Adaptation is a critical aspect of applied agricultural research but is one that should be better understood. Accordingly, its dimensions are explored here through analogies with the adaptive behaviour of a person seeking a change in employment. A similar process is then used to illustrate the sequential phases of the adoption of a new technique by farmer-in this case through analogy with the purchase of an automobile. Although adaptation and adoption are quite different phases of the implementation of new technology, their economics are closely interrelated, since an ex ante investigation of the economics of adoption is a necessary consideration in the ex ante appraisal of a process of adaptive research.


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