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Farmer Behaviour & Environmental Management
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Farmer Behaviour & Environmental Management

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An overview of various research projects since 1995 relating to motivations and behaviour of Farmers who are involved in Environmental Management schemes - such as stewardship.

An overview of various research projects since 1995 relating to motivations and behaviour of Farmers who are involved in Environmental Management schemes - such as stewardship.

Published in: Environment, Technology, Business

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  • Strong views about the detrimental impact of 2 to 3 year rotational cutting on wildlife - opened up hedge structure.

    Deterring some farmers from entering hedges into ELS or joining ELS.

    Observed attributes scored higher under AES related prescriptions - mainly those resulting in rapid change, e.g. cutting frequency, cutting time, and height. Hedge density not assessed
  • Transcript

    • 1. Farmer Behaviour in relation to environmental management Jane Mills Janet Dwyer Julie Ingram Chris Short Matt ReedPete Gaskell
    • 2. Farmer Behaviour • Evaluation of agri- environment schemes – minimal social science • Understanding farmer decision-making - Traditional knowledge transfer practices Our early work - (1995 – 2005)
    • 3. Increasing policy interest in farmer behaviour – why? • Agri-environment schemes not delivering (Kleijn & Sutherland et al, 2003) • Increasing recognition that farmers’ decisions not always economically rational • Need for sustainable long-term agri- environment management • Voluntary action more likely to become embedded in social norms • 2010 The nudge unit – Behavioural Insights team
    • 4. Understanding and influencing positive environmental behaviour among farmers and landowners (2006-2007) CCRI and MLURI Aim • What is good practice in terms of influencing +ve environmental behaviour? – What does the literature tell us? – What do farmers & stakeholders tell us
    • 5. Literature Review • Psychology • Social Learning • Central Route Processing – Content of message key – Relevance, salience, credibility and responsibility • Knowledge transfer to knowledge networks – Negotiated knowledge & different forms of expertise – Reflexivity & power effects – Legitimacy & accountability
    • 6. • Networks • Evaluation • Heterogeneity of farmers – Diversity within and between farming styles – Fractured networks affect how messages interpreted & circulated • Lessons from case studies – Trust in source, credibility of the message – Context-process- OUTCOME Literature Review
    • 7. Field work • Develop a deeper understanding of issues identified from the literature • 5 case studies • 80 face-to-face interviews (individual & family) – Farmers, scheme promoters & stakeholders • 2 focus groups – To ‘member check’ draft findings
    • 8. Findings – Understanding and influencing behaviour Willingness to change Theory of Planned Behaviour ( Ajzen 1991) Self-identity Attitude Subjective norms Perceived behavioural control Societal pressure
    • 9. Findings – Understanding and influencing behaviour Willingness to change Self-identity Attitude Social norms Perceived behavioural control Societal pressure Farm Finance Human capital Labour Social capital Time Capacity to change
    • 10. Findings – Understanding and influencing behaviour Willingness to change Self-identity Attitude Social norms Perceived behavioural control Societal pressure Farm Finance Human capital Labour Social capital Time Capacity to change Heterogeneity & farming styles Social constructions Advice at trigger points Farmer engagement 2-way exchange Credibility
    • 11. Good Practice Guide: Influencing environmental behaviour using advice Principles for use in designing and implementing advisory measures/ schemes/ initiatives to stimulate positive environmental behaviour by farmers and land managers.
    • 12. Farmer attitudes and evaluation of outcomes to on-farm environmental management (2011-2013) • The factors driving environmental activities – both with a formal agreement and outside of agreements • The perceived and observed benefits of environmental management activities Explore link between farmers' attitudes to environmental management, their subsequent behaviour, and perceived and observed environmental benefits
    • 13. Farmed land Formal environmental activities Informal environmental activities Willingness & capacity Farmer behaviour Farmer Perceived benefits Observed Environmental benefits Outcomes Willingness to adopt Self-identity Attitude Social norms Perceived behavioural control Societal pressure Farm Finance Human capital Labour Social capital Time Capacity to adopt
    • 14. Farmed land Formal environmental activities Informal environmental activities Willingness & capacity Farmer behaviour Farmer Perceived benefits Observed Environmental benefits Outcomes Willingness to adopt Self-identity Attitude Social norms Perceived behavioural control Societal pressure Farm Finance Human capital Labour Social capital Time Capacity to change
