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Herbicide resistance and the adoption of integrated weed management by Western Australian grain growers

Authors


*Corresponding author. Tel.: 61 8 8303 8502; fax: 61 8 8303 8684.
E-mail address: Rick.Llewellyn@csiro.au (R. S. Llewellyn).

Abstract

Extension programs to encourage farmers to reduce reliance on herbicides by adopting integrated weed management (IWM) practices have met with limited success. Studies aiming to understand the factors that influence farmers' choices of integrated control practices have faced difficulties in variable specification, and have not achieved high explanatory power. Using data from grain growers in Western Australia, where herbicide resistance in major crop weeds is common, this study tests the applicability of a framework for the IWM adoption decision in which herbicide efficacy is assumed to be a potentially exhaustible resource. Farmers' perceptions of multiple techniques and other variables are aggregated using principal components, and used in logistic regressions to explain the intensity of use of IWM practices. Eighty-six percent of growers were correctly classified according to use of multiple IWM practices. Herbicide resistance and expectations of the future availability of effective new herbicides were significant in explaining IWM adoption. IWM adoption and herbicide-resistance management are shown to be information-intensive and involving an intertemporal resource management decision.

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