Damage threshold

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Damage threshold or damage threshold is a term used in agriculture , forestry and horticulture . It indicates the density of infestation with pests , diseases or weeds , from which control becomes economically viable. Up to this value, the additional economic effort caused by combating is greater than the feared loss of revenue. If the infestation or weeds exceed this value, the control costs are covered by the expected additional proceeds.

Any control of a pest or disease consumes resources, be it time or money, and often has additional effects that in turn take time and money. In order to make an economically correct decision, all of these factors must be considered. Since an exact analysis cannot be carried out in every individual case, one usually assumes a damage threshold established through experience or scientific research.

Depending on the nature of a pest or a disease, the damage threshold can be very different. In the case of pests or diseases that can only be combated with great effort and with negative side effects for further production, the damage threshold can be very high. However, if even a minor infestation can become a source of spread that threatens to destroy the entire production, the damage threshold can be very low.

For example, a single infection with the fire blight can destroy an entire orchard, which is why the damage threshold is very low here. In the event of an infestation with spider mites , a relatively large number of animals can often be tolerated, since damage only occurs in the event of a massive infestation and control would at the same time damage beneficial organisms such as predatory mites , so that the spider mites would multiply on a massive scale.

While the damage threshold in the case of pests helps individual farmers decide whether to use insecticides , the warning service is called by official bodies. This is triggered when an entire region is threatened by pests, i.e. there is a risk that the damage threshold will be exceeded within a larger area. Such a warning service call was made e.g. B. by the Office for Food, Agriculture and Forests Deggendorf when there is a heavy infestation of rapeseed beetle .

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Individual evidence

  1. Big Brother in the orchard. Damage thresholds protect the environment and the producers' wallets. (No longer available online.) In: https://www.aid.de/inhalt/big-brother-in-der-obstanlage-1462.html . Formerly in the original ; accessed on January 18, 2017 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.aid.de