The production economics of dandelion control in forage production in Ontario

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Bakker, Michael
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University of Guelph

Forage is the fourth most widely grown crop in Ontario. Few herbicides had been developed for forage and the existing products did not offer adequate control. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the profitability of dandelion control in Ontario for a selected set of control measures. A survey of forage producers was conducted to characterize their perceptions of dandelion infestations in their stands. The survey data indicated a demand for a dandelion control product. A literature review was conducted which indicated that there was a reduction in crude protein content during the first cut of the forage. A number of field trials were conducted at the University of Guelph, BASF research farms and at the author's home farm, using a number of different combinations of imazethapyr and 2, 4 DB. Data obtained from these trials were used to estimate a number of different functional forms for a control function. Fox and Weersink (1995) showed that damage control inputs can be subject to increasing returns. Applying each of the different types of functional forms to the data available, combined with a linear damage function, showed that none of the estimated control functions produced increasing returns. A profitability analysis of dandelion control was conducted. The results of this analysis indicated that none of the dandelion control strategies considered in this study were profitable using the manufactures retail sales cost over a single season. Dandelion does become profitable does become profitable if the application effort is about half of its original value.

Forage, Dandelion control, Herbicides, Field trials, Profitability