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4th IPM Symposium

"IPM Assessment and Risk: Framing the Issues and Vocabulary"
Scott Swinton, Michigan State Univ.

Abstract :
IPM assessment programs take two distinct forms, based on distinct objectives. Programs that aim to encourage IPM use "assessment" scoring systems to characterize levels of IPM adoption, often for industry certification purposes. While useful for building program participation, practice-based scoring systems generally do not provide adequate information for public program assessment. Programs that aim to evaluate the efficiency of public expenditures use measures of specific techniques adopted and specific environmental, health and profitability impacts. The primary focus of the assessment component of the National Roadmap for IPM is the latter form - public program assessment.

Along the three major dimensions of IPM assessment - profitability, health and environmental - it is helpful to think of how IPM effects both mean outcomes and the risk of bad outcomes. "Risk" in this sense refers to the probability distribution of outcomes (e.g., crop yields) that may be affected by IPM practices. As evidenced by experimental IPM insurance initiatives, crop farmers care about whether IPM reduces or increases the likelihood of suffering a bad harvest. A competing use of the term "risk," mostly tied to health and environmental impacts, is synonymous with a bad outcome. For public program impact assessments, the probabilistic sense of "risk" deserves special attention, while the casual reference to risk as a bad outcome will automatically receive attention.

Powerpoint Presentation : Framing the Issue and Vocabulary

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