Crop Disease and Agricultural Productivity
Crop diseases and how they are managed can have a large impact on agricultural productivity. This paper discusses the effects on agricultural productivity of Verticillium dahliae, a soil borne fungus that is introduced to the soil via infested spinach seeds and that causes subsequent lettuce crops to be afflicted with Verticillium wilt. We use a dynamic structural econometric model of Verticillium wilt management for lettuce crops in Monterey County, California to examine the effects of Verticillium wilt on crop-fumigation decisions and on grower welfare. We also discuss our research on the externalities that arise with renters, and between seed companies and growers due to Verticillium wilt, as these disease-related externalities have important implications for agricultural productivity.
We thank Krishna V. Subbarao, Julian Alston, Andre Boik, Colin Cameron, Erich Muehlegger, Kevin Novan, Peter Orazem, John Rust, Wolfram Schlenker, Paul Scott, Dan Sumner, Sofia Villas-Boas, Marca Weinberg, Jim Wilen, and Jinhua Zhao for invaluable discussions and comments. We also received helpful comments from seminar participants at the University of California at Davis and California State University at Chico, and from conference participants at the NBER Understanding Productivity Growth in Agriculture Research Conference, the Heartland Environmental and Resource Economics Workshop, the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) Summer Conference, the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Meeting, the Giannini Agricultural and Resource Economics Student Conference, and the Interdisciplinary Graduate and Professional Student (IGPS) Symposium. We received funding from USDA NIFA (grant # 2010-51181-21069). We also benefited from valuable discussions with Tom Bengard, Bengard Ranch; Kent Bradford, Seed Biotechnology Center UC-Davis; Leslie Crowl, Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner's Office; Rich DeMoura, UC-Davis Cooperative Extension; Gerard Denny, INCOTEC; Lindsey du Toit, Washington State University; Thomas Flewell, Flewell Consulting; Hank Hill, Seed Dynamics, Inc.; Steve Koike, Cooperative Extension Monterey County; Dale Krolikowski, Germains Seed Technology; Chester Kurowski, Monsanto; Donald W. McMoran, WSU Extension; Marc Meyer, Monsanto; Chris Miller, Rijk Zwaan; Augustin Ramos, APHIS; Scott Redlin, APHIS; Richard Smith, Cooperative Extension Monterey County; Laura Tourte, UC Cooperative Extension Santa Cruz County; Bill Waycott, Monsanto; and Mary Zischke, California Leafy Greens Research Program. Carter, Goodhue, and Lin Lawell are members of the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics. All errors are our own. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Crop Disease and Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from a Dynamic Structural Model of Verticillium Wilt Management, Christine L. Carroll, Colin A. Carter, Rachael E. Goodhue, C.-Y. Cynthia Lin Lawell. in Agricultural Productivity and Producer Behavior, Schlenker. 2019