Factors influencing dairy farmers’ adoption of best management grazing practices

Hyland, John J., Heanue, Kevin, McKillop, Jessica and Micha, Evgenia ORCID: 0000-0002-5697-3317 (2018) Factors influencing dairy farmers’ adoption of best management grazing practices. Land Use Policy, 78. pp. 562-571. ISSN 0264-8377

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Abstract

Understanding of farmers’ influences relating to the adoption of innovations is imperative for the Irish dairy sector to improve efficiencies and productivity. There is a particular need for a better appreciation of how farmers’ grassland management practices are shaped. The Spring Rotation Planner (SRP) is a management tool that divides the area of a farm into weekly portions and takes the estimation out of planning the first grazing rotation. It offers a cost-saving alternative on many dairy farms, which could contribute to strengthening the competitiveness of the sector. Adoption rates of the SRP amongst farmers have been low despite extensive promotion of its advantages. This study therefore aims to use psychological constructs to analyse factors that affect the adoption of the SRP by commercial dairy farmers in Ireland. Dairy farmers (n = 256) were surveyed from different regions within the country. Principal Component Analysis was used to empirically confirm the hypothesised Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) beliefs. Cluster analysis was thereafter employed as classification criteria to cluster respondents into types. The TPB was subsequently applied to explain intention to implement the SRP. Two clusters of farmers were elicited; low and high adopters of the SRP. Low-Adopters of the SRP were characterised by their high sense of resource constraint. It is recommended that carefully planned communication, targeted at the different farmer types, can help encourage uptake of the SRP.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Dairy farmers; Rotational grazing; Innovation; Theory of Planned Behaviour; Resources
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2019 14:32
Last Modified: 07 May 2019 13:47
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/6568

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