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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Economic Impacts of Bird and Rodent Damage to California Crops: A Methodology to Select Counties for Input-Output Modeling


California is the nation’s greatest agricultural producer. In 2006, California’s gross value of agriculture production was more than $38.3 billion, almost double the value of production for the second most important agriculture state, Texas. The agricultural sector is a fundamental segment of any economy because it not only contributes substantially to the general economy and employment of the region, but it is additionally linked to almost all other sectors in the economy (i.e., manufacturing, retail trade, and accommodation and food service) as a source of inputs. Damage to crops by birds and rodents can reduce total crop yield and increase pest control costs. This ultimately reduces the production output of the agricultural sector and all other linked sectors and could potentially have significant total economic impacts. One method to estimate the total impact to the California economy of a decrease in agricultural yields and increase in pest control costs as a result of bird and rodent damage is an input-output (IO) model. To capture the sub-regional effects of economic changes, IO modeling is done at the county level. For the initial phases of this project, a deductive process was used to systematically rank California counties according to gross value agricultural production, value of production of targeted crops, and concentration of targeted crops. This process was used to identify the 10 leading agricultural counties, out of California’s 58, that will be processed for IO modeling to measure economic impact of bird and rodent damage on employment and revenue in each of these counties.

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