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Do advisors perceive climate change as an agricultural risk? An in-depth examination of Midwestern U.S. Ag advisors’ views on drought, climate change, and risk management

Sarah P. Church (), Michael Dunn (), Nicholas Babin (), Amber Saylor Mase (), Tonya Haigh () and Linda S. Prokopy ()
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Sarah P. Church: Purdue University
Michael Dunn: Forest Research
Nicholas Babin: Sierra Nevada College
Amber Saylor Mase: University of Wisconsin Extension
Tonya Haigh: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Linda S. Prokopy: Purdue University

Agriculture and Human Values, 2018, vol. 35, issue 2, No 5, 349-365

Abstract: Abstract Through the lens of the Health Belief Model and Protection Motivation Theory, we analyzed interviews of 36 agricultural advisors in Indiana and Nebraska to understand their appraisals of climate change risk, related decision making processes and subsequent risk management advice to producers. Most advisors interviewed accept that weather events are a risk for US Midwestern agriculture; however, they are more concerned about tangible threats such as crop prices. There is not much concern about climate change among agricultural advisors. Management practices that could help producers adapt to climate change were more likely to be recommended by conservation and Extension advisors, while financial and crop advisors focused more upon season-to-season decision making (e.g., hybrid seeds and crop insurance). We contend that the agricultural community should integrate long-term thinking as part of farm decision making processes and that agricultural advisors are in a prime position to influence producers. In the face of increasing extreme weather events, climatologists and advisors should work more closely to reach a shared understanding of the risks posed to agriculture by climate change.

Keywords: Adaptation; Health belief model; Protection motivation theory; Drought; Qualitative (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s10460-017-9827-3

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