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pest database

The AIS World Pest Database


2005 World Pest Database Study - Update on infestation and economic loss (with future projections) due to weeds, insects and diseases/nematodes for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, S. Africa, S. Korea, Thailand, USA.


Background & Objectives

The AIS World Pest Database was started in 1988 to improve, quantify and make accessible information on weeds, insects, diseases and other pests of agricultural and horticultural crops. For agrochemical and ag-biochemical companies, plant breeders and others involved in pest control there are three main uses for this information.

To get a quantitative view of the extent to which crops are infested - often over and above what is already being treated with pest control products, and to track this over time.
This will reveal ‘gaps’ that may offer additional opportunities for existing agrochemicals - or other pest control measures - with relatively low investment over a short time span, as well as providing inputs for selection of pests for screening.

Example: rice water weevil is a problem in the southern USA, where yield losses can amount to over $20 million per year. Control has been centred around a few active ingredients such as carbofuran. Yet the same insect is a major pest in Asian rice crops - with several other active ingredients in use there achieving good control and keeping losses to a low level.

Opportunity: bring into the USA one or more of the active ingredients used in Asia.

  1. To know the damage caused by pests on both treated and untreated crops.
    This provides an indication of the cost of treatment/yield response parameters for any new pesticide, seed variety or other pest control measure to be introduced.

    Indications of problems associated with current agrochemicals such as poor efficacy, resistance or application difficulties, will assist in specifying the characteristics required in any improved substitutes.

  2. To obtain disaggregated information on pests as they occur in the field at the level of species, genus or complex.
    This is for the longer term development of pest management on a more individualistic basis to complement today’s broader spectrum control.

Status of the AIS World Pest Database

70 crops have been covered world-wide since 1988. The objective is to select countries that together represent at least 80-90% of the current and potential world market for pest control in each crop.

16 countries such as the USA, France and China, have been designated as Core Countries since they are strategically important for pest control in a wide range of crops. Selected data is also available in another 54 countries (from AIS and other sources).

Many companies now routinely use this information in their planning processes.

Pest problems change and develop new characteristics. These trends are tracked, measured and incorporated as updates into the Database so that users may understand the reasons for change revealed in the resulting time series data, and make better judgements on how pests are likely to develop in the years ahead.


it is widely known that perennial weeds are expanding their range in much of the US Mid-West; and more importantly, the damage they cause is growing as minimum tillage becomes widespread. Herbicide companies want to know how fast this is occurring, in which states, and are there offsetting reductions in annual weed problems?

The AIS World Pest Database provides information to describe and quantify this evolution, so improving the basis for decision making on investments in R&D.

The AIS programme will continue to track and analyse these changes in the future on a 4-5 year cycle. The schedule to tackle the updates in the Core Countries is as follows:

  • 1992-93: USA (State by State) - completed
  • 1993-94: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK - completed
  • 1994-95: Japan - completed
  • 1995-97: India, USA (state by state) - completed
  • 1998-99: China - completed

This keeps the annual work volume and associated costs to a consistent level.

The AIS World Pest Database is an efficient way of finding out which pests are being controlled badly - or not at all - and why.

Access To Information Already Available

Access is tailored to suit the requirements of each user.


Many requests are specific and involve searching the AIS World Pest Database for information on one or two pests, or on an active ingredient with a particular problem such as resistance.

AIS does this by retrieving the relevant ‘cells’ from the database (‘cell’ being a combination of country, crop and pest or pest complex).


: to look at Aphis fabae, Agrotis ypsilon and Tetranychus spp in wheat and barley in 8 countries would be 48 cells of information.

For each cell that contained information, the current charge is £20.00 (US$29.00, ¥3,500). So the maximum cost would be £960.00 (US$1,392, ¥168,000) (there is no charge for empty cells - for example, if there was no aphid problem in wheat in one of the countries).

The information provided in a cell is:

for all 70 countries -

Area Infested, Area Treatable, Area Treated, Economic Loss, Active Ingredients in Use, Control Achieved.

plus for 16 Core Countries -

Problems Associated with the Active Ingredients, Reasons for Non-Treatment of Infested Crop, Infestation Trend.


For different purposes such as building up a general in-house pest database, users need full country reports covering all crops and all pests. These are available (hardcopy and diskette) at prices starting from £500 (US$725, ¥87,500) per country. Detailed quotes on request.

Several users also have their own copy of the software PESTWIN NT giving them the independent capability to analyse the database.

Commercial Use Of The Information

With its experience in building up the World Pest Database, AIS has extensive contacts in all the countries covered. It is therefore uniquely placed to provide proprietary consultancy advice in developing specific business opportunities based on the information from the World Pest Database.

To discuss this, please contact Rod Parker

USA - Findings from the latest AIS Pest Survey, 2000: Pesticide Effectiveness Declines

The 3rd USA survey since 1988 suggests significantly increased losses due to weeds, insects & diseases

  • Total losses in 43 major crops now estimated at over 20%
  • Reasons include resistance, increased levels of infestation, appearance of new pests, loss of registrations

Rod Parker, principal researcher for the project stated:

"Although unexpected, the results are consistent with findings from competitive market share studies. Our methodology, unchanged since 1988, involved interviews with over 200 pest specialists in the USA".

Losses    US$ millions   
Weeds 7,000
Insects 5,800
Diseases 6,600


For each crop-pest combination in each state, information is available on:

  • area infested,
  • area treated,
  • yield loss,
  • actives in use,
  • control achieved,
  • problems with A.I.s,
  • trends in pest infestation


  • Increased probability of commercial success for new products
  • Opportunities for registering new products, expanding current registrations and licensing
  • Better product pricing decisions
  • Anticipation of future changes in pest complexes
  • More efficient orientation of R&D and strategic planning