Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 1999


Published in Great Plains Research 9: (Fall 1999). Copyright © 1999 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


At first glance you might wonder what, if anything, pesticides and sustainable agriculture have in common. To quote the editors: "This book is a case study of an industry which finds itself with a vision of sustainable development and an entire product range which seems to be an anathema to that vision - pesticides - and a uniform perspective of its role in agriculture. We hope that this study is the beginning of an articulation of the choices that face the leaders, regulators and other stakeholders of this particularly controversial industry if they are to choose a course of sustainability."

The editors, William Vorley and Dennis Keeney, are well qualified to address this issue. Vorley has extensive experience in the pesticide industry and in crop protection; Keeney has been the Director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University since 1988. One of the strengths of their volume is its wide expanse of disciplines and approaches, ranging from crop protection to business management, economics, sociology, and systems science. The authors represent both North America and Europe, giving an international perspective to the discussion. Because of this breadth of coverage, few readers would fail to glean some new ideas from this book.