Economic Injury Levels and Economic Thresholds

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Decision MakingHave discussed the “Maximum Tolerable Level” but have not defined it. Several Points to Make: More than 1 “Level” is usually needed. There are many kinds of such levels (cf. p. 200 – 201 in text for one list). “Action Levels” or “Thresholds” are one general method of decision making. We will discuss the other one (Optimization) later. The leader in this field has been L. Pedigo. Be sure & read his article in the “Reading Assignments”


The General ProblemMaximum Tolerable Level


We actually see this:Maximum Tolerable LevelTime (Weeks)Pest Population Density12345678


One problem is that we need to allow for management response time – The time between when a control decision is made and when it takes effectMaximum Tolerable LevelTime (Weeks)Pest Population Density12345678Assume it takes 1 week to decide a control is needed, apply it, and for it to workDecision must be made here


The other problem is uncertaintyMaximum Tolerable LevelTime (Weeks)Pest Population Density12345678


Solution to both problems (mgmt response time & uncertainty) is to create two levelsMaximum Tolerable LevelTime (Weeks)Pest Population Density12345678Economic ThresholdEconomic Injury LevelThe maximum pest level that one is willing to tolerate.The pest level at which action must be taken in order to avoid exceeding the EIL.


Quick Notes on EILs & ETsET is always < EIL Units of ET & EIL are the same Often pest density (absolute or relative) Can also be injury (e.g. % defoliation) Can also be implicit factors (e.g. leaf wetness) EIL & ET are hard numbers calculated from equations developed through field research.


The Basic EIL ModelThe basic concept is that the EIL is the point at which the cost of a control = the value of damage that will be avoided by the control. Value of damage avoided is a product of: Crop market value (V) Pest population density (P) Injury caused by each pest individual (I) Damage resulting from that injury (D) Proportion of total damage that cannot be avoided by the control (K)


The Basic EIL Model


ExampleAssume: It costs $50/A to apply a given control (C) A crop is worth $40/bushel (V) Leaf area equal to two leaves/row foot are eaten by each pest individual/plant (I) The loss of two leaves/row foot results in the loss of one bushel/A (D) Even if you apply the control, you will still lose 10 % of the crop (K = 0.1, no units)


Example, Continued


Understanding the Units is Key


Here’s how the units balanceResult: EIL = 6.25 pests/plant


One of the principal advantages of EILs is their objectivity and scientific basisI, D, and K are determined empirically through field & laboratory experimentation. C is, for the most part, easily determined. For most agricultural crops, V is commonly available.


The principal source of subjectivity is in “Value”: Ex: Tree Crops & Gypsy MothResort OwnerLumber CompanyMunicipalityForest RangerNote that in all of these cases: C, I, D, & K are all the same. Only V changes.


Some examples of EILs & their derivation.EIL for Mexican Bean Beetle in Soybean – Details the development of an EIL. EILs for sorghum midge on sorghum – See Table 1 in the middle of the article. Common stalk borer in Nebraska corn Sweet potato whitefly on cantaloupe


How are ETs calculated?Most common method is heuristic. Most common rule of thumb is 1/3 EIL. Two examples of more formal methods are: ET = EIL/r (2) ET = EIL/(expected rate of change in pest population)


General notes on ETsETs are the predictive part of an EIL/ET pair – one acts on an ET in order to prevent the EIL from being exceeded. ETs are one type of “Action Threshold”. Other types were in Pedigo & your text (pp. 201 – 202). Note your text’s discussion of limitations of thresholds.


Advantages of ThresholdsConceptually easy to understand makes them easy to implement/adopt. Can also be represented in many formats: single numbers, tables, charts. Scientific basis to threshold criteria Flexibility gives broad applicability Can be applied to a variety of pests in many situations Can utilize many variables as the action variable. Climatic variables often used for pathogens. Have been extended to take into account many other issues. Examples include Age distribution Multiple controls (e.g. biocontrol) Environmental Impacts (i.e. macroeconomic “C” values) Risk


Closely read the remainder of this chapterThis is the only place where the following topics are discussed: Use of field history Field location & size Monitoring climate Use of computer/mathematical models Aesthetic effects Risk Assessment Economics

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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