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What would farmers do? Adaptation intentions under a Corn Belt climate change scenario

Gabrielle E. Roesch-McNally (), J. Gordon Arbuckle () and John Charles Tyndall ()
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Gabrielle E. Roesch-McNally: USDA Climate Hubs
J. Gordon Arbuckle: Iowa State University
John Charles Tyndall: Iowa State University

Agriculture and Human Values, 2017, vol. 34, issue 2, 333-346

Abstract: Abstract This paper examines farmer intentions to adapt to global climate change by analyzing responses to a climate change scenario presented in a survey given to large-scale farmers (n = 4778) across the US Corn Belt in 2012. Adaptive strategies are evaluated in the context of decision making and farmers’ intention to increase their use of three production practices promoted across the Corn Belt: no-till farming, cover crops, and tile drainage. This paper also provides a novel conceptual framework that bridges a typology of adaptation with concepts that help predict intentionality in behavior change models. This conceptual framework was developed to facilitate examination of adaptive decision making in the context of agriculture. This research effort examines key factors that influence farmers’ intentions to increase their use of the practices evaluated given a climate change scenario. Twenty-two covariates are examined across three models developed for no-till farming, cover crops, and tile drainage. Findings highlight that farmers who believed they should adjust their practices to protect their farm from the negative impacts of increased weather variability were more likely to indicate that they would increase their use of each of the practices in response to climate change. Additionally, visiting with other farmers to observe their practices was positively associated with farmers’ intentions to increase their use of the adaptive strategies examined. Farmers who were currently using no-till farming, cover crops, and tile drainage were also more likely to plan to increase their use of these practices in response to increased weather variability associated with climate change. However, farmers who reported high levels of confidence in their current practices were less likely to plan on changing their use of these practices in response to climatic changes.

Keywords: Agriculture; Adaptation; Climate change; Farmer decision making; Resilience (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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