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Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the

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Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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A
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Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world have caused dramatic increases in the price of cotton on the world market. By contrast, the price of soybeans has long remained stable. Knowing that cotton plants mature quickly, many soybean growers in Ortovia plan to cease growing soybeans and begin raising cotton instead, thereby taking advantage of the high price of cotton to increase their income significantly, at least over the next several years.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the plan’s chances for success?

(A) The cost of raising soybeans has increased significantly over the past several years and is expected to continue to climb.

(B) Tests of a newly developed, inexpensive pesticide have shown it to be both environmentally safe and effective against the insects that have infested cotton crops.

(C) In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton and for goods made out of cotton.

(D) Few consumers would be willing to pay significantly higher prices for cotton goods than they are now paying.

(E) The species of insect that has infested cotton plants has never been known to attack soybean plants.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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i feel B is best..

i was also stuck between B and D

if i have to weaken the argument, i somehow have to weaken its assumption..and assumption is that cotton prices have gone up due to shortage of supply and that is due to infestation..

so B directly weakens that..

D while correct..what if cotton has other uses other than consumer market? maybe its used for cotton seed extraction oil that is used as a bio-fuel??
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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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I agree with OA,

Clearly the fight is between B and D

one inportant point against D - it says there'll be few customers willing to pay "significantly" higher prices than today's price. Question stem clearly says that even today's cotton prices are on a higher side. So even if farmers dont get "significant" increase from today's price, they'll still be making profits.... they Key here is "significant".

Originally posted by durgesh79 on 15 Jun 2008, 23:43.
Last edited by durgesh79 on 18 Jun 2008, 21:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world hav [#permalink]

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ANSWER - B, the wider ramification of the arguement is that with a cheaper and enviromentally safe pesticide, usage of the same shall go up. This will lead to the fall of prices of cotton and hence the supply demand eqn will square off.

Hence IMO - B
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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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I did a few practice CR today and what I now try to remember is that words in each CR question and answer are used to try to eliminate answer choices or make them the best choice.

In this question the phrase "at least over the next several years" jumped out at me.

The conclusion (by the farmers in Ortovia) is: income from cotton over several years > income from soybeans over several years.

The assumptions I considered are as follows:
*Income is dependent on the selling price of one unit of cotton
**Insects will continue in future years
***There is adequate supply of cotton if there are no insects

The premise: "Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world have caused dramatic increases in the price of cotton on the world market"
Depends on assumption *** (adequate world supply). If there was a shortage in world production the infestation would "contribute to rising prices" not "cause" rising prices.

With this in mind we need to weaken the plan by showing some way that income will not be high for the next several years. So we need to find a reason why the farmers should stick with soybeans.

Choice B is the only choice that impacts the income in coming years.

(A) The cost of raising soybeans has increased significantly over the past several years and is expected to continue to climb.
This supports a switch to cotton, rising costs will lead to reduced income from soybeans in the future.
(B) Tests of a newly developed, inexpensive pesticide have shown it to be both environmentally safe and effective against the insects that have infested cotton crops. This would weaken the conclusion, by attacking the assumption that insects will continue to affect cotton.
(C) In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton and for goods made out of cotton.
Either outside the scope, and has no impact either way.
(D) Few consumers would be willing to pay significantly higher prices for cotton goods than they are now paying.
This says cotton price is maxed out now, there is not much potential for any additional gains. But it does not weaken the plan. If there are still insect problems, we can make money selling the cotton at current prices.
(E) The species of insect that has infested cotton plants has never been known to attack soybean plants.[/quote]
Does not give a reason why the plan will fail.
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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world have caused dramatic increases in the price of cotton on the world market. By contrast, the price of soybeans has long remained stable. Knowing that cotton plants mature quickly, many soybean growers in Ortovia plan to cease growing soybeans and begin raising cotton instead, thereby taking advantage of the high price of cotton to increase their income significantly, at least over the next several years.

Solution:
p1: Cotton Price Increase ( insect infection)
p2:Soyabean price stable
plan :shift of Soyabean producers --------- cotton producers( increased cotton price , quick maturity )

Cause Effect:
insect infestation ----- Price increase(cotton) ----- shift from ( Soyabean producers to cotton producers )
primary cause ------ Effect 1 ----- Final effect.

inorder to weaken, we have to attack the primary cause.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the plan’s chances for success?

