By: Lichtenberg, Erik; Berlind, Ayesha Velderman
Scouting is the most widely used integrated pest management technique adopted by U.S. growers. This study applies an implicit demand formulation of the Lichtenberg-Zilberman damage abatement model to data from a survey of Maryland field crop growers to examine differences in pesticide demand between growers using scouts trained and supervised by extension and those using chemical dealer employees or scouting themselves. The results give partial support to those skeptical of the quality of scouting by farmers themselves and by consultants working for chemical dealers. Soybean growers using extension-trained scouts had significantly lower pesticide demand than those using chemical dealer employees or scouting themselves. However, no significant differences were found in the pesticide demands for alfalfa, corn, and small grains.