Cost

Crop protection chemicals are expensive, both to buy, and to apply. But they are economic, and they pay for themselves, usually 4-5 times over, in increased yields, and an increased quality of unblemished crop product. However, the costs of these crop protection chemicals, and their application, are passed on to the consumer. In comparison, the use of resistant cultivars costs nothing and, if the same effect could be achieved with resistance, the costs of buying and applying the pesticide would be eliminated.

The use of a resistant cultivar is not necessarily cost-free, however. That resistant cultivar may have a lower yield, or a lower quality of crop product, even when parasite-free, than the susceptible cultivar does when it is treated with crop protection chemicals. Furthermore, in some crops (see 7.17), it may prove impossible to achieve adequate levels of resistance. But, other things being equal, crop protection chemicals are expensive, while the use of horizontal resistance costs nothing.

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