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In the Weeds: Effects of Temperature on Agricultural Input Decisions in Moderate Climates

Christopher Barrett (), M. Jagnani, Yanyan Liu () and Liangzhi You

No 277019, 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia from International Association of Agricultural Economists

Abstract: Does heat affect agriculture in regions where temperatures are not high enough to directly, adversely affect crop growth? Combining daily weather data with a qualitatively rich, longitudinal survey of Kenyan agricultural households in rural maize-growing areas where daily average temperatures are well below 30C, we find that higher temperatures early in the growing season increase the use of pesticides, while reducing fertilizer use, with comparatively modest effects of temperature later in the growing season. Suggestive evidence indicates that greater heat increases the incidence of pests, crop diseases and weeds, compelling farmers to divert investment from productivity-enhancing technologies like fertilizer to adaptive, loss-reducing inputs like pesticides. Acknowledgement : Tim Johnson and Yating Ru provided excellent research assistance. We thank Nicholas Flores, Teevrat Garg, Ariel Ortiz Bobea, Cynthia Lin Lawell and Vis Taraz for helpful comments. We are grateful for feedback from seminar participants at Cornell University and the International Food Policy Research Institute, as well as conference participants at the 2017 CU Boulder -- Environmental and Resource Economics Workshop, and the 2017 Association of Environmental and Resource Economists Annual Meetings. Funding support came from the African Development Bank through the Structural Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces (STAARS) project. All errors are our own

Keywords: Environmental; Economics; and; Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-dev and nep-env
Date: 2018-07
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