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

Bezhad Jeddi, Guilherme DePaula
April 2024  [24-WP 658]

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Suggested citation:

Jeddi, B. and G. DePaula. 2024. "The Economic Value of a Farmer Network: Application to Pest Management in Iowa." Working paper 24-WP 658. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


Abstract

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 are particularly valuable for farmers facing high pest infestation risks, offering over $600 per acre in value against the impacts of extreme heat.