What carbon farming activities are farmers likely to adopt? A best-worst scaling survey

Nikki Dumbrell, Marit Kragt, Fiona Gibson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)
    785 Downloads (Pure)


    © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Transferring carbon from the atmosphere into terrestrial sinks through carbon sequestration practices (so-called 'carbon farming') has been proposed as an important component in Australia's efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. We use a Best-worst scaling survey to determine which carbon sequestration practices farmers would be most and least likely to adopt, and what factors were most important in any potential adoption decision. The survey was distributed to dryland cropping and mixed crop-livestock farmers in Western Australia. Farmers ranked improved soil quality and reduced soil erosion as the most important potential co-benefits of carbon farming. Factors discouraging farmers from participating in carbon farming contracts were policy and carbon price uncertainty and the uncertain impact of carbon farming practices on productivity and profitability. Farmers had strong preferences for stubble retention and no-till cropping practices as carbon farming strategies. The practices that farmers preferred least were applying biochar and planting trees. Farm and farmer characteristics, including (lack of) awareness of carbon farming policies and opinions about climate change, influence the potential willingness to adopt different carbon farming practices. Given recent policy uncertainty and farmer preferences revealed in this study, it is important to communicate potential co-benefits (rather than opportunities to earn compensation or carbon credits) to increase farmers' engagement in carbon sequestration activities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)29-37
    Number of pages9
    JournalLand Use Policy
    Early online date12 Feb 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


    Dive into the research topics of 'What carbon farming activities are farmers likely to adopt? A best-worst scaling survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this