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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Identifying the Economic Factors That Limit Adoption of Preventative Control Practices for Wood-Canker Diseases

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Compare sociological and economic factors in terms of their influence on adoption of preventative control practices for wood-canker diseases of grape and pistachio.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Combine empirical data, survey responses, and the long-term costs of reduced crop longevity in the first comprehensive economic analyses of wood-canker diseases. Annual labor/material costs for fungicide sprays and delayed pruning are easy to compare on paper, but the benefit of these practices are not seen for many years. With clear comparisons of the long-term returns of adopting preventative practices, growers will be able to choose the most economic approach for their scale of production and will adopt them earlier.


3.Progress Report:

This project was established in support of objective 1 of the in-house project, which is to develop sustainable disease control practices for grapevines. The goal of the project is to compare sociological and economic factors in terms of their influence on adoption of preventative control practices for wood-canker diseases of grape and pistachio.

At this point in time, the project is progressing at a rate consistent with achieving the goals and objectives established for this period. We had expected to be in the middle of designing and constructing simulation models for grapes and pistachio production, and beginning our model calibration and validation. We are doing that now. Information has been gleaned from conservations with individuals knowledgeable about wood canker diseases and their control in grapes and pistachios as well as from a survey of the related literature to develop draft simulation models of grape and pistachio production. The information collected thus far has also allowed us to begin calibrating these models. We await data from a survey of pest control advisors in California administered by the subordinate project related to sociological hurdles to adoption and additional literature review work being done by post-doctorate researchers under the direction of the ARS Principal Investigator (PI) to use to calibrate the simulation models.

Additionally, one of the elements of our research on grape production, specifically, is that it extends beyond California. We have made sure to reach out to extension educators, viticulturists, plant pathologists, and others elsewhere in the US where measurable grape production is taking place, particularly New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. Through this process, we have come to better understand the problems grape growers in those states face with respect to wood canker diseases and expect to provide insights into managing the problem in these areas, as well as within California.

Lastly, during this time period the ARS PI met with a collaborating scientist from Sacramento State University on several occasions to discuss progress and collaboration efforts needed to successfully progress through the research project. This collaborator also participated in a meeting with our industry advisory board to discuss the status of the project and elicit information from the board relevant to understanding more about grape and pistachio production.


Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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