The Drivers of Herbicide Use among Arable Farmers in Canterbury New Zealand Toward an Integrated Approach.pdf (2.25 MB)

The drivers of herbicide use among arable farmers in Canterbury, New Zealand: Toward an integrated approach

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posted on 2023-05-03, 19:09 authored by Martin Espig, Robyn DynesRobyn Dynes, Roxanne HenwoodRoxanne Henwood, Trevor JamesTrevor James
Herbicide-resistant weeds are a growing challenge in agricultural systems worldwide, leading to additional management costs and yield losses. Best practice management guidelines have been promoted for decades, yet incidences of resistance continue to increase. In New Zealand, herbicide resistance might be more widespread than commonly assumed. To respond to the emerging challenge, this article draws on qualitative social research with arable farmers and agricultural stakeholders in the Canterbury region to describe drivers underlying herbicide use on three levels: individuals’ psycho-social context, farm system characteristics, and the socioeconomic system. While findings show concerns for maintaining practical and profitable farm operations, we argue that farmers’ herbicide use is influenced by diverse biophysical, technological, and sociocultural factors, with some hindering recommended best practice. These findings demonstrate that integrated systems-based approaches are needed to holistically understand herbicide use as a critical step in collaborative efforts to establish feasible practice guidelines and management strategies.


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© 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


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Taylor & Francis Group

Journal title

Society & Natural Resources




Espig, M., Dynes, R. A., Henwood, R. J. T., & James, T. K. (2022). The drivers of herbicide use among arable farmers in Canterbury, New Zealand: Toward an integrated approach. Society & Natural Resources, 35(3), 281–300.

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