New pesticides regulation: potential economic impacts of the withdrawal of Pendimethalin in horticultural crops

Sol Garcia-German, Isabel Bardaji, Alberto Garrido


The Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides moves forward towards the sustainability of agriculture fostering the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices in the European Union (EU). EC Regulation 1107/2009 was adopted in this framework leading to the eventual drop in the Vademecum of authorized substances of some important pesticides which are presently used in EU agriculture. Herbicide Pendimethalin will have to renew its registration in 2016 under the new regulation and there is a high probability that it will be removed. In this study we analyze the potential impact of the prohibition of Pendimethalin in two export driven horticultural crops grown in Southeastern Spain - lettuce and celery - to provide an illustration of possible consequences of the loss of certain active substances due to the new regulation. To do so, gross margin stochastic models are developed and used to generate Monte-Carlo simulations to look at farms’ economic results and their production risks. Econometric models are used to examine consumers’ and producers’ surplus in export markets of lettuce and celery. The results show that the Pendimethalin ban might modify the economic risk profile that the farm faces, affecting the crops’ profitability in the short-term. These changes would pass on to markets through shifts in supply and price and finally to European consumers, who would be the major losers.


herbicide regulation; lettuce; celery; economic risk; stochastic models; Monte-Carlo simulations; econometric models

Full Text:



Blake J, Wynn S, Maumene C, Jørgensen LN, 2011. Evaluation of the benefits provided by the azole class of compounds in wheat, and the effect of losing all azoles on wheat and potato production in Denmark, France and the UK. Report 1 - Impact of the loss of all azoles. Available in [October 2013].

Carter CA, Chalfant JA, Goodhue RE, Han FM, DeSantis M, 2005. The methyl bromide ban: economic impacts on the California strawberry industry. Rev Agr Econ 27 (2): 181-197.

Deepak MS, Spreen TH, VanSickle JJ, 1996. An analysis of the impact of a ban of methyl bromide on the U.S. winter fresh vegetable market. J Agr Appl Econ 28 (2): 433-443. European Parliament, 2008. The consequences of the 'cut off' criteria for pesticides: agronomic and financial aspects. IP/B/AGRI/IC/2008_166. Brussels.

Ferguson WL, Moffit LJ, Davis RM, 1992. Short-run welfare implications of restricting fungicide use in vegetable production. J Agribusiness 10 (1): 41-50.

Hillocks RJ, 2012. Farming with fewer pesticides: EU pesticide review and resulting challenges for UK agriculture. Crop Prot 31: 85-93.

Knutson RD, 1999. Economic impacts of reduced pesticide use in the United States: measurement of costs and benefits. AFPC Policy Issues Paper 99-2. Agr Food Policy Cent, Dept Agr Econ. Texas A&M Univ, TX, USA.

Lichtenberg E, Parker DD, Zilberman D, 1988. Marginal analysis of welfare costs of environmental policies: the case of pesticide regulation. Am J Agr Econ 70 (2): 867-874.

Lynch L, Malcolm S, Zilberman D, 2005. Effect of a differentially applied environmental regulation on agricultural trade patterns and production location: the case of methyl bromide. Agr Resour Econ Rev 34 (1): 54–74.

Montserrat A, 2011. Manejo de la flora en cultivos hortícolas. Agrícola Vergel 345: 89-100.

Oerke EC, 2006. Crop losses to pests. J Agr Sci 144: 31–43.

OJ, 2009. Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 of the European Parliament and the Council of October 21. Official Journal of the European Union L309 24/11/2009. p. 1.

Sexton SE, Lei Z, Zilberman D, 2007. The economics of pesticides and pest control. Int Rev Environ Resour Econ 1: 271–326.

Wang S, Arnold WA, 2003. Abiotic reduction of dinitroaniline herbicides. Water Res 37(17): 4191-4201.

Wynn S, 2010. Impact on changing pesticide availability on horticulture. DEFRA. Available in [December 2011].

Zellner A, 1962. An efficient method of estimating seemingly unrelated regressions and tests for aggregation bias. J Am Stat Assoc 57: 348-368.

Zilberman D, Schmitz A, Casterline G, Lichtenberg E, Siebert B, 1991. The economics of pesticide use and regulation. Science 253: 518-522.

DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2014121-4661