Projects Funded for Leslie (Bees) Butler

2017-2018

Economics of Precision Agriculture in California Specialty Crops

2009-2010

Evaluation of the Benefits of an Animal ID System for California

Abstract

The development and deployment of an animal identification (ID) and traceability system nationwide is necessary to protect the health of the human population and animal agriculture industry and to minimize the economic losses due to an animal disease outbreak. In addition, an efficient animal ID system is a necessary precursor to a food safety and traceability system.

While the costs of the system are relatively easy to measure, the accurate measurement of the benefits of such a system is a challenge for several reasons. First, it is necessary to separate the primary and secondary benefits of the system, because we are only interested in measuring the primary benefits of the system. Second, under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), voluntary participation required adoption of the system where primary benefits do not exist and where only secondary benefits provide value. Third, the evaluation of the secondary benefits varies depending on the type of animal operation, the size of the operation, and the individual needs of the operation. Fourth , the primary benefits of the system are non-excludable and therefore develop characteristics of a public good with associated free rider problems.

This paper outlines the network effects and network externalities associated with the system, the measurement of the primary and secondary benefits of the system and potential solutions to the free rider problems.

2007-2008

Agricultural Technology Disadoption: California Dairy Producers and Recombinant Bovine Somatropin

Abstract

In this paper, we estimated the effects of two shocks to rbST use in the dairy industry using discrete-time duration analysis, a method that has been used frequently by other social scientists but less so by economists. The main advantage to using discrete-time duration analysis to model technology choice is that most technology choice decisions are inherently discrete and therefore more accurately modeled as a repeated series of binary decisions.

In our empirical application, we examined the effects of two shocks on the use of rbST by California dairy farmers. We show that the disadoption rate in 2004 was not statistically different from the disadoption rate in earlier years. This suggests that dairy producers interpreted the rationing imposed by the shortage as an atypical event that did not increase their estimation of the costs and risks associated with rbST use enough to warrant disadoption.

The ban in 2007, however, had a large and positive effect on the disadoption of rbST. The disadoption rate was significantly higher in 2008 than in any other year in whichthe disadoption of rbST was possible. While this result is not surprising, it does indicate that for many producers, the benefits from using rbST were not large enough to encourage producers to seek other buyers for their milk and/or pay the surcharge that processors charge to store and handle rbST-milk separately.

2003-2004

Cooperatives as a Countervailing Power in the Winter Pear Market

2002-2003

Adoption, Diffusion and Profitability of Biotechnology: rbST in California

2001-2002

Adoption, Diffusion and Profitability of Biotechnology: rBST in California