(A) The cost of raising soybeans has increased significantly over the past several years and is expected to continue to climb. ( attack the final effect ) - wrong

(B) Tests of a newly developed, inexpensive pesticide have shown it to be both environmentally safe and effective against the insects that have infested cotton crops. ( attack the root cause ) - Correct

(C) In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton and for goods made out of cotton. ( Demand of cotton not given - Assumption attacking the Effect1 ) - Wrong

(D) Few consumers would be willing to pay significantly higher prices for cotton goods than they are now paying.
( increasing in cotton price - attract new people in - support the plan ) - Wrong

(E) The species of insect that has infested cotton plants has never been known to attack soybean plants.
( nothing can be done with it) - wrong

This is how i perceived....
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Re: Insect Infestations in certain cotton growing regions of the [#permalink]

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Farmers want to replace soybean crops with cotton crops to take advantage of the increase in cotton prices worldwide. The increase in cotton prices has resulted from an insect infestation of cotton crops, which has led to the destruction of cotton crops and thus the increase in prices.

The farmers' plan would not work if the cotton price returned to normal. Which one of the following answers gives a reason that cotton prices could drop?

(B) Tests of a newly developed, inexpensive pesticide have shown it to be both environmentally safe and effective against the insects that have infected the cotton crops.

Here we have a reason the price of cotton crops could return to normal. Pesticides would kill of the insects. Without the insects destroying cotton crop the price would return to normal.

Hope that helps :)
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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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heartbeats1987 wrote:
I came very close, i was between B & C but choice B doesn't state anything about the cost of the insecticide. This leaves a gap on the reasoning whether it could be purchased inspite of being available in the market... :evil: Wat makes my claim wrong?? :shock:


Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world have caused dramatic increases in the price of cotton on the world market. By contrast, the price of soybeans has long remained stable. Knowing that cotton plants mature quickly, many soybean growers in Ortovia plan to cease growing soybeans and begin raising cotton instead, thereby taking advantage of the high price of cotton to increase their income significantly, at least over the next several years.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the plan’s chances for success?

(B) Tests of a newly developed, inexpensive pesticide have shown it to be both environmentally safe and effective against the insects that have infested cotton crops.
Yes, B does say that the pesticide is cheap.

(C) In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton and for goods made out of cotton.
This does not weaken the argument. Even if there has been no sharp increase, the market could still be profitable enough for the new cotton growers.
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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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jaituteja wrote:
Hi,

COuld you please explain why is A incorrect..??

If the prices of soyabeen were rising in the past and will continue to rise, then we can state that producing soyabeen would be more profitable.


Hi there,

I think that you have misunderstood the argument somehow. Do you mean that THE COST of growing soyabeen is rising? And therefore producing COTTON would be more profitable? (because price of soya is stable and its cost is rising?)

Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world have caused dramatic increases in the price of cotton on the world market. By contrast, the price of soybeans has long remained stable. Knowing that cotton plants mature quickly, many soybean growers in Ortovia plan to cease growing soybeans and begin raising cotton instead, thereby taking advantage of the high price of cotton to increase their income significantly, at least over the next several years.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the plan’s chances for success?

(A) The cost of raising soybeans has increased significantly over the past several years and is expected to continue to climb.


If that's the case, then we would have a reason to think about switching to cotton, what do you think? This for sure does not weaken the argument "switch to cotton will increase the income"; it's more likely to support the conclusion.

Hope this is what you mean
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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2013, 11:56
jaituteja wrote:
Narenn wrote:
prasannar wrote:
Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world have caused dramatic increases in the price of cotton on the world market. By contrast, the price of soybeans has long remained stable. Knowing that cotton plants mature quickly, many soybean growers in Ortovia plan to cease growing soybeans and begin raising cotton instead, thereby taking advantage of the high price of cotton to increase their income significantly, at least over the next several years.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the plan’s chances for success?

(A) The cost of raising soybeans has increased significantly over the past several years and is expected to continue to climb.
(B) Tests of a newly developed, inexpensive pesticide have shown it to be both environmentally safe and effective against the insects that have infested cotton crops.
(C) In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton and for goods made out of cotton.
(D) Few consumers would be willing to pay significantly higher prices for cotton goods than they are now paying.
(E) The species of insect that has infested cotton plants has never been known to attack soybean plants.




jaituteja wrote:
Why is C wrong..???
if there has been no demand in the past, then even after producing the cotton, what is the guarantee that cotton will be sold at high price???


