268-7 No-till Adoption In the Great Plains: Regional Patterns and Local Perspectives.

See more from this Division: S06 Soil & Water Management & Conservation
See more from this Session: Soil Conservation on the Great Plains From Sidelines to Center Field: I
Tuesday, October 18, 2011: 2:45 PM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 007A
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Amy Swan, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, Stephen M. Ogle, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory/Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, Kathleen A. Sherman, Department of Anthropology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO and Keith Paustian, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory/Department of Soil and Crop Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
No-tillage (NT) agricultural had been expanding throughout the U.S. Great Plains for the last few decades, largely due to its soil conservation and economic benefits.  Though NT has become increasingly popular, it is still not widely adopted throughout the Great Plains, accounting for only 17 percent of all cropland area in the region.  The objective of our study was to evaluate environmental and socioeconomic factors that affect NT adoption in the Great Plains, by analyzing regional patterns using county-level statistics and local perspectives using household surveys.  County-level data were available for tillage practices, economic indicators, crop management practices, soil and climate attributes, and limited farmer demographics, but no information was available for attitudinal characteristics.  Household surveys were conducted in selected neighboring counties in Colorado, Montana, and South Dakota and targeted similar economic, environmental and management information, but also focused on attitudinal characteristics of farmers.  The regional analysis utilized a linear mixed-effect modeling method, with percent NT by total cropland area as the response.  Household survey data was analyzed with binary logistic regression, where NT adoption was indicated with a binary response.  Results of the regional analysis indicate that NT adoption is influenced by mean temperature, mean annual precipitation to potential evapotranspiration ratio, mean surface sand content, mean slope percentage, operator experience in years, age of operators, and proportion of wheat grown in the county.  Probability of NT adoption according to the household surveys, was much more dependent on attitudinal characteristics.  Significant predictors of NT adoption were participation in the Conservation Reserve Program, trust in federal government, proportion of owned land, hunting for recreation on operation, awareness of NT as conservation practice, and awareness of moisture as local conservation issue.
See more from this Division: S06 Soil & Water Management & Conservation
See more from this Session: Soil Conservation on the Great Plains From Sidelines to Center Field: I