There are two types of agricultural production technology—mechanical (labor-saving) and biological-chemical (land-saving). Weather modification belongs to the second type. The emphasis on research and development for each type depends on the relative scarcity of land and labor. Present trends indicate an increasing relative economic scarcity of land, thus a greater need for land-saving technology relative to labor-saving technology. This situation favors the development of weather modification. However, there are many competitors in the area of biological and chemical innovations that are generally judged to promise a higher potential than weather modification for increasing crop yields. One of the reasons for such a judgment is the complex nature of the variability of the performance of weather modification. Placing the various sources of risk into a more comprehensive system might improve the understanding and thus the support for weather modification.

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