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Role of Knowledge and Opinion in Promoting Boll Weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) Eradication

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Although the economic benefits of boll weevil eradication programs have been theoretically and empirically documented, a history of failed initial referendums can be attributed to concerns about relative program costs and benefits, changes in the pest management property rights of producers, and the lack of landowner cooperation with producers. Because little is known about the role of knowledge, opinion, and landowners in the success or failure of any cooperative pest management program, problems arise when attempting to design and promote a boll weevil eradication program. This study examined the factors that played a role in the defeat of the March 1995 Louisiana boll weevil eradication referendum and characterizes the actions that could be taken to successfully promote coordinated pest management programs like boll weevil eradication. Accurate knowledge of past program successes was important to developing support for boll weevil eradication, but knowledge of program specifics led to opposition, particularly in production regions with relatively low boll weevil infestations. These results suggest that program development, education, and promotion need to address regional differences in pest control demand. Although landowners were not different from producers in terms of their willingness to support the boll weevil eradication program, they appear more open to targeted education programs that increase their level of knowledge concerning the boll weevil eradication program and the concept of coordinated pest management. Overall, this study suggests that the development of a clientele knowledge base is important to the successful implementation of coordinated pest management, but that this task may require long-term, broadly targeted educational efforts.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1996

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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