How low can you go? Estimating impacts of reduced pesticide use

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Recent research has suggested that a high proportion of farms can dramatically reduce pesticide applications without reducing crop yields or farm profits. Yet this research has made estimation choices that may systematically bias downwards estimates of the productivity and profitability of pesticides. Fifty years of agricultural economics research provides lessons about how to avoid pitfalls in estimating pesticide productivity. Carefully executed econometric studies have found evidence of overuse, underuse, and near-optimal use of pesticides in different cropping systems. There are now standard methods to test and correct for sources of biases (either upward or downward) in estimates of pesticide productivity. Ignoring these lessons and methods can seriously bias estimates of the potential for reducing pesticide use at little or no economic cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1233
Number of pages11
JournalPest management science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


  • damage abatement
  • econometrics
  • pesticides
  • productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


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