Denny, R. C., S. T. Marquart-Pyatt, and M. Houser. 2019. Understanding the past and present and predicting the future: farmers’ use of multiple nutrient best management practices in the Upper Midwest. Society & Natural Resources 32:807-826.
Understanding what drives farmers’ voluntary adoption of nutrient and soil best management practices has important consequences for many environmental outcomes including water quality. We build on research revealing the need for simultaneous use of multiple nitrogen best management practices to achieve water quality improvement goals. Using social, economic and attitudinal variables we predict the use of multiple nitrogen best management practices at three time points: current use (2013), past use (before 2013), and likelihood of use on their largest field in the next three years. Our empirical analysis uses structural equation modeling with latent variables and 2014 farmer survey data from three Midwestern US states. Most farmers in our sample used at least one of the six best management practices. Our results reveal that farmers’ attitudes, use of information sources, and conservation program participation affect the number of nitrogen best management practices concurrently in use at multiple time points.
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