Projects Funded for Daniel Sumner


Agri-environmental Incentives and the Waste Management Practices of Dairy Farms in California


Specific Objectives of the Project

The project summarizes the existing federal and local agri-environmental incentives for waste-management practices of livestock operations and examines specially the choices faced by dairy farmers in California. This research will contribute to our understanding of how specific incentive mechanisms interact with each other and under what conditions multiple levers are necessary. This research will also help us to understand farmers' decision-making under regulatory uncertainty and complexity. Findings of this project will shed light on the future design of agri-environmental payment programs.

Summary of Results

This grant supported research on how a local air quality regulation (Rule 4570) has affected the economic performance of dairy farms in the San Joaquin Valley. Estimated adoption rates of different pollution-mitigation practices reveal that dairy farms have adopted labor-intensive production practices to comply with the air quality regulation. Using farm-level cost data on a panel of dairy farms, The project estimated the effects of the regulation on the costs of milk production. Econometric results indicate that the air quality regulation has not significantly affected the total costs of milk production. Estimates from different specifications indicate that the regulation may have reduced feed costs during some periods, perhaps because some pollution-mitigation practices can reduce feed fermentation.


Economic Analysis of Food Safety Regulation


Specific Objectives of the Project

Model producer provision of food safety, with empirical applications to the fresh produce and shell egg industries that are important in California. The applications include estimating effects on nutrition through reduced consumption of fresh products in response to heightened safety concerns. Lacking econometric estimates, we are likely to design and conduct experiments to ge nerate needed data.

Simulate the effects of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) on imports of fresh tomatoes.

Summary of Results

Using the funding from the grant, John Bovay was able to finish his strong dissertation on "Regulation of Production Practices and Product Attributes: Farm Animal Welfare and Food Safety". This consisted of three essays on the regulation of food safety and one on the economic and political factors that drove California voter support for a referendum on standar ds for the housing of egg-laying hens. We have published one and expect to publish two additional peer-reviewed articles based on material in John Bovay's dissertation. One will be about the effects of the Food Safety Modernization Act, and the other about factors that drove voter support for legislation on the housing of egg-laying hens in California


Estimating the Demand for Pollination Services in Almond Production


The first round of analysis that we have carried supports the simulation results of our bioeconomic model of bee foraging. In the conditions of commercial almond orchards, bees fly quickly and reach most of the trees in an orchard under most weather conditions. The effect of hive distance to a tree on yield is accordingly small. This finding is helps understand a common practice among almond growers which is to place bee hives in groups of 20 to 24 every 10 acres or so. The rapid diffusion of bees through the landscape also has implications for the prevalence of externalities, which we document and model in a related research effort. We are in the process of extending the analysis to the temporal aspects of pollination by combining data on bloom development and bee activity in collaboration with Patrick Brown from the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.


Performance of California Dairy Cooperatives


The Payoff to UC Pest Management Research and Extension

Economic Effects of Domestic Subsidy and Trade Barriers with Differentiated Goods: Processed Tomato Products in the European Union

Agriculture in the WTO: Prospects and Consequences for California


Milk Quality and Marketing Orders