On April 17-18, 2019, stakeholders, economists, center directors, and NCPN program managers convened at Cornell University to discuss the status of existing economic research on clean plants and to decide on the future direction of economic studies. A review of the economic literature revealed a focus on a limited array of crops and a need for better production data for up-to-date and realistic crop enterprise budgets that are needed to support economic studies. Another need is to better understand the appropriate incentives for adoption of clean plant material by nurseries and growers in order to conduct the best economic studies.
A vision for supporting appropriate economic research was discussed. Economic studies would be used to explain the value of using clean plants to stakeholders by quantifying the benefits and costs of using them. Studies would also be used to support future funding for the NCPN by describing the macro-economic benefits of clean plants to NCPN's funders and policy makers.
Meeting attendees developed a plan to move forward with supporting economic research:
Summarize gaps between needs and knowledge based on a comprehensive literature review
Reach out to NCPN membership, including industry, centers, policy makers to strategically validate priorities
Invite economists to participate in relevant NCPN meetings to fully understand needs
Develop a priority plan for economic studies
Devise an effective plan to interact with other members of the network for the delivery of impactful information
An economic studies working group will be formed to make sure plans for needed research move forward. The group will include key economists along with commodity representatives from the NCPN Tier 2s and members with expert knowledge of NCPN affairs. The goal will be to develop priorities for economic research and provide expertise in evaluating outreach materials to benefit the NCPN and its mission.
Fuchs, M., Almeyda, C.V., Al Rwahnih, M., Atallah, S.S., Cieniewicz, E.J., Farrar, K., Foote, W.R., Golino, D.A., Gómez, M.I., Harper, S.J. and Kelly, M.K., 2021. Economic studies reinforce efforts to safeguard specialty crops in the United States. Plant disease, 105(1), pp.14-26.