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Abstract

Soybeans, the second highest cash crop following corn in the U.S., have come under attack by invasive species, the soybean aphid from the North and soybean rust from the South. We estimated the economic losses resulting from soybean aphid infestation by using a dynamic equilibrium model. Results indicate that, first, the reduction of soybean production resulting from soybean aphid infestation is largely absorbed by reducing soybean exports, due to the higher price elasticity of export demand compared to the domestic demand. Second, the economic losses to U.S. soybean producers would grow on average annually between $12.8 million and $23.4 million during the first five years of infestation. In the longer-run, soybean producers would suffer greater economic losses as the dispersion rate of infested soybean acreage with soybean aphids rises. However, the successful discovery of the soybean aphid gene (TF04048) Rag-1 (which confers resistance) does not at this time warrant soybean growers and policy-makers becoming too seriously alarmed. Even so, time is an important factor in the eventual control of the soybean aphid.

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