Farmers' Motivations for Adopting Conservation Practices along Riparian Zones in a Mid-western Agricultural Watershed

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management (Impact Factor: 1.45). 01/2003; 46(1):19-37. DOI: 10.1080/713676702
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT In the agricultural Mid-west, riparian corridors are vital for protecting biodiversity and water quality. The cumulative management decisions of hundreds of private landowners have a tremendous impact on this riparian zone. This study of 268 farmers in a typical Mid-western watershed in Michigan looked at farmer's motivations for adopting conservation practices, their current management practices along their rivers and drains as well as their future management plans. The results of the study showed that farmers are intrinsically motivated to practise conservation by such factors as their attachment to their land, rather than by motivations such as receiving economic compensation. Farmers are also likely to engage in conservation practices that make their farm appear well-managed. Furthermore, those farmers with strong intrinsic motivations were likely to adopt conservation practices that protect streams, such as maintaining a woody vegetative buffer or practicing no-till farming. This study shows that protecting riparian resources in agricultural watersheds requires strategies for conservation that respect farmers' attachment to their land and their desire to practise good stewardship.

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Available from: Raymond K De Young, Dec 30, 2013
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    • "Likewise, Valdivia and Poulos (2009) reported that Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments have no significant effect on awareness of conservation practices, but attitude variables do. Ryan et al. (2003) also reached similar conclusions that adopting conservation practices is intrinsically motivated rather than by factors such as receiving economic compensation, which is supported by the review in Cross et al. (2011). Findings in this study suggest that farmers' perception of their ecological performance might be framed – in addition to their beliefs and attitudes – by the design of a policy scheme. "
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    ABSTRACT: Farmers are decision-makers in a complex system of cause and effect. They decide with respect to their own attitude and beliefs, according to their farm structure and they take into account programs and regulations of the overarching policy scheme. In this paper we used mail surveys with identical questions to establish a cross-national comparison of two case study areas. The questionnaire investigates farmer's perspectives on what influences their own decision-making as well as their perception of the socio-ecological environment to relate these findings to the respective policy schemes in the case study areas. The two case studies are located in Southern Illinois, United States and in central Switzerland. The analysis shows that full-time farmers of the Southern Illinois case study area rate constraining factors such as financial aspects higher than Southern Illinois part-time farmers and farmers from the central Switzerland case study area. Furthermore, it is apparent that Swiss case study-farmers rate aspects of their land use responsibility and the Illinois case study-farmers rate ecological aspects higher. The empirical findings can be qualitatively explained through analysis of agricultural policy schemes.
    Land Use Policy 11/2014; 41:163–171. DOI:10.1016/j.landusepol.2014.04.005 · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    • "In fact, evidence suggests that farmers who have adopted few conservation practices are often more motivated by incentives than farmers who have adopted more conservation practices, who tend to be motivated to adopt conservation for intrinsic reasons, such as recognition by peers, or a stewardship ethic of care for the environment (Greiner et al. 2009). Farmer stewardship of the land may be motivated intrinsically by an attachment to the land, a desire to pass on the land to future generations, an identity of what it means to be a good farmer, and a general sense of responsibility to the family, community, or others (Ryan et al. 2003; Reimer et al. 2012a; McGuire et al. 2013). Some researchers have cautioned that incentives may actually hinder conservation of stewardship-motivated farmers, who are intrinsically motivated to conserve and do not require monetary incentives (Greiner et al. 2009; Reimer et al. 2012a). "
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    ABSTRACT: Watershed managers have largely embraced targeting of agricultural conservation as a way to manage strategically non-point source pollution from agricultural lands. However, while targeting of particular watersheds is not uncommon, targeting farms and fields within a specific watershed has lagged. In this work, we employed a qualitative approach, using farmer interviews in west-central Indiana to better understand their views on targeting. Interviews focused on adoption of conservation practices on farmers' lands and identified their views on targeting, disproportionality, and monetary incentives. Results show consistent support for the targeting approach, despite dramatic differences in farmers' views of land stewardship, in their views about disproportionality of water quality impacts, and in their trust in conservation programming. While the theoretical concept of targeting was palatable to all participants, many raised concerns about its practical implementation, pointing to the need for flexibility when applying targeting solutions and revealing misgivings about the government agencies that perform targeting.
    Environmental Management 07/2014; 54(4). DOI:10.1007/s00267-014-0342-7 · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    • "Studies concerning influences on AES participation have tended to focus on the balance between farmers' extrinsic and intrinsic motivations, showing that, as well as seeking financial rewards, farmers are also wishing to satisfy personal goals and self-fulfilment (Greiner et al., 2009; Jacobson et al., 2003; Kabii and Horwitz, 2006; Ryan et al., 2003; Smithers and Furman, 2003; Wilson and Hart, 2000). In an effort to widen understandings of motivation and accommodate the heterogeneity of farmer preferences, researchers have also demonstrated the influence of cultural norms, identity, social and cultural context; values, goals, objectives and principles; and worldviews or personal philosophy (Ahnström et Farm continuity is largely guaranteed by a broad range of adjustment, survival or livelihood strategies, or development pathways (Gormann et al., 2001; Kinsellsa et al, 2000; Meert et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper aims to capture the complexity and dynamic nature of motivations for participation in agri-environment schemes (AESs). Specifically, it examines the extent to which decisions about family farm participation in Tir Gofal (TG), a whole farm AES in Wales, can be traced to long-term motivations for farm continuity; and how Tir Gofal fits into dynamic farm development pathways that farmers follow to ensure their continuity. It reports the findings from narrative style interviews with 25 TG agreement holders and 12 non-agreement holders across Wales.The results show that the continuance of the family farm is an important goal for agreement and non-agreement holders alike, and this is linked to enduring commercially or traditionally oriented values. Three broad sets of development pathways were identified and the extent to which TG fits in with these pathways is considered, with particular reference to different periods in the farm life cycle. The paper concludes that incorporating a temporal dimension into the wider question of farmers’ participation in agri-environment schemes can help to improve understanding of farmers’ behaviour particularly given the variety of possible opportunities currently open to, and used by, family farms.
    Land Use Policy 10/2013; 31:267–279. DOI:10.1016/j.landusepol.2012.07.007 · 3.13 Impact Factor
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