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Pesticide use in ornamental production: what are the benefits?



Pest control in ornamental production is challenging owing to the diversity of crops grown, the desired aesthetic perfection, the potential economic loss due to failure and the multitude of arthropod pests encountered. Agricultural crops of less value per acre, such as row crops, can tolerate a certain level of damage from arthropod pests without compromising yields. Damage thresholds for ornamentals, however, are essentially zero. Pesticides are a viable method of protection for such a crop in lieu of alternatives. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of pesticides to the ornamental industry. Pesticides provide many benefits to ornamental producers, including: (1) consistent availability; (2) rapid kill; (3) reliable and consistent control; (4) increased crop production and quality; (5) they may be used to prevent movement of invasive pests; (6) they are less expensive (in general) than alternatives; (7) they may reduce plant pathogenic transmission; (8) they may be used in conjunction with natural enemies. Pesticide use will continue to be a significant strategy for dealing with arthropod pests so that ornamental producers can stay competitive in both national and international markets. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry