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Climate Change Perceptions and Observations of Agricultural Stakeholders in the Northern Great Plains

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  • Bruna Irene Grimberg

    () (Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-3148, USA)

  • Selena Ahmed

    () (The Food and Health Lab, Sustainable Food Systems Program, Department of Health and Human Development, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-3540, USA)

  • Colter Ellis

    () (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-2380, USA)

  • Zachariah Miller

    () (Western Agricultural Research Center, Montana State University, Corvalis, MT 59828, USA)

  • Fabian Menalled

    () (Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-3120, USA)

Abstract

This study explored whether Montana agricultural stakeholders’ perceptions and observations of climate change vary according to four socio-ecological variables: income, political view, agricultural occupation, and production region. A survey including 27 questions was developed into five sections: (1) agricultural background information; (2) perceptions about climate change; (3) observed changes in climate-related variables; (4) adaptation practices and strategies; and (5) demographic information. The survey included Likert-scored responses and multiple-choice questions, and was completed by 452 participants, including conventional and organic farmers and ranchers, extension agents, crop consultants, and researchers. The results indicate that while a notable fraction of agricultural stakeholders are alarmed about climate change and optimistic about the human capacity to reduce climate change, the degree of concern and optimism significantly varies depending on the stakeholder’s political views, production region, and agricultural occupation group. We found that observations of changes in climate, perceptions about climate change, and potential risks to agricultural production are driven mainly by political views. Both perceptions and observations drive the choice of adaptation and mitigation practices. It is thus essential to understand farmers’ socio-ecological characteristics when designing agricultural outreach programs in order to reduce barriers for the adoption of climate-resilient agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruna Irene Grimberg & Selena Ahmed & Colter Ellis & Zachariah Miller & Fabian Menalled, 2018. "Climate Change Perceptions and Observations of Agricultural Stakeholders in the Northern Great Plains," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(5), pages 1-17, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1687-:d:148414
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ottmar Edenhofer & Jan Christoph Steckel & Michael Jakob, 2014. "Does Environmental Sustainability Contradict Prosperity?," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 5, pages 15-20, October.
    2. J. Arbuckle & Lois Morton & Jon Hobbs, 2013. "Farmer beliefs and concerns about climate change and attitudes toward adaptation and mitigation: Evidence from Iowa," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 551-563, June.
    3. Dan M. Kahan & Hank Jenkins-Smith & Donald Braman, 2011. "Cultural cognition of scientific consensus," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 147-174, February.
    4. Maddison, David, 2007. "The perception of and adaptation to climate change in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4308, The World Bank.
    5. Rejesus, Roderick M. & Mutuc-Hensley, Maria & Mitchell, Paul D. & Coble, Keith H. & Knight, Thomas O., 2013. "U.S. Agricultural Producer Perceptions of Climate Change," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(4), pages 701-718, November.
    6. Zhongwei Liu & William Smith & Ahmad Safi, 2014. "Rancher and farmer perceptions of climate change in Nevada, USA," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 313-327, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sean McKenzie & Hilary Parkinson & Jane Mangold & Mary Burrows & Selena Ahmed & Fabian Menalled, 2018. "Perceptions, Experiences, and Priorities Supporting Agroecosystem Management Decisions Differ among Agricultural Producers, Consultants, and Researchers," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(11), pages 1-19, November.
    2. Sandile Birthwell Ndwandwe & Ruey-Chee Weng, 2018. "Competitive Analyses of the Pig Industry in Swaziland," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(12), pages 1-22, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    perceptions of climate change; socio-ecological factors; Northern Great Plains;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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