Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5bf98f6d76-92xsl Total loading time: 0.291 Render date: 2021-04-22T02:44:59.373Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

An online decision support tool to evaluate ecological weed management strategies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 May 2019

Douglas Bessette
Affiliation:
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Sustainability, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
Robyn Wilson
Affiliation:
Associate Professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources, College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
Christian Beaudrie
Affiliation:
Associate, Compass Resource Management Ltd, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Clayton Schroeder
Affiliation:
Web Developer, Compass Resource Management Ltd, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Weeds remain the most commonly cited concern of organic farmers. Without the benefit of synthetic herbicides, organic farmers must rely on a host of ecological weed management (EWM) practices to control weeds. Despite EWM’s ability to improve soil quality, the perceived rate of integrated EWM strategy adoption remains low. This low adoption is likely a result of the complexity in designing and evaluating EWM strategies, the tendency for outreach to focus on the risks of EWM strategies rather than their benefits, and a lack of quantitative measures linking the performance of EWM strategies to farmers’ on-farm objectives and practices. Here we report on the development and deployment of an easy-to-use online decision support tool (DST) that aids organic farmers in identifying their on-farm objectives, characterizing the performance of their practices, and evaluating EWM strategies recommended by an expert advisory panel. Informed by the principles of structured decision making, the DST uses multiple choice tasks to help farmers evaluate the short- and long-term trade-offs of EWM strategies, while also focusing their attention on their most important objectives. We then invited organic farmers across the United States, in particular those whose email addresses were registered on the USDA’s Organic Research Integrity Database, to engage the DST online. Results show considerable movement in participants’ (n = 45) preferences from practices focused on reducing weeding costs and labor in the short term to EWM strategies focused on improving soil quality in the long term. Indeed, nearly half of those farmers (48%) who initially ranked a strategy composed of their current practices highest ultimately preferred a better-performing EWM strategy focused on eliminating the weed seedbank over 5 yr.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Weed Science Society of America, 2019 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

