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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Minimizing Socio-Political Impacts to Maximize Cost-Effective Control of Emerging Plant Pests

Location: Subtropical Plant Pathology Research

Project Number: 6034-22000-039-52
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Oct 01, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2015

Objective:
1. Develop models of disease spread and control to optimize mitigation programs that account for grower and public economic and social dynamics including communication networks (balancing rapidness of disease mitigation with social tolerance of the program by growers and the public). 2. Develop understanding of the perceptions, information levels, experiences, attitudes and behaviors of growers/public to disease threats, based on (i) anecdotal evidence from regulatory programs, (ii) from newspaper/magazine publications and (iii) from a preliminary study done by McRoberts on grower/public perception dynamics of the HLB regulatory program in California. In the case that such anecdotal evidence is insufficient to develop the modelling approaches we will develop a questionnaire to be used in a limited population survey to gather information on specific aspects of the socio-economic dynamics of regulatory programs. 3. Identify the key social and political constraints and acceptance thresholds to mitigation programs for each of the case studies and from this formulate management methods to minimize socio-political impacts and optimize cost-effective control of emerging plant diseases. 4. Develop a set of Best Management Practices for mitigation programs that accommodate social and political impacts. Transfer the methodologies to APHIS for consideration of current and future mitigation programs.

Approach:
In this first year of the project we will concentrate on model development, data analyses and setting up the methodology for one key case example; Huanglongbing disease of citrus. By restricting our attention to one case study initially it is guaranteed that at the end of the first year we will have a reportable and practically relevant output. In subsequent years, subject to availability of funding, we will analyze the other two case examples. This will allow us to generalize across cases and this will help develop Best Management Practice methods. Using previous Farm Bill funding we have developed epidemiological models for emerging plant pathogens. These models will form the basis. The models for grower/public perception dynamics will be coupled to these existing models.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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