    • 15. Method - Farm Business Survey Analysis Analysis of the Countryside Maintenance and Management Activities module of the FBS • Based on sample of 1,345 FBS farm businesses • Analysis of the uptake of arable AES activities and informal management activities by key farm and farmer characteristics • Analysis of the reasons for uptake of AES and informal arable-related management activities.
    • 16. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Field corner management Wild bird /pollen and nectar mixture Buffer strips Overwintered stubble Uncropped land Hedges: maintenance Ditches: maintenance, restoration % of responses Financial Environmental Agronomic Outside farmers control Other reasons Primary reasons for undertaking activities under AES
    • 17. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Field corner management Wild bird /pollen and nectar mixture Buffer strips Overwintered stubble Uncropped land Hedges: maintenance Ditches: maintenance, restoration Financial Environmental Agronomic Outside farmers control Other reasons Primary reasons for undertaking informal environmental activities
    • 18. Method - Farmer Interviews 60 in-depth, qualitative, face-to-face interviews • Farm structural characteristics • Farmer/family characteristics • Environmental scheme or policies affecting the farm • Individual environmental management activities, including score of the perceived benefits to the environment
    • 19. 20 environmental features considered falling into three broad groupings: •Margins •In-field features •Boundary features Farmer Interviews - Assessment Scored individual environmental activities on farm scored on a 3 point scale: 1 - ‘Not Convinced Of Any Benefits’ 2 - ‘A Few Benefits’ 3 - ‘Significant Benefits’ Qualitative analysis of reasons given for scores
    • 20. Results: Buffer strips against watercourses AES Observed benefit score category Informal Observed benefit score category High Medium Low High Medium Low Perceivedbenefit score High 2 2 2 Perceivedbenefit score High 2 1 2 Medium 1 3 2 Medium 0 0 0 Low 0 0 0 Low 0 0 0 Number of farms in each of perceived and observed score combinations for buffer strips against watercourses
    • 21. Results: Buffer strips against watercourses AES Observed benefit score category Informal Observed benefit score category High Medium Low High Medium Low Perceivedbenefit score High 2 2 2 Perceivedbenefit score High 2 1 2 Medium 1 3 2 Medium 0 0 0 Low 0 0 0 Low 0 0 0 Number of farms in each of perceived and observed score combinations for buffer strips against watercourses •Perceived by farmers in AES to benefit environment
    • 22. Buffer strips against watercourses •Co com “If we weren’t in ELS we would probably still keep in the buffer strip alongside the brook. It is easy to work and it has straight lined the brook and it does form some kind of access to the brook, although you are not supposed to use it regularly. ..”
    • 23. Results: Hedgerows AES Observed benefit score category Informal Observed benefit score category High Medium Low High Medium Low Perceivedbenefit score High 1 2 0 Perceivedbenefit score High 3 7 6 Medium 6 1 1 Medium 2 1 1 Low 1 0 0 Low 0 0 0 Number of farms in each of perceived and observed score combinations for hedgerows
    • 24. Results: Hedgerows AES Observed benefit score category Informal Observed benefit score category High Medium Low High Medium Low Perceivedbenefit score High 1 2 0 Perceivedbenefit score High 3 7 6 Medium 6 1 1 Medium 2 1 1 Low 1 0 0 Low 0 0 0 Number of farms in each of perceived and observed score combinations for hedgerows •Farmers’ perceptions of environmental benefit higher for hedges managed informally than within an AES.
    • 25. Results: Hedgerows AES Observed benefit score category Informal Observed benefit score category High Medium Low High Medium Low Perceivedbenefit score High 1 2 0 Perceivedbenefit score High 3 7 6 Medium 6 1 1 Medium 2 1 1 Low 1 0 0 Low 0 0 0 Number of farms in each of perceived and observed score combinations for hedgerows •Farmers’ perceptions of environmental benefit higher for hedges managed informally than within an AES. •Observed environmental scores higher for hedges managed under AES compared to those managed informally
    • 26. Results: Hedgerows “I have seen some terrible damage to hedges in the area; trying to get hedges back to the size they were 2 or 3 years ago. Trimming large branches 1.5 to 2 inches. Looks awful, split stems; must be opening it up to disease”
    • 27. Reflections on research findings • Highlighted importance of understanding farmers perceptions of the environmental benefits of their activities willingness to engage in positive environmental management behaviour • Belief in efficacy of their actions results in positive attitudes – e.g buffer strips • Farmers contest some AES prescriptions which results in negative attitudes e.g. rotational cutting regimes for hedgerows