Are Farmer Transaction Costs a Barrier to Conservation Program Participation?

A deeper understanding of barriers to participation in conservation programs, including farmer transaction costs, may improve program design and implementation as well as producer outreach, and thus improve water quality. Data on perceived barriers and transaction costs from the 2012 USDA Agricultural Resources Management Survey of soybean farmers were analyzed. For people who have not applied for programs, the percentage of people agreeing that applying for programs and documenting compliance were barriers, indicates that perceived transaction costs are a barrier to participation. The measured magnitudes of transaction costs of farmers who actually applied to these programs do not seem particularly onerous and are lower than the transaction costs that have been measured for European AESs. Regression analysis indicates there are fixed costs to applying to the programs and there is some evidence that complexity of the program and the farming system increases transaction costs.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-10-10

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