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Abstract

The extent to which individual factors influence the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices is estimated using a logit model and data from a 1990 survey of West Virginia producers. The results are, as expected, different than those for conventional agricultural technologies. For example, the effects of human capital characteristics are significant, while those for structural and institutional characteristics are not. However, the likelihood of adoption of sustainable agricultural practices is affected most by the environmental characteristic of whether or not the producer is aware that ground water contamination exists on his farm. This creates an important "awareness effect" upon which policies to promote sustainable agriculture adoption can be formulated. It also implies the existence of a derived demand for sustainable agriculture.

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