Farmers' Motivations for Adopting Conservation Practices along Riparian Zones in a Mid-western Agricultural Watershed
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.
- Agroforestry Systems 08/2014; 88(4):619-629. · 1.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Optimal participation in market-based instruments such as PES (payment for ecosystem services) schemes is a necessary precondition for achieving large scale cost-effective conservation goals from agricultural landscapes. However farmers' willingness to participate in voluntary conservation programmes is influenced by psychological, financial and social factors and these need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. In this research farmers' values towards on-farm ecosystem services, motivations and perceived impediments to participation in conservation programmes are identified in two local land services regions in Australia using surveys. Results indicated that irrespective of demographics such as age, gender, years farmed, area owned and annual gross farm income, farmers valued ecosystem services important for future sustainability. Non-financial motivations had significant associations with farmer's perceptions regarding attitudes and values towards the environment and participation in conservation-related programmes. Farmer factors such as lack of awareness and unavailability of adequate information were correlated with non-participation in conservation-based programmes. In the current political context, government uncertainty regarding schemes especially around carbon sequestration and reduction was the most frequently cited impediment that could deter participation. Future research that explores willingness of farmers towards participation in various types of PES programmes developed around carbon reduction, water quality provision and biodiversity conservation, and, duration of the contract and payment levels that are attractive to the farmers will provide insights for developing farmer-friendly PES schemes in the region. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Science of The Total Environment 05/2015; 515. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this paper, we analyse Norwegian farmers’ perspectives on the meaning of working in agriculture, their attitudes towards various aspects of multifunctional agriculture (MFA) and land use, and their evaluation of different forms of agricultural payments. The paper presents two linked studies, one Likert scale survey and one sub-sample Q-study. The Likert scale survey results show that the respondents identify themselves as producing not only high-quality food, but also public goods such as cultural landscapes and cultural heritage. Income maximisation is less important with respect to the self-identity for the respondents. The sub-sample Q-study identified two distinct perspectives of interest to the discussion about MFA policy. Perspective 1 farmers attach priority to fair income, food production and payment for food production as opposed to payments for public goods and income support. Perspective 2 farmers emphasise the importance of producing cultural landscapes, but have no strong preferences regarding the form of payments. The latter view is predominantly held by part-time farmers. The quality of the local landscape as valued by the local community had no effect on the perspectives farmers held. Our study reveals that fully replacing commodity price support with payments for public good production, or income support, is problematic for a substantial group of farmers, who would find farming to be less meaningful for them.Land Use Policy 01/2015; 42:83–92. · 3.13 Impact Factor