Since 1993, the annual worldwide cost of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae), control has been routinely quoted to be US$1 billion. This estimate requires updating and incorporation of yield losses to reflect current total costs of the pest to the world economy. We present an analysis that estimates what the present costs are likely to be based on a set of necessary, but reasoned, assumptions. We use an existing climate driven model for diamondback moth distribution and abundance, the Food and Agriculture Organization country Brassica crop production data and various management scenarios to bracket the cost estimates. The “length of the string” is somewhere between US$1.3 billion and US$2.3 billion based on management costs. However, if residual pest damage is included then the cost estimates will be even higher; a conservative estimate of 5% diamondback moth-induced yield loss to all crops adds another US$2.7 billion to the total costs associated with the pest. A conservative estimate of total costs associated with diamondback moth management is thus US$4 billion-US$5 billion. The lower bound represents rational decision making by pest managers based on diamondback moth abundance driven by climate only. The upper estimate is due to the more normal practice of weekly insecticide application to vegetable crops and the assumption that canola (Brassica napus L.) is treated with insecticide at least once during the crop cycle. Readers can decide for themselves what the real cost is likely to be because we provide country data for further interpretation. Our analysis suggests that greater efforts at implementation of even basic integrated pest management would reduce insecticide inputs considerably, reducing negative environmental impacts and saving many hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 105 • No. 4