Changes in production conditions associated with biological invasions can be complex. As a result, modeling invasive species management decisions can be difficult. Modeling these decisions is further compounded by externalities associated with spatial relationships among growers. In order to calculate optimal management decisions, an accurate bioeconomic model of the feedback between grower decisions and the new biological interactions created by an invasive species population is needed. In this paper, a bioeconomic model is used to explicitly analyze how externalities caused by spatial relationships among agricultural producers affect optimal invasive species management decisions. The example of the coordinated greenhouse whitefly management in the Oxnard, CA, area is discussed. This is an interesting example because of the complex cycle of host crops used by the whitefly and the effect this cycle has on the optimal whitefly management decisions for strawberry growers. Three research objectives achieved in this paper include first, using the model to assess how the spatial relationship among growers affects incentives for regional invasive pest management. Second, analyze whether current policies could be adjusted to substitute for coordination among growers. Third, the use of the bioeconomic model to identify factors for this specific case that affect whether or not growers may voluntarily coordinate their management decisions. I find that spatial relationships among growers affect the need for coordination in the strawberry/whitefly case. Whitefly migrations across host crop fields require growers to manage the whitefly on a regional basis in order to maximize strawberry producer welfare. The results also indicate that the amount of effort needed to achieve coordination required is limited; the only requirement is that information related to field management be shared among growers of whitefly host crops. The results from the bioeconomic model describe the biological and economic feedback of the growerÂ’s decision which allows policymakers to identify the willingness of producers to coordinate at various times of year. In the Oxnard strawberry/whitefly case, for example, growers will not find it optimal to adjust their application timing for a second immigration of adult greenhouse whiteflies when they occur near the end of the season, such as in May or June, but will for earlier points in the season. Three policy implications of the results from the strawberry/whitefly case are also discussed in the paper. First, adjustments to current policies regulating whitefly management do not remove the need for coordination among growers to them. Also, it was found that current policies do not, by themselves, generate the need for coordination. Finally, the results show it is not always necessary to create a central agency for regional invasive species management.

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Agribusiness & Applied Economics Report No. 583

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-24

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