An Investigation of the Relationship between Pesticide Usage and Climate Change Academic Article uri icon


  • One concern of agriculturalists when regarding climate change involves the effects on pest populations. Climate change may allow pest migration or population expansions which may adversely affect agricultural productivity, profitability and possibly even viability. We examine the effect of current climate variations on the average and variability of U.S. per acre pesticide costs across the U.S. as a proxy for investigating the consequence for pest populations. Empirically, we find that increases in rainfall increases average per acre pesticide usage costs for corn, cotton, potatoes, soybeans, and wheat while hotter weather increases pesticide costs for corn, cotton, potatoes, and soybeans but decreases the cost for wheat. We also investigated the influence of climate on the variability of pesticide costs. There we find that hotter temperatures increase pesticide cost variance for corn, potatoes, and wheat while decreasing it for soybeans. Rainfall increases cause an increase in cost variability for cotton while decreasing it for corn, potatoes, soybeans, and wheat.

published proceedings

  • Climatic Change

altmetric score

  • 5

author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, C., & McCarl, B. A.

citation count

  • 88

complete list of authors

  • Chen, Chi-Chung||McCarl, Bruce A

publication date

  • September 2001