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Abstract

Voluntary programs to reduce nonpoint source pollution are an important component of efforts to reduce water quality degradation in the U.S. Understanding the factors influencing the willingness of nonpoint sources such as farms to participate in these programs is critical to effectively designing and implementing these programs. This study examines factors influencing willingness to adopt four different best management practices—rotational grazing, pasture improvement, stream water crossing, and water tank systems—by beef cattle operations in an East Tennessee watershed. Factors examined include farm and farmer characteristics, farmer attitudes, and a hypothetical incentive program to encourage adoption of these practices. Younger, more educated producers with higher income levels and larger households were more willing to adopt the BMPs. Producers were more willing to adopt pasture improvement and least willing to adopt stream crossings. Producers also seemed willing to adopt a bundle comprised of pasture improvement, rotational grazing and water tanks.

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