Concerns over the effects of neonicotinoids on pollinators have prompted suggestions that growers use alternative pest control products.

For growers, neonicotinoids are considered very effective in controlling pest and are safe for humans. As a result, neonicotinoids are widely used across the environmental horticulture industry.  It is unclear whether growers think switching to alternative pest control products is a viable option for them, and whether such a switch would impact them economically.

Inside a horticultural plant nursery, with various plants being grown on both sides of the aisle.Therefore, to better understand growers’ attitudes towards their pesticide management options as well as the economics surrounding their pesticide management decisions, we conducted personal interviews and online/mail surveys with various environmental horticulture growers.

We are using the interviews to understand growers’ production costs, while the online and mail surveys assess growers’ current and projected uses of pesticides, as well as their perceptions on neonicotinoids.

The online surveys about growers use and perceptions of neonicotinoids opened in August 2018 and closed in December 2018. About 95 growers from 49 states completed the online survey, and a follow-up mail survey is currently in progress across 15 major environmental horticulture production states.

Now that the personal interviews are complete, we are performing a budget sensitivity analysis, to see how changes in labor or pest management might affect the three main financial indicators for growers: net income, gross margin, and profit margin.

We hope to post preliminary results soon.

Researcher: Dr. Hayk Khachatryan

States: Most of the U.S.A.