Which factors influence farmers' intentions to adopt nutrient management planning?J Environ Manage. 2018 Oct 15; 224:350-360.JE
The adoption of nutrient management practices can lead to win-win outcomes in terms of both improving productivity and reducing the environmental impact of farming. However, adoption of key practices remains below expectations globally. Few studies specifically focus on the adoption of nutrient management practices and the majority overlook psychological factors in their analysis. This study examines the factors which influence Irish farmers' intention to apply fertiliser on the basis of soil test results. An expanded version of the theory of planned behaviour is used as a framework for analysis. The influence of policy is also accounted for by this study which requires certain farmers in Ireland to adopt soil testing on a mandatory basis. The results for the national sample (n = 1009) show that attitudes, subjective norms (social pressure), perceived behavioural control (ease/difficulty) and perceived resources are significant and positively associated with farmers' intentions. In terms of the voluntary sample (n = 587), only attitude, perceived behavioural control and perceived resources are significantly and positively associated with farmers' intentions. Whereas, for the mandatory sample (n = 422), subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and perceived resources are significantly and correlated in a positive direction with intentions. A number of farm and farmer characteristics are also significantly associated with intentions. Policy recommendations are made based on these results.