Helping your farm manage drought concerns and pesticide costs

MSU Extension adds new decision tool to help consider costs of pesticide strategies.

Tractor in field.
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Despite recent rainfall in some areas of Michigan, drought conditions and their impact may extend into the summer. These dry conditions bring with them concerns over effective control of many in-field pests. The lack of precipitation can result in weed escapes as residual herbicides remain dormant. While hot, dry weather often favors increases in insect pest levels. As pest pressures mount, there can be a strain on managing farm costs to ensure a harvestable crop.

To aid producers in these management decisions, Michigan State University Extension has released the Pesticide Cost Comparison Decision Tool for Vegetables. This tool allows you to compare alternative products and their costs in developing a pesticide plan. These comparisons help find which mix of products meets your needs at the lowest possible costs. This new decision tool is a follow-up to the Pesticide Cost Comparison Decision Tool for Field Cropsreleased in October of 2022. 

What you’ll need to use the tool:

  • Chemical product prices (i.e., price per gallon, price per pound)
  • Product rates per acre being applied
  • Product labels (if adding additional products beyond those in the tool) – see Chemical List tab

Pesticide Plans

The plan starts with identifying the types of pests that need to be controlled. MSU Extension provides a number of research-based publications that offer guidance on pests and control methods. Before seeking a chemical solution to your pest concerns, review the following documents and consider all control methods available:

For vegetable growers:

For more information, visit the MSU Integrated Pest Management Center website.

For field crop growers:

Pesticide Plans consider herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide applications. Within each specific crop, two comparison plans can be created to consider different types of chemistry and projected costs per acre. Each comparison provides a total pesticide plan cost per acre. Once completed, these plans can assist you in finding which mix of products meets your IPM needs at the lowest possible cost.

Minimize the impacts of drought and its costs by considering available alternatives. Finding the right balance of products and strategies can help secure potential yields and maximize profits.

Click the following button to download the tool:

Pesticide Cost Comparison Decision Tool for Vegetables

Pesticide Cost Comparison Decision Tool for Field Crops

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