Economic, Demographic, and Farmer’s Perspective on Cover Crop Adoption: A Survey Approach




Amin, Bonny

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Cover cropping (CC) can enhance soil health, economic, and environmental sustainability, however adoption rate is 3~5% across the USA. Because the benefits and challenges due to adopting cover crops are site-specific and heterogeneity of farmers perspective, economic and demographic factors vary nationwide. In this research, cover crop adoption (dependent variable) factor will be determined in perspective of economic (total gross annual sales), demographic (age, farm size, gender, race, and years of experience in farming), and farmers’ perspective (benefits and challenges). Online survey questionnaires will be distributed including close and open-ended questions with convenience sample size following a cross-sectional survey design. The survey results will be analyzed and described using descriptive and logistic regression model. The dependent variable, farmers' chance of adopting cover crops, will be measured by the regression model, considering their perspective, economic, and demographic aspects. Farmers' opinions on cover crops, the reasons behind heterogeneity and its patterns will be ascertained through qualitative data analysis. It was found from the pilot study (n=30) that cost sharing or incentives would encourage farmers to use cover crops. The results of the regression model indicated that the adoption of cover crops is significantly impacted negatively by farm size, or total acreage operated. Additionally, it came to light that the adoption of cover crops is positively but marginally impacted by the farms' total yearly gross sales. From the research findings policymakers will be able to design farmers’ friendly conservation programs considering heterogeneity and diverse perspective of farmers to encourage cover crop adoption across the United States. Therefore, government can promote sustainability, provide credit balances and every stakeholder can gain from conservation initiatives.



cover crops, economics, survey



Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States

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