Choice C says, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton. That does not imply that the demand has fallen down. Soybean farmers can still make more money by selling cotton at higher prices to cater current demand.

Choice B directly attacks the conclusion. According to B, newly developed pesticide, which is inexpensive, will soon be used by cotton growers globally, resulting in increased supply of cotton, which will affect the current high prices of cotton


jaituteja wrote:
That means.. either the demand is steady or it has fallen..!!!
So, selling cotton at higher prices(compared with the selling price of soyabean) will given them more profit...

What if the demand has fallen to a certain level, that the profits made out of it( during the high prices of cotton) were equal to that of soyabean.

I hope you are getting, what i mean to say...

10*10 => 100
5* 20 => 100...

There wont be any benefit for switching to cotton...[ I am assuming only the case when demand has decreased].

I mean this could be a scenario..


Well, I think you are too much inclined towards Choice C.

Dude, while approaching any weakening conclusion question we should understand how things work. In a CR stimulus, conclusion depends on the certain facts. These facts may be given(stated) or assumed. All these facts act as pillars and support the conclusion.

Let's take the case of our stimulus....

Fact (Given) :- Supplies of the cotton in the world market has been affected severely because of insect infestation in cotton growing region. Due to the short supplies prices of the cotton in the world market have been increased dramatically.

Fact(Given) :- The prices of soybean have been long stable

Fact(Given) :- Considering the above circumstance soybean growers in Ortovia above plan to cease soybean growing and to raise cotton instead

Conclusion :- Taking Advantage of increased price of cotton

Fact (Assumed) :- Insect infestation will not affect the cotton crop in ortovia

Fact (Assumed) :- Prices of the cotton in world market will remain be high till the cotton plants of ortovia farmers get mature.

Fact (Assumed) :- Demand for the cotton will not fall in the world market till the cotton plants of ortovia farmers get mature.

Fact (Assumed) :- Circumstance in the traditional cotton growing regions will not improve atleast till the cotton plants of ortovia farmers get mature.

Fact (Assumed) :- Cost of growing cotton in ortovia is not greater enough so as to loose the benefit the ortovia farmers got from switching to cotton.

These are only few. There can be many such assumes facts which buttress the argument. Since as per the fundamental rule of weakening we can not go against stated facts. i.e. we can not prove the premises wrong, our job is to attack these assumed facts, just as we did in above case.

After reading any CR stimulus and question, we should consider the assumed facts. Based on the assumed facts we should think about the possible answer to that question and should then approach the answer choices in attacking mindset. This way you can spot the correct answer choice with ease in most of the cases.

I will not say that this is the ideal way of solving a CR question. I would only say that this works better for me.

It is good that you are considering all aspects of the answer choice. But doing this with every answer choice ,that too with not guessing the possible answer, can be problematic in the exam.

As for your specific query about choice C, it is mentioned that there has been no sharp increase in the demand for the cotton. so it can be derived that atleast minor but steady increase was there, so no such scenario as decrease in demand exists.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Insect Infestations in certain cotton growing regions of the [#permalink]

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infymys wrote:
I chose C!
because B talks about a pesticide that would kill IF USED..
but we aren't sure whether it's going to be used right?
So i went for C!

What's wrong with my explanation?
I remmeber seeing plenty of questions where correct answer wasn't a probability of some even happening!


Hi infymys

The idea of the question is supply of cotton decreases ---> prices of cotton increase --> more profits for growers of cotton.

Let analyze B and C

B. Tests of a newly developed, inexpensive pesticide have shown it to be both environmentally safe and effective against the insects that have infected the cotton crops.
Correct. B clearly says the new pesticide is effectively against the insects --> Supply of cotton will increase --> price of cotton will reduce. Your thought is whether the pesticide is used right? You infer too far. We can't infer that the farmers don't know how to use the new pesticide properly. You should keep in mind that "weaken" is not "destroy". Even the answer weakens 1% of the conclusion, the answer DOES weaken the conclusion and is correct. It does not have to destroy (weaken 100%) the conclusion.

C. In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton, and for goods made out of cotton.
Wrong. C just says demand does not increase. Price will increase if the supply decreases while demand stay the same! Let imagine:
Before: Demand = 100, Supply = 100 ==> D & S meet each other.
After: Demand = 100 (No increase!), but Supply reduces to 50 --> Clearly price will increase.
Thus, C is wrong.