Footnotes

Associate Editor: Muthukumar V. Bagavathiannan, Texas A&M University

References

Bastiaans, L, Kropff, M, Goudriaan, J, Van Laar, H (2000) Design of weed management systems with a reduced reliance on herbicides poses new challenges and prerequisites for modeling crop-weed interactions. Field Crops Res 67:161179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bastiaans, L, Paolini, R, Baumann, D (2008) Focus on ecological weed management: what is hindering adoption? Weed Res 48:481491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bessette, D, Zwickle, S, Wilson, R (2018) In the weeds: distinguishing organic farmers who want information about ecological weed management from those who need it. Renew Agric Food Syst, doi: 10.1017/S1742170518000042Google Scholar
Bessette, DL, Arvai, J, Campbell-Arvai, V (2014) Decision support framework for developing regional energy strategies. Environ Sci Technol 48:14011408CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bessette, DL, Arvai, JL (2018) Engaging attribute tradeoffs in clean energy portfolio development. Energy Policy 115:221229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bessette, DL, Campbell-Arvai, V, Arvai, J (2016) Expanding the reach of participatory risk management: testing an online decision-aiding framework for informing internally consistent choices. Risk Anal 36:9921005CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bessette, DL, Wilson, RS, Arvai, JL (2019) Do people disagree with themselves? Exploring the internal consistency of complex, unfamiliar, and risky decisions. J Risk Res, doi: 10.1080/13669877.2019.1569107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bond, SD, Carlson, KA, Keeney, RL (2008) Generating objectives: can decision makers articulate what they want? Manage Sci 54:5670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clemen, RT, Reilly, T (2013) Making hard decisions with DecisionTools®. 3rd ed. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning. 848 pGoogle Scholar
Constance, DH, Choi, JY (2010) Overcoming the barriers to organic adoption in the United States: a look at pragmatic conventional producers in Texas. Sustainability 2:163188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Damasio, AR (2006) Descartes’ error. New York, NY: Random HouseGoogle Scholar
DeDecker, JJ, Masiunas, JB, Davis, AS, Flint, CG (2014) Weed management practice selection among Midwest US organic growers. Weed Sci 62:520531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dietz, T (2013) Bringing values and deliberation to science communication. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110:1408114087CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dodgson, JS, Spackman, M, Pearman, A, Phillips, LD (2009) Multi-criteria analysis: a manual. London, UK: Department for Communities and Local Government. 168 pGoogle Scholar
Doohan, D, Wilson, R, Canales, E, Parker, J (2010) Investigating the human dimension of weed management: new tools of the trade. Weed Sci 58:503510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edward, W, Barron, FH (1994) SMARTS and SMARTER: improved simple methods for multiattribute utility measurement. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 60:306325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ellsberg, D (1961) Risk, ambiguity, and the Savage axioms. Q J Econ 75:643669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Epstein, S (1994) Integration of the cognitive and the psychodynamic unconscious. Am Psychol 49:709CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fischhoff, B (1991) Value elicitation: is there anything in there? Am Psychol 46:835CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frederick, S, Loewenstein, G, O’Donoghue, T (2002) Time discounting and time preference: a critical review. J Econ Lit 40:351401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldberger, J (2008) The experiences and perspectives of Washington’s certified organic producers: results from a statewide survey. Sustain Pac Northwest Newsl 6:58Google Scholar
Gregory, R, Failing, L, Harstone, M, Long, G, McDaniels, T, Ohlson, D (2012) Structured decision making: a practical guide to environmental management choices. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 312 pCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jabbour, R, Gallandt, ER, Zwickle, S, Wilson, RS, Doohan, D (2014a) Organic farmer knowledge and perceptions are associated with on-farm weed seedbank densities in Northern New England. Weed Sci 62:338349CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jabbour, R, Zwickle, S, Gallandt, ER, McPhee, KE, Wilson, RS, Doohan, D (2014b) Mental models of organic weed management: comparison of New England US farmer and expert models. Renew Agric Food Syst 29:319333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kahneman, D, Egan, P (2011) Thinking, fast and slow. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 512 pGoogle Scholar
Keeney, RL (2009) Value-focused thinking: a path to creative decisionmaking. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 432 pGoogle Scholar
Liebman, M, Baraibar, B, Buckley, Y, Childs, D, Christensen, S, Cousens, R, Eizenberg, H, Heijting, S, Loddo, D, Merotto, A Jr (2016) Ecologically sustainable weed management: how do we get from proof-of-concept to adoption? Ecol Appl 26:13521369CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Liebman, M, Mohler, CL, Staver, CP (2001) Ecological management of agricultural weeds. New York: Cambridge University Press. 546 pCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mirsky, S, Gallandt, E, Mortensen, D, Curran, W, Shumway, D (2010) Reducing the germinable weed seedbank with soil disturbance and cover crops. Weed Res 50:341352Google Scholar
Misiewicz, T, Shade, J, Crowder, D, Delate, K, Sciligo, A, Silva, E (2017) Increasing agricultural sustainability through organic farming: outcomes from the 2016 organic confluences summit. Washington, DC: The Organic Center. 32 pGoogle Scholar
Mohler, CL, Johnson, SE (2009) Crop rotation on organic farms: a planning manual. Ithaca, NY: Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service (NRAES) Cooperative Extension. 156 pGoogle Scholar
[NIFA] National Institute of Food and Agriculture (2017) Organic agriculture program. Washington, DC: National Institute of Food and Agriculture. https://nifa.usda.gov/program/organic-agriculture-program. Accessed: April 4, 2019Google Scholar
Pannell, DJ, Marshall, GR, Barr, N, Curtis, A, Vanclay, F, Wilkinson, R (2006) Understanding and promoting adoption of conservation practices by rural landholders. Aust J Exp Agric 46:14071424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Parsons, DJ, Benjamin, L, Clarke, J, Ginsburg, D, Mayes, A, Milne, A, Wilkinson, D (2009) Weed manager—a model-based decision support system for weed management in arable crops. Comput Electron Agric 65:155167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peters, E, Slovic, P (2000) The springs of action: affective and analytical information processing in choice. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 26:14651475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Swanton, CJ, Mahoney, KJ, Chandler, K, Gulden, RH (2008) Integrated weed management: knowledge-based weed management systems. Weed Sci 56:168172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tautges, NE, Goldberger, JR, Burke, IC (2016) A survey of weed management in organic small grains and forage systems in the northwest United States. Weed Sci 64:513522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weber, EU (2006) Experience-based and description-based perceptions of long-term risk: why global warming does not scare us (yet). Clim Change 77:103120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilson, RS, Tucker, MA, Hooker, NH, LeJeune, JT, Doohan, D (2008) Perceptions and beliefs about weed management: perspectives of Ohio grain and produce farmers. Weed Technol 22:339350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zimbardo, PG, Boyd, JN (2015) Putting time in perspective: a valid, reliable individual-differences metric. Pages 1755 in Stolarski M, Fieulaine N, van Beek W, eds. Time perspective theory. Review, research and application. Basel: SpringerGoogle Scholar
Zwickle, S, Wilson, R, Bessette, D, Herms, C, Doohan, D (2016) Facilitating ecological weed management decisions by assessing risk-benefit tradeoffs. Agroecol Sustain Food 40:635659CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zwickle, S, Wilson, R, Doohan, D (2014) Identifying the challenges of promoting Ecological Weed Management (EWM) in organic agroecosystems through the lens of behavioral decision making. Agric Human Values 31:355370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zwickle, SL (2011) Weeds and organic weed management: investigating farmer decisions with a mental models approach. M.S. thesis. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University. 171 pGoogle Scholar

Bessette et al. supplementary material

Figure S1

File 227 KB

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 75
Total number of PDF views: 95 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 23rd May 2019 - 22nd April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

An online decision support tool to evaluate ecological weed management strategies
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

An online decision support tool to evaluate ecological weed management strategies
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

An online decision support tool to evaluate ecological weed management strategies
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *