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Farmers' Decision Processes And Adoption Of Conservation Tillage


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  • Westra, John V.
  • Olson, Kent D.


In a transect survey of crop residue levels in 1995 and 1996, two Minnesota counties had very different percentages of cropland with desired residue cover even though the soil types were similar. To gain a better understanding of the reasons behind this difference, the farmers in these two counties were surveyed about their use or lack of use of conservation tillage practices. A statistical logit analysis of survey responses showed farmers are more apt to adopt conservation tillage if they are larger; are more concerned about erosion on their land; have made a recent major investment in the farm; use other producers for tillage information; have the management skill for conservation tillage; and believe conservation tillage will fit with their production goals and the physical setting of their farm. Two counterintuitive findings are the negative effects of the ease of finding information and the degree of control of the adoption decision. The costs and labor requirements of conservation tillage were important but not as statistically significant as those factors just listed. Some variables, that are often listed as potentially important factors, were not found to be important in this survey. These included the long-term viability of the farm; the age, education, and experience of the farmer; the debt level of the farm; whether a family member wanted to continue farming; the proportion of land rented; the use of other sources for tillage information; the complexity of conservation tillage practices; the producer's planning horizon; the risk of negative returns; the availability of support for conservation tillage systems; and the quality of conservation tillage information.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 13380.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umaesp:13380

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Keywords: Crop Production/Industries;


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Cited by:
  1. Boris E. Bravo-Ureta & Horacio Cocchi & Daniel Solís, 2006. "Adoption of Soil Conservation Technologies in El Salvador: A Cross-Section and Over-Time Analysis," IDB Publications 24418, Inter-American Development Bank.
  2. Knowler, Duncan & Bradshaw, Ben, 2007. "Farmers' adoption of conservation agriculture: A review and synthesis of recent research," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 25-48, February.
  3. Rahelizatovo, Noro C. & Gillespie, Jeffrey M., 2002. "Factors Influencing The Implementation Of Best Management Practices In The Dairy Industry," 2003 Annual Meeting, February 1-5, 2003, Mobile, Alabama 35241, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  4. Solis, Daniel & Bravo-Ureta, Boris E. & Quiroga, Ricardo E., 2006. "The Effect Of Soil Conservation On Technical Efficiency: Evidence From Central America," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21345, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Wade, Tara & Kurkalova, Lyubov A. & Secchi, Silvia, 2012. "Using the logit model with aggregated choice data in estimation of Iowa corn farmers’ conservation tillage subsidies," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124974, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.


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