Applied Economics


Applied Economics

CSI provides expertise in applied economic research with applications to regulated industries. Our collective backgrounds in production agriculture, working lands conservation, and economics, facilitate our pragmatic approach to economics and pesticides. We work with clients to characterize use and provide background information on pesticide usage, including incorporating the agronomic and economic significance of the product. We have provided public comments on proposed registration decisions, developed use profiles, and other topics related to agriculture and pesticide uses.

While our primary expertise is in agriculture and environmental economics, we apply the same principles to other regulated industries. Our focus is to anticipate and apply creative regulatory, economic, and environmental strategies to address our clients’ needs.

Experienced Support For:

  • Economic Impact Analysis & AGSIM
  • Conservation & Mitigation Measures
  • Agricultural Policy
  • Benefit Assessments: FIFRA & State Registrations
  • Section 18 Emergency Exemptions
  • Pesticide Use Characterization
  • Applied Agricultural Economics Research
  • Programming & Statistical Analysis

Applied Economics Support

Economic Impact Analysis & AGSIM 

To support Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) registration and review and public comment development on risk assessments, registration decisions, biological evaluations and opinions, and critical habitat designations, our toolbox includes AGSIM, a multi-crop aggregate economic model of supply and demand for crop production in the US that can be used to estimate the price, farm income, and consumer consequences of proposed policies. AGSIM can be used to investigate a variety of topics related to agriculture and can be integrated into spatial analysis to quantify, analyze, and present findings. 


Conservation & Mitigation Options 

We work with clients to explore conservation measures to help mitigate potential risk to at-risk species. We combine our knowledge of economics, species, conservation, and agricultural systems to help clients understand potential impacts of various avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures, providing them with information and solutions that are invaluable in the registration process and beyond. We have established relationships with Federal and State agencies, local organizations, and other entities that can help to facilitate a comprehensive and successful strategy.


Agricultural Policy 

We provide clients with advice on regulatory and agricultural policy topics that may impact current and future registrations, as well as global agricultural production. We have experience in analyzing the impact of regulatory decisions related to pesticide registration review, evaluating the impact of changes in agricultural conservation policy, and examining the interface between agricultural production and species protection. 


Pesticide Registration & Review 

  • Assessing Benefits under FIFRA: FIFRA requires that pesticides registered by US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do not cause “unreasonable adverse effects on man or the environment” and for EPA to consider the economic, social, and environmental cost and benefits of the use of any pesticide.” To meet this requirement during the registration and registration review process, EPA conducts benefit assessments considering both biological and economic factors. In late 2018, EPA provided suggestions on the types of information registrants could provide to assist EPA review the benefits of the pesticides as part of the registration process. CSI helps companies demonstrate the value of their services and products to meet FIFRA-related goals. 
  • Assessing Benefits under CEQA GuidelinesUnder the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) is required to “consider qualitative factors as well as economic and technical factors and long-term benefits and costs, in addition to short-term benefits and costs and to consider alternatives to proposed actions” (2019 CEQA Statute and Guidelines). To better inform the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the feasibility of alternatives and mitigations, CSI helps applicants provide documentation outlining the benefits of the pesticide to growers in California. 
  •  Section 18 – Emergency exemption due to economic lossSection 18 of FIFRA authorizes EPA to allow Emergency Exemptions (also called “Section 18s”) for unregistered uses of pesticides to address emergency conditions. There are four types of emergency exemptions: specific, quarantine, public health, and crisis exemptions. A specific exemption may be authorized in an emergency condition to avert a significant economic loss, which has very specific requirements as outlined by EPA. CSI facilitates applications for emergency exemption and analyzes data to support economic loss. 

Pesticide Use Characterization 

Characterizing pesticide use is a starting point for most ecological and human health risk assessments. We help clients and agencies better understand the use profile associated with a given chemical and contextualize its role in broader agricultural settings. By understanding the when/where/why/how and other questions about the way in which a chemical is applied, we can quantify its potential risk (and benefit) to the environment, and to related agricultural markets. In this capacity, we have been active in responding to requests for public comments about the intended or likely use of a chemical based on best available datasets and data sources. 


Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs)

There are economic consequences of missing and revoked tolerances/MRLs for growers, importers, and exporters. Additionally, we can prepare expert statements related to economic consequences.


Applied Agricultural Economics Research 

We provide applied agricultural economics research support as co-investigators on grants and contract support on topics related to production agriculture. Project work includes evaluating economic impact of adoption of conservation systems on working agricultural lands, costs and benefits of adoption of in-field and edge-of-field conservation practices, and other topics related to production agriculture. 


Programming & Statistical Analysis

Our staff is experienced with various scripting languages to facilitate statistical analysis and processing efficiencies, including Python, SQL, R, and SAS.

Applied Economics Note:

Leah Duzy attended the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)  97th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, held virtually on February 18-19, 2021. The theme was “Building on Innovation: A Pathway to Resilience” and the focus will be on the role of science and innovation in helping the agricultural sector overcome challenges. There were several sessions of interest to the crop protection industry, including the profitability of precision agriculture and management of citrus greening.

Auburn University gets $3 million grant to increase Innovative Conservation Practices

Working on this grant, pictured from left to right, are Michelle Worosz, Brenda Ortiz, Rishi Prasad, Audrey Gamble, and Leah Duzy.
Applied Economics

Auburn University gets $3 million grant to increase Innovative Conservation Practices

Working on this grant, pictured from left to right, are Michelle Worosz, Brenda Ortiz, Rishi Prasad, Audrey Gamble and Leah Duzy.

Applied Economics Experts

Leah Duzy's Picture

Leah Duzy

Principal Consultant


David Campana's Picture

David Campana

Senior Consultant

Washington State

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Leah Duzy
Principal Consultant

Expertise: Agricultural Economics

With a background in production agriculture and working lands conservation, Leah applies economic principles to risk and conservation decision-making to support agrochemical product development, assessment, and defense. She also provides applied economics research support through collaboration on federal grants and other projects. Her skills support pesticide benefit assessments and endangered species assessments.

Leah previously worked for the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and the USDA Agricultural Research Service as an agricultural economist for 15 years. She has worked in both the Federal conservation program and agricultural research arenas conducting applied economic research on conservation production systems, cover crops, and herbicide-resistant weed management, and preparing cost-benefit analyses for Federal conservation programs as part of the rulemaking process. 

Ph.D., Agricultural Economics, Auburn University.
M.S., Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
B.A., Economics, The University of the South.

David Campana
Senior Consultant

Expertise: Geospatial & Economic Analysis

David’s project background includes endangered species range mapping, environmental cost-benefit analysis, agricultural market access development, chemical fate modeling, statistical analysis, efficacy study review, database management, and project development.

M.S., Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Hawaii.
BSc, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University.