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Hemp Cross-Pollination: Spatial Network Externalities in Agriculture

AAEA members release new research in AJAE

Humbolt County, California instituted a ban (quota of zero) on raising industrial hemp to avoid the network externality of cross-pollination in marijuana production. The state of Colorado is evaluating the severity of spatial spillovers stemming cross-pollination risk to inform next steps in state agricultural regulations.

In the new article “Adapting Network Theory for Spatial Network Externalities in Agriculture: A Case Study on Hemp Cross-Pollination” released in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Jeffrey Young from Murray State University and Tanner McCarty from Utah State University find out how to adjust network diffusion models to be able to account for spatiotemporal complexities inherent within production agriculture problems.

Young and McCarty says, “Ag sectors where mass adoption of a particular crop type or technology is a problem creates negative externalities (e.g. cross pollination, herbicide drift, losses in organic certifications) may require policy intervention to curb spatial spillovers. This policy is likely to be most cost-effective when implemented early and proactively due to the self-reinforcing nature of network based externalities. These network based externalities are also important to address in agriculture as tips to widespread adoption of one particular technology could exacerbate existing problems of concentration and market power within certain markets.”

If you are interested in setting up an interview, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes three journals, the Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (an open access journal), the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications & Membership Manager
(414) 918-3190