Abstract In the context of approximately 50% reduction in pesticide treatment according to the agreement of the “Grenelle de l'environnement” in France, the main part of this study involves the assessment of intensification or extensification of pesticide use in crop activities. This is done with reference to its use per ha thereby helping to proffer a solution to the persistent questions of farmers with regard to the use of inputs in an intensified manner or otherwise. With respect to this, a sample of 600 farms in the Meuse department was observed over a 12-year period. The analysis is essentially to assess cost efficiency dominance between technologies using non-parametric cost-functions which involves different levels of pesticide use per ha. Our empirical application shows that less intensive processes in terms of pesticide level per ha are a better option not only for the society but also for the producers who could significantly reduce their costs in 80% of cases.