In this paper we present a conceptual framework of individual farmers' decisions on adoption of a new innovation, using the example of a new crop species. This framework overcomes the shortcomings of a number of previous studies. It represents the adoption of an innovation as a dynamic decision problem spanning at least several years. The model allows for generation of potentially valuable infmmation from trialing the innovation. The value of such trials is due to development of skills (e.g. in agronomic management of a crop) as well as reduction in uncertainty about the innovation's long-term profitability. The framework also includes the farmer's personal perceptions, managerial abilities and risk preferences in order to properly represent the adoption decision process. The influences of socio-demographic factors within the framework are discussed. © 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.