Partly due to their deleterious agricultural impacts, but for other government-related reasons as well, invasive species have an enormous impact on the economy—far greater than most people are aware. In regard to agriculture, invasive species reduce the amount of salable crops a farmer can produce, as people are often unwilling to purchase tarnished fruits and vegetables. This coupled with the fact that farmers must spend an exorbitant amount of money on management methods means that they are forced to increase the price of their produce. This leads to higher produce prices for American consumers whether they purchase their fruits and vegetables at supermarkets or farmers’ markets (Leskey). In addition, when farmers are unable to generate an adequate amount of food for the consumers or supermarkets they supply, it is necessary to import produce from other countries. Imported food is not as fresh as local homegrown produce, and may have been treated with pesticides or water sources not approved in the United States (Schmit np). Additionally, the introduction of foreign-grown produce harms the domestic economy, as people are unable to support American farmers (Bean). In total, invasive species have been estimated to cause thirteen billion dollars in crop losses annually, and farmers spend approximately one billion dollars on pesticides each year to manage these pests. (Farquhar 28-30). Food imports have also been increasing and are contributing to invasive species’ economic significance (Schmit np). As invasive species are so damaging to both agriculture and the environment, the government is forced to spend money to research methods of management. Unfortunately, this money often comes from taxes. There are multiple government-funded research organizations that are attempting to find solutions to the invasive species problem (Bean). These facilities, while ultimately beneficial, require money for upkeep and their employees’ salaries, and therefore are a costly governmental expenditure that only adds to the thirteen billion dollar annual cost of invasive species (Farquhar 28-30).
Economic Impacts of Invasive Species
Invasive Species have enormous economic consequences, primarily due to their negative impacts on agriculture and the money required to try and contain them.