The value of site-specific information and the environment: technology adoption and pesticide use under uncertainty

J Environ Manage. 2005 Aug;76(3):245-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2005.01.024.


Remote sensing technology offers an opportunity to significantly increase the amount of site-specific information about field characteristics such as pest populations. Coupled with variable rate application technologies, this added information has the potential to provide environmental benefits through reduced pesticide applications. However, producers face a complicated adoption decision because output prices and crop yields are uncertain. A model is developed to examine the potential value of remote sensing information to pesticide applications in an option-value framework under uncertainty. Simulations suggest that remote sensing information could decrease pesticide use, but uncertainty and irreversibility are likely to limit technological adoption by farmers. Potential cost-share subsidies are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / methods*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Pest Control / methods*
  • Pesticides*
  • Technology / economics*
  • Telemetry / economics
  • Telemetry / methods*
  • Uncertainty


  • Pesticides