Cotton production in Australia is a high-value industry with about 90% of fibre produced being exported to Asia, primarily to Indonesia. One aspect of modern cotton production is the heavy usage of insecticide sprays to combat Helicoverpa insects. The high cost of sprays and the public view of the industry regarding its perceived impact on the environment have led to the development of integrated pest management strategies. The measurement of insecticide resistance within insect populations has also prompted the development of insecticide resistance management (IRM) strategies. The aim of the work reported here is to improve the understanding and adoption of IRM strategies by cotton growers. This is pursued by conducting an economic assessment of alternative IRM strategies, to be used in an industry extension campaign. A farm-level dataset is used to conduct an initial analysis of alternative (relatively ‘hard’ and ‘soft’) spray options. The use of entomological and yield simulation models is investigated to pursue other analyses which can more fully account for the multi-period and dynamic nature of the problem. A full social benefit cost analysis would ideally value the environmental off-site impacts of chemical use (albeit lower under IRM), however that task is not attempted here.


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