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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 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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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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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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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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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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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".

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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. Knowing that cotton plants mature quickly, many soybean growers in Ortovia plan to cease growing soybeans, the price of which has long been stable and to begin raising cotton instead, thereby taking advantage of the high price of cotton to increase their income significantly over the next several years.

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

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 infected the 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. Many consumers consider cotton cloth a necessity rather than a luxury and would be willing to pay significantly higher prices for cotton goods than they are currently paying

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

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Here reasoning are 1.Insect infestations brought dramatic change 2.cotton plants grow quickly and is of high price
conclusion is : Farmers had stopped growing soyabean and to gain more profit started growing cotton


Please tell the explanation of official answer

Last edited by hazelnut on 28 Apr 2017, 06:35, edited 3 times in total.
dramatic increase in the price of cotton - added missing words

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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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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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The consumers are already paying a high price for cotton. This is what is prompting soy growers to take up cotton-growing. Whether the consumers will be willing to pay still higher prices is not the question. The question is, whether there will still be shortage of cotton when the soy growers switch to cotton-growing. After all, it was the shortage of cotton due to insect problem that drove the price of cotton up. If this problem is taken care of, then there will no more be any shortage and the price of cotton will come down. Choice B addresses this issue. A new and inexpensive and effective pesticide will increase the yield of cotton.
For me, it is B.

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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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I'd have to say B. The fact that B can lead to cotton prices dropping might spell disaster for the proposal. As for D, yes, few consumers are willing to pay for higher prices for cotton, but that doesn't mean that pricing would go down. It can remain at the current high level.

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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.

[/quote]


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
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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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Why not the option E ?
The species of insect are not known to infest Soyabean.
With this assumption the farmer grows cotton. But what if the cotton is infested ?
This is a complete loss for the farmer! Isn't it ?
The farmer is assuming that since the soyabean wasn't affected, cotton won't be affected either.

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They have replaced Option D in other link of the same qsn in GMAT Club

Search in google and open that to realize the answer is clearly Option B

But here in this link , there is an clash between B and D

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

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New post 14 Jun 2008, 07:46
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i went for C, thought Im not sure. My reasoning is that since the demand has not increased at all, then all that is going to result is a glut of cotton on the market, which means that supply is very high and the farmers will not necessarily get the revenue they expect.

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

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New post 14 Jun 2008, 07:48
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.
strengthens instead of weakens
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. looks good..but i think this is a trap, remember we have to weaken 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.
demand is steady , but supply is lower so this one is out
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. irrelevant




I found it really tough between B and D. B initially looks good, but we are trying to weaken the conclusion that High Price of cotton would mean bonanza for farmers. With D we know that with high price, the demand will go down and therefore this won't be as profitable for the farmers as they think.

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Re: Insect infestations in certain cotton-growing regions of the   [#permalink] 14 Jun 2008, 07:48

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