This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Economics of Microbial Inoculants as an Integrated Pest Management Practice in Apple Production




Chavez, Holcer

Type of Degree



Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology


Demographic growth, stricter environmental concerns and regulations, and rising prices of chemical pesticides emphasize agricultural production alternatives that substitute chemical input use and increase yields. In recent years, Biological control technologies have emerged as a viable control strategy for plant disease. This thesis analyzes the impact of Microbial Inoculants (MI) technology on pesticide use and yields in apple production using 2007 farm-level data. The analysis employs a pesticide use function and different types of production functions including stochastic production frontier. The results show that pesticide use is not reduced by MI applications. However, the technology has a significant positive impact on the outputs. Adopters of the MI technology have 2.5% higher efficiency rates compared to non-adopters.