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Abstract

This study investigates the role of information in influencing the adoption of improved farm management practices. A lack of producer information regarding both the profitability and the environmental benefits of adopting improved practices may be a reason why widespread adoption of these practices has not occurred. Compared to direct regulation or financial incentives, raising producer information levels may be a more cost-effective method of increasing adoption. The United States Department of Agriculture has recently established and begun implementing a program based on this idea. To test the validity of the program, a two-stage adoption model is specified and estimated using data from a survey of producers in the program area. The results indicate that producer perceptions play an important role in the decision to adopt. Changing these perceptions by means of an educational program may be a reasonable alternative to financial incentives in encouraging BMP adoption.

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