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Herbicide resistance, Weeds -- Control


Controlling herbicide resistance (HR) will require the integration of economics and social science with the biophysical and technological aspects of this growing problem. The existence of mobile herbicide resistance and/or herbicide tolerance traits adds complexity as genetic susceptibility to the herbicide is a resource open to all farmers impacting the weed population. Weed scientists have recognized that the “tragedy of the commons” may appear when herbicide resistance is mobile across farms. However, the private and public institutions that can influence individual and group decisions about HR have received sparse analysis. When such conditions prevail, reliance on voluntary education, technical assistance and other incentives aimed at changing individual grower behavior likely will fail to stem the advance of HR. The design principles from Elinor Ostrom’s pioneering research on CPR can be used to inform the design and implementation of such approaches, as well as lessons from CPR approaches outside of HR.


Presented at the USDA ERS and Farm Foundation Conference “Public and Private Sector Policy Implications of Research on the Economics of Herbicide Resistance Management 2013.

This presentation is based partly on a paper co-authored with Ray Jussaume of Michigan State University, entitled “Integrating Social Science into Managing Herbicide Resistant Weeds and Associated Environmental Impacts."

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Economics Commons