Thursday, 21 November 2013

Why wheat farmers choose chemical inputs (#journal)

Why wheat farmers could reduce chemical inputs: evidence from social, economic, and agronomic analysis

Though European policies recommend pesticide reduction, most farmers still manage their crops with a high level of chemical inputs, notably in arable crop-based systems. Factors influencing farmers’ practices are not well-known. The authors interviewed 71 French farmers to understand the factors influencing their choice of crop management plans. Results revealed three main types of practices: (1) 29 % of farmers use low levels of inputs and get low yield, (2) 38 % of farmers use medium levels of inputs and get high yield, (3) 33 % of farmers use high levels of inputs and get medium yield. We showed that farm profile, individual motives, and social commitments explain the level of input use. High-input practices are often implemented by farmers who have less family labor availability and who rarely join extension groups, whereas low-input practices are conducted by farmers bearing civic responsibilities and showing environmental awareness. 

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