Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Michael P. Popp

Committee Member

Jason K. Norsworthy

Second Committee Member

Michael R. Thomsen

Keywords

Social sciences; Decision-support; Farm management; Palmer amaranth; Weed control

Abstract

Herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth [Amaranthus palmeri (S.) Wats.] has been identified as one of the most troublesome weeds, specifically for corn (Zea mays L.), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] producers in the southern United States. The use of herbicide technology remains the most widely used method of weed control, despite the evolution of herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth. Therefore, a need currently exists for research and extension education to encourage the adoption of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to address the problem of herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth in the southern United States. By equipping crop producers, educators, and weed management consultants with tools to evaluate the long-run biological and economic implications of different Palmer amaranth weed control practices, producers are expected to realize the benefits of adopting IPM strategies. As such, the Palmer Amaranth Management (PAM) software was developed to help producers, educators and researchers, and weed management consultants analyze long-run implications of chemical and non-chemical weed control options in crop production in the mid-southern United States. In addition to promoting the regional adoption of IPM techniques, PAM is expected to improve coordination among researchers, educators, and extension agents, and help producers to realize the economic and environmental benefits of IPM adoption, such as improved crop yields and increased profitability, preservation of the long-term efficacy of available herbicides, and minimized environmental risks. Therefore, the research objective of this project was to develop a decision support software program to highlight the long-term effects of management practices on soil seedbank and economics to encourage the adoption of IPM methods for Palmer amaranth.

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