Job Market Paper

Economic and Behavioral Drivers of Herbicide Resistance Management in the U.S.

    Abstract: Weeds invade farms, grow and reproduce aggressively. For more than half a century, the primary tool used by farmers to control weeds has been herbicides, but the effectiveness of herbicides is declining due to herbicide resistance. An option available for farmers to better balance weed control and herbicide resistance is to adopt resistance management practices. However, the adoption of resistance management has been low. This study aims to explore the impact of economic and behavioral factors on a farmer’s choice over chemical, cultural and mechanical tactics of weed control. I use multivariate regression analysis and a unique U.S. farm-level weed management data to identify the farmer and farm operation characteristics that are most associated with farmers’ weed management decisions. The analysis shows that the negative externality from weed mobility leads to a farmer’s more diligent weed and resistance management, while low risk tolerance and impatience discourage the adoption herbicide resistance management. The analysis also provides novel insights into how the economic and non-monetary motivations of farmers mutually relate to their use of alternative weed management practices.

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Working Papers

Can Federal Crop Insurance Be Leveraged to Encourage Farmer Adoption of Pesticide Resistance Management Practices?


The Effects of Market Structure on Pest Resistance: Evidence from the U.S. Corn Seed Industry