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The effectiveness of orchard management, as in any agricultural system, is judged on the total quantity and quality of the produce and on the financial return per unit of investment. Decisions affecting orchard management are based ultimately on economic factors.
This economic criterion should, therefore, be applied to all orchard pest management decisions—including control of the pine vole (Pitymys pinetorum). The purpose of this paper is to describe an approach we are taking to identify factors useful in estimating the economic threshold which can form the basis for cost-effective management of the pine vole and the meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) in apple orchards.