The purpose of this research is to improve understanding of conservation tillage adoption decisions by identifying key biophysical and socio-economic factors influencing no-till adoption by grain growers across four Australian cropping regions. The study is based on interviews with 384 grain growers using a questionnaire aimed at eliciting perceptions relating to a range of possible long- and short-term agronomic interactions associated with the relative economic advantage of shifting to a no-tillage cropping system. Together with other farm and farmer-specific variables, a dichotomous logistic regression analysis was used to identify opportunities for research and extension to facilitate more rapid adoption decisions. The broader systems approach to considering conservation tillage adoption identified important determinants of adoption not associated with soil conservation and erosion prevention benefits. Most growers recognised the erosion-reducing benefits of no-till but it was not an important factor in explaining whether a grower was an adopter or non-adopter. Perceptions associated with shorter-term crop production benefits under no-till, such as the relative effectiveness of pre-emergent herbicides and the ability to sow crops earlier on less rainfall were influential. Employment of a consultant and increased attendance of cropping extension activities were strongly associated with no-till adoption, confirming the information and learning-intensive nature of adopting no-till cropping systems.
|Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
|Published - 2008