Study shows 60 percent of T&O professionals favor neonics

December 10, 2014 -  By
Click to be directed to the full study.

Click to be directed to the full study.

A recent report provided neonicotinoids are the primary tools used by turf and ornamental (T&O) professionals to control destructive insect pests.

The report, titled “The Value of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Turf and Ornamentals: The Value of Neonicotinoids to Turf and Ornamental Professionals,” is one in a series that will be released over the next few months as part of a comprehensive evaluation of the economic and societal benefits of neonic insecticides in North America. The research was conducted by Ag Infomatics and jointly commissioned and sponsored by Bayer CropScience, Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Syngenta and Valent U.S.A. Corp.

All reports will be published online at GrowingMatters.org (see image at right).

University economists headed up the initial report, conducting a survey of 750 T&O professionals to assess their pest management practices in greenhouses, nurseries, lawns, landscapes and trees.

When asked to rate the relative importance of different variables in choosing an insecticide, more than 90 percent of all respondents listed performance (protecting plant quality and consistency of pest control) and safety (to applicators and customers) as their leading considerations. Nearly 60 percent of all professionals surveyed included a neonics as one of their “most used” insecticides.

When asked what would happen if neonicotinoids were no longer available, nearly 75 percent of all professionals indicated there were either no acceptable alternatives or not enough acceptable alternatives to meet their pest management needs. Across all T&O markets, 55 percent of professionals noted that the loss of neonicotinoids would result in reduced income for their business. The highest financial impact was in the lawn segment, where 68 percent anticipated a loss of income.

The major reasons cited for income reductions among all professionals were related to increased costs associated with using alternative insecticides and the impact on plant quality or services provided. Without neonics, 78 percent of respondents expected higher costs due to more frequent treatments, or increased volumes of alternative insecticides. Two-thirds of all professionals indicated that higher costs would occur as a result of increased time associated with additional treatments, record keeping and worker training. Almost half of all professionals noted there would be a decrease in customer satisfaction if neonics were not available.

Without neonics, most professionals indicated they would shift primarily to older chemistries, and many expressed concerns about managing invasive pests or how this would affect their Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. From their perspective, switching to older products would represent a serious setback in managing pest resistance and to their overall operations.

 

LM Staff

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