The Economic Value of a Farmer Network: Application to Pest Management in Iowa

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2024-04
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Jeddi, Behzad
DePaula, Guilherme
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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Climate change can lead to increased pest migration and more frequent outbreaks by altering pest life cycles and habitats. Farmers facing increased temperatures or rainfall resort to more pesticides, emphasizing the need for adaptive pest management. This article evaluates the economic benefits of farmer networks for pest management by applying an economic model of social learning to a pilot network in Iowa. Our results show significant variation in the network’s effectiveness. We find that networks ar particularly valuable for farmers facing high pest infestation risks, offering over $600 per acre in value against the impacts of extreme heat.
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