Farmer Attitudes Toward Cooperative Approaches to Herbicide Resistance Management: A Common Pool Ecosystem Service Challenge

David E. Ervin, Elise H. Breshears, George B. Frisvold, Terrance Hurley, Katherine E. Dentzman, Jeffrey L. Gunsolus, Raymond A. Jussaume, Micheal D.K. Owen, Jason K. Norsworthy, Mustofa Mahmud Al Mamun, Wesley Everman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dramatic growth in herbicide-resistant (HR) weeds in the United States threatens farm profitability and may undercut environmentally beneficial farming practices. When HR weeds move across farm boundaries due to ecological processes or human action, a common pool resource challenge emerges, requiring farmer cooperation to manage such weeds effectively. We investigate the scope for cooperative management using responses to a national survey on HR weed issues to test a recursive model of three preconditions for collective action: (1) concern about HR weeds migrating from nearby lands; (2) communication with neighbors about HR weeds; and (3) belief that cooperation is necessary for effective resistance management. Results suggest that farmers who relied more on Extension educators regarding weed management, were more likely to satisfy each precondition. Further, concern about weeds resistant to multiple herbicides as well as concern about HR weed mobility positively influence concern about migration and views toward cooperation. Farmer time constraints and “techno-optimism” (a belief that herbicide discoveries will solve resistance problems) detract from the perceived need for cooperative approaches. A different set of factors significantly affect each precondition, suggesting heterogeneity in the underlying casual mechanisms. The findings can help tailor collective action to different socio-ecological settings experiencing HR weed resistance issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
JournalEcological Economics
Volume157
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this research was provided by USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) grant 1002477 “Integrating Human Behavioral and Agronomic Practices to Improve Food Security by Reducing the Risk and Consequences of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds.” However, USDA AFRI was not directly engaged in this research and is not responsible for the content of this article. The Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Project Number MIN-14-034 also provided support. The authors thank Scott Swinton and an anonymous journal reviewer for valubale comments that improved the analysis and exposition of this paper. Finally, the authors express their gratitude to the nearly 900 farm owners and operators who voluntarily answered our survey and enabled our analysis.

Funding Information:
Funding for this research was provided by USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative ( AFRI ) grant 1002477 “Integrating Human Behavioral and Agronomic Practices to Improve Food Security by Reducing the Risk and Consequences of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds.” However, USDA AFRI was not directly engaged in this research and is not responsible for the content of this article. The Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station Project Number MIN-14-034 also provided support. The authors thank Scott Swinton and an anonymous journal reviewer for valubale comments that improved the analysis and exposition of this paper. Finally, the authors express their gratitude to the nearly 900 farm owners and operators who voluntarily answered our survey and enabled our analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

Keywords

  • Common pool resources
  • Cooperation
  • Extension
  • Herbicide resistance
  • Techno-optimism
  • Time constraints

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