Article

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

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management (Impact Factor: 1.11). 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.

0 Followers
 · 
223 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.029 · 3.16 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Agroforestry systems (AFS) are valuable production systems that allow concealing benefits provision with conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. We analysed AFS of the zone of alluvial valleys of the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley (TCV), Mexico, the most intensive agricultural systems within a region recognized for harbouring one of the most ancient agricultural experience of the New World. We hypothesized that the biodiversity conservation capacity of AFS would be directly related to traditional agricultural features and inversely related to management intensity. Methods Agricultural practices, use frequency of machinery and chemical inputs, and proportion of forest and cultivated areas were described in 15 AFS plots in alluvial valleys of the Salado River in three villages of the region. With the information, we constructed a management intensity index and compared among plots and villages. We documented the reasons why people maintain wild plant species and traditional practices. Perennial plant species were sampled in vegetation of AFS (15 plots) and unmanaged forests (12 plots 500 m2 ) in order to compare richness, diversity and other ecological indicators in AFS and forest. Results In all studied sites, people combine traditional and intensive agricultural practices. Main agroforestry practices are ground terraces and borders surrounding AFS plots where people maintain vegetation. According to people, the reasons for maintaining shrubs and trees in AFS were in order of importance are: Beauty and shade provision (14% of people), fruit provision (7%), protection against strong wind, and favouring water and soil retention. We recorded 66 species of trees and shrubs in the AFS studied, 81% of them being native species that represent 38% of the perennial plant species recorded in forests sampled. Land tenure and institutions vary among sites but not influenced the actions for maintaining the vegetation cover in AFS. Plant diversity decreased with increasing agricultural intensity. Conclusions Maintenance of vegetation cover did not confront markedly with the intensive agricultural practices. It is possible the expansion and enrichment of vegetation in terraces and borders of AFS. Information available on plant species and local techniques is potentially useful for a regional program of biodiversity conservation considering AFS as keystones.
    Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 02/2015; 11(8). DOI:10.1186/1746-4269-11-8 · 1.98 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Adoption of temperate agroforestry practices generally remains limited despite considerable advances in basic science. This study builds on temperate agroforestry adoption research by empirically testing a statistical model of interest in native fruit and nut tree riparian buffers using technology and agroforestry adoption theory. Data were collected in three watersheds in Virginia's ridge and valley region and used to test hypothesized predictors of interest in planting these buffers. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to verify independence of underlying latent measures. Multiple linear regression was used to model interest using the Universal Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT). A second model that added agroforestry-specific predictors from Pattanayak et al. (Agrofor Syst 57:173-186, 2003) to UTAUT was tested and compared with the first. The first model was robust (Adj R (2) = 0.49) but was improved by adding agroforestry specific predictors (Adj R (2) = 0.57). Model generalizability was confirmed using double cross validation and normality indices. Social influence, risk expectancy, planting experience, performance expectancy, parcel size, and the interaction of gender and risk were significant in the final model. In addition, socioeconomic variables were used to characterize landowners according to their level of interest. Respondents with greater interest were newer owners that have higher incomes and are less active in farming. The result implies that future agroforesters may in large part consist of owners that have recently acquired land and manage their property more extensively with higher discretionary income and multiple objectives in mind.
    Agroforestry Systems 08/2014; 88(4):619-629. DOI:10.1007/s10457-014-9678-5 · 1.24 Impact Factor