Adopting an integrated pest management strategy a profitable choice for companies, according to economic survey

October 18th, 2018

Rationalizing the use of pesticides in field crops

An extensive economic analysis conducted by Institut de recherche et de développement en agroenvironnement (IRDA) from 2016 to 2018 looked at the viability of using an integrated strategy to control field crop pests. The results showed that this approach benefits the environment by reducing pesticide use, and does not negatively impact the profitability of small grain, grain corn, or soy crop operations. In fact, among the 115 companies surveyed, many experienced a positive impact on yields and profitability. This study is in keeping with the objectives of the 2011¬–2021 Québec agricultural phytosanitary strategy, which targets reductions in the health and environmental risks associated with pesticide use. The study received financial support from Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ) under Part 4 of its 2013–2018 Prime-Vert program.

It is common knowledge that pesticides are frequently employed as part of a preventive strategy. Yet, studies have shown they are often not applied in an optimal manner and the impact is greatest for companies that use them the most. The bottom line is that it makes more financial sense to use pesticides only when absolutely necessary.

According to Luc Belzile, an IRDA researcher in agri-environmental economics, “Taken as a whole, the results of the projects comprising this two-year study indicate that when pesticide use in field crops is rationalized, it does not harm a company’s economic or financial viability, nor does it accentuate economic risk factors.”

The various projects were supported by MAPAQ and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and are presented in a special issue of Perspectives en économie de l’agroenvironnement.

Click on the link below to read this issue (in French).