Hope it helps.
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Re: Insect Infestations in certain cotton growing regions of the [#permalink]

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akhil911 wrote:
I too picked up C as i thought that if there is no expectation that cotton demand is going to increase then , at the same time if Cotton supply is increased ( by growing cotton instead of Soyabean) , the price of Cotton will go down and hence the farmers will not get as much profit as they expected thereby weakening the conclusion.
I had a hard time deciding against B and C and finally chose C.
In these kind of questions how do we pick up the correct choice when in a dilemma.


Dear Akhil,

Thank you for your query.

The question prompt posted by you seems to be incorrect. The highlighted portion below is missing from it:

Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world have caused dramatic increases in the price of cotton on the world market. By contrast, the price of soybeans has long remained stable. Knowing that cotton plants mature quickly, many soybean growers in Ortovia plan to cease growing soybeans and begin raising cotton instead, thereby taking advantage of the high price of cotton to increase their income significantly, at least over the next several years.

Which of the following, if true, most calls into question the reasoning on which the plan is based?


Now, you have mentioned that you had a tough time deciding between option B and C. Before we go on to discussing these options, let’s simplify the information given in the prompt :

1. Price of cotton has increased dramatically in certain regions of the world
2. The reason behind the price is insect infestation in those regions
3. In contrast to the above situation, the price of soyabean has remain steady for long now
4. Because cotton plants mature quickly, many soyabean growers (in a place called Ortovia) plan to grow cotton instead of soyabean
5. Reason for the above: they want to cash in on the situation mentioned in points 1 & 2 above.

As per the question-stem, we need to find a new piece of information that will weaken the plan of soyabean growers in Ortovia. In order to arrive at the correct choice, let’s take a closer look at the facts:

Plan: Grow cotton instead of soyabean atleast for the next several years.

Basis for the plan:
Cash in on the significant increase in the price of cotton.

Reason for the price-rise: Insect infestation.

Now, how do you think the insect infestation led to the price rise? Simple: by creating a gap between the demand for and supply of cotton. This means that the regions that have seen a dramatic increase in the price of cotton have considerably more demand for cotton than is being currently met. Now the soyabean growers have not assumed any increase in demand; they have only taken for granted that the shortage in the supply of cotton will persist for the amount of time they want to grow cotton. This is why they think they'll be able to supply cotton at the current high prices over the next several years.
And that's where answer choice B hurts the cotton farming aspirants in Ortovia. Answer choice B says:

(B)Tests of a newly developed, inexpensive pesticide have shown it to be both environmentally safe and effective against the insects that have infected the cotton crops.

If we factor in the new information given in this choice, we can see how over the next few years the problem of insect infestation may be taken care of and hence, there are chances that the prices will come down and the growers in Ortovia will not be able to take advantage of the price rise for long.

However, answer choice C says:

(C) In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton, and for goods made out of cotton.

This choice does not talk about the future. It talks about the situation so far. Now, even if the demand for cotton hasn’t increased in the past few years, it still is at a level that is not being met due to the insect infestation. So, even at the current level (without any increase in demand) there is a shortage of supply which the growers in Ortovia could very well fulfill if the shortage is not taken care of. Hence, this answer choice doesn’t do anything to hurt the plan of soyabean growers in Ortovia.

In CR questions, it's a good practice to spend some time thinking about the logic of the argument, with respect to the task given in the question, BEFORE diving in to the answer choices. This way one is able to watch out for any trap set in the wrong answer choices.

Hope the above analysis helps!

Neeti.
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Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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shriramvelamuri wrote:
IMO answer is B.

I actually chose c, but on a second thought B is a better choice than C.

vivektripathi wrote:
Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world have caused dramatic increases in the price of cotton on the world market. By contrast, the price of soybeans as long remained stable. Knowing that cotton plants mature quickly, many soybean growers in Ortovia plan to cease growing soybeans and begin raising cotton instead, thereby taking advantage of the high price of cotton to increase their income significantly, at least over the next several years.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the plan’s chances for success?

A. The cost of raising soybeans has increased significantly over the past several years and is expected to continue to climb.
B. Tests of a newly developed, inexpensive pesticide have shown it to be both environmentally safe and effective against the insects that have infested cotton crops.
C. In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton and for goods made out of cotton.
D. Few consumers would be willing to pay significantly higher prices for cotton goods than they are now paying.
E. The species of insect that has infested cotton plants has never been known to attack soybean plants.

