 2014. "Land-sparing vs Land-sharing with incomplete policies," Working Papers 2014-05, Alimentation et Sciences Sociales.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Foudi, Sébastien, 2012. "The role of farmers' property rights in soil ecosystem services conservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 90-96.
    7. 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).
    8. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    pesticides; agriculture; predator-prey; chattering pest control;

    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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