Economic assessment of site-specific pesticide applications in Northern Germany
Compared to conventional pesticide applications, site-specific applications have a high potential to promote reductions in pesticides. Within the research project ‘AssSys’, financed by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture as part of the research programme ‘Innovations for sustainable agriculture’, the economics of site-specific pesticide applications with a direct injection sprayer system and an automatic application assistant were evaluated. The economic assessment was based on field trials and a scenario analysis for a model-farm. The field trials were conducted in 2018 and 2019 in the North of Germany. As major key performance indicator at farm level, extended gross margins were calculated. In the scenario analysis, two site-specific application scenarios were compared to conventional uniform treatment, referring to a model-farm (for technical costs). Investment costs of the necessary technical equipment for site-specific applications were explicitly considered. The economic scenario-analysis showed average extended gross margin for site-specific applications of 787 €/ha compared to 631 €/ha for conventional application. This indicated a clear economic advantage for the site-specific application scenarios.