Question is realy tricky, can some explain how to crack these kind of CR questions?


Hi shriramvelamuri, and the rest of the GC community,

GMAT Prep questions are always especially valuable. Let's take a look at this question together:

Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world have caused dramatic increases in the price of cotton on the world market. By contrast, the price of soybeans has long remained stable. Knowing that cotton plants mature quickly, many soybean growers in Ortovia plan to cease growing soybeans and begin raising cotton instead, thereby taking advantage of the high price of cotton to increase their income significantly, at least over the next several years.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the plan’s chances for success?

Question Type: Weaken
Missing Information: The argument magically assumes that the plan is actually likely to work
Goal: We need to find the option that destroys the chances that the plan to grow cotton will boost income

A. The cost of raising soybeans has increased significantly over the past several years and is expected to continue to climb.

If these farmers were otherwise going to grow soybeans, and soybeans turn out to be more expensive to grow, this option actually strengthens the idea that switching to cotton will boost income.

B. Tests of a newly developed, inexpensive pesticide have shown it to be both environmentally safe and effective against the insects that have infested cotton crops.

This option introduces the news that there are tests that seem to show that there is be a cure to treat the infestation plaguing cotton. If that were true, then it would significantly weaken the idea that there is a profit opportunity to grow cotton instead of soybeans. The time-frame between when this insecticide leaves testing and when it's available for commercial application could raise an ambiguity though. We always need to check all 5 options, and here that added confirmation would be valuable to determine whether the time-frame of testing to release ambiguity is a big enough concern. All of the other options subsequently prove wrong, so this is the only option that clearly damages the notion that switching to cotton presents an income boosting opportunity.

C. In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton and for goods made out of cotton.

This option does nothing for us because for all we know the current demand for cotton is plenty sufficient to support the profitable shift from growing soybeans to cotton. This option just doesn't supply us enough information to know that the current demand for cotton will be problematic. Also notice that option says that "there has been no SHARP increase". That could actually still mean that the demand for cotton is on the rise. In that sense, this option could actually strengthen the proposal.

D. Few consumers would be willing to pay significantly higher prices for cotton goods than they are now paying.

Prices of cotton HAVE ALREADY increased, and the income boosting opportunity from cotton already exists with prices at current levels. If prices can’t increase further, would that weaken the proposal? No. The prices could be fine enough as they are for the opportunity to still exist. Accordingly, this option does not clearly weaken the likelihood of a boost in income for those who switch to cotton.

E. The species of insect that has infested cotton plants has never been known to attack soybean plants.

This option has absolutely no relevance to a shift from soybeans to cotton. The infestation either could or could not impact soybeans in the future and the move to grow cotton could still be more profitable than growing soybeans has been.
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Originally posted by EMPOWERgmatVerbal on 29 Apr 2015, 19:01.
Last edited by EMPOWERgmatVerbal on 29 Apr 2015, 21:27, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2018, 07:24
GMATNinja I need some help here

Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the world have caused dramatic increases in the price of cotton on the world market. By contrast, the price of soybeans has long remained stable. Knowing that cotton plants mature quickly, many soybean growers in Ortovia plan to cease growing soybeans and begin raising cotton instead, thereby taking advantage of the high price of cotton to increase their income significantly, at least over the next several years.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the plan’s chances for success?

(C) In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton and for goods made out of cotton.

When I look at (C), I think about
1) Farmers going into cotton business will increase the supply of cotton
2) There is no increase in demand
3) If farmers grow more cotton by going into cotton business and no additional customers want cotton goods
then farmers will not be making a profit for the cotton he/she grows

Why is (C) not weakening?
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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2018, 07:38
lary301254M7 wrote:
(C) In the past several years, there has been no sharp increase in the demand for cotton and for goods made out of cotton.

When I look at (C), I think about
1) Farmers going into cotton business will increase the supply of cotton
2) There is no increase in demand
3) If farmers grow more cotton by going into cotton business and no additional customers want cotton goods
then farmers will not be making a profit for the cotton he/she grows

Why is (C) not weakening?


Hey lary301254M7 ,

C is a very common kind of trap that is tested and unfortunately you fell into the same.

C is saying "In the past several years". Please note that concluding about the future based on what has been happening in the past is NOT the right idea.

Hence, C is wrong.

Does that make sense?
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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the   [#permalink] 07 Mar 2018, 07:38
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