Agriculture and water quality in the midwestern USA

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Investigates social issues associated with water quality. By Linda Stalker Prokopy, Ph.D. Purdue University

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Agriculture and water quality in the midwestern USA

  1. 1. Agriculture and water quality in the Midwestern US: An exploration of social issues Linda Stalker Prokopy, Ph.D. Purdue University
  2. 2. Mississippi River Basin http://www.nps.gov/miss/riverfacts.htm
  3. 3. • Nearly one-third of global supply of maize • Over $50B to US economy Midwestern United States
  4. 4. http://www.scottshephard.com/2011/10/11/moonset-over-iowa-corn-field/ “We have to feed the world!”
  5. 5. Challenges with Watershed Management  Non point source (NPS) pollution (diffuse pollution) is major cause of water quality impairment; agriculture major source  Limited regulatory options  Addressed mainly through persuasion and voluntary practices  Financial incentives  Technical support  Outreach & education  We don’t know enough about what motivates people to change behaviors
  6. 6. Three Types of Indicators for Watershed Management Environmental – Nutrient loads, E. Coli Administrative – Bean counting! – Number of plans written, number of newsletters distributed Social
  7. 7. Conceptual Model Social EnvironmentalAdministrative Improvement & protection of water quality social norms Program Activities knowledge awareness skills attitudes capacity values constraints Use of water quality management Practices Reduction in Stressors
  8. 8. Natural Resource Social Science Lab at Purdue Surveys Interviews Literature reviews Focus groups Facilitated meetings
  9. 9. 1982-2007: 55 U.S. Studies looked at BMP adoption Meta-analysis results published in Prokopy et al., 2008, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation and Baumgart-Getz, Prokopy, Floress, 2012, Journal of Environmental Management.
  10. 10. 1982-2007: 55 U.S. Studies Overall Finding: – Very few generalizable trends However  age
  11. 11. 1982-2007: 55 U.S. Studies Overall Finding: – Very few generalizable trends However  Farm size
  12. 12. Smaller Farms: – Not as aware of information sources: SWCD, NRCS, watershed group, Extension – Less aware of pollutants and practices – Have more positive attitudes towards improving water quality – More willing to try new practices Perry-Hill and Prokopy, 2014, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation
  13. 13. 1982-2007: 55 U.S. Studies Overall Finding: – Very few generalizable trends However  Environmental attitudes
  14. 14. Attitudes Three types of farmers: - motivated by farm as business - motivated by stewardship concerns - motivated by off-farm environmental benefits Reimer, Thompson, Prokopy, 2012, Agriculture and Human Values
  15. 15. 1982-2007: 55 U.S. Studies Overall Finding: – Very few generalizable trends However 
  16. 16. Producer Survey Advisor Survey
  17. 17. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Strong Influence Moderate Influence Slight Influence No Influence No contact Please indicate how influential the following groups and individuals are when you make decisions about agricultural practices and strategies. (16 options) Family, chemical dealers, and seed dealers are most influential Influence of Extension is mixed
  18. 18. Practice Characteristics also Important Focus on: • Raising awareness of on- farm and financial benefits • Environmental benefits • Compatibility with current farm practices Reimer, Weinkauf, Prokopy, 2012, Journal of Rural Studies Indiana Prairie Farmer
  19. 19. Diffusion of Innovations (Rogers) Early Majority 34% Late Majority 34% Early Adopters 13.5% Innovators 2.5% Laggards 16% x - 2sd x - sd x x + sd Innovators: - Need to be respected in community for this to lead to more adoption.
  20. 20. Diffusion of Innovations (Rogers) Early Majority 34% Late Majority 34% Early Adopters 13.5% Innovators 2.5% Laggards 16% x - 2sd x - sd x x + sd knowledge persuasion implementation confirmationdecision
  21. 21. What motivates maintenance? Local networks – being connected to community groups – Social norm towards BMP maintenance? Sense of ownership is important – Hesitancy to participate in government programs leads to longer term maintenance Adam Baumgart-Getz, Ph.D. Dissertation, 2010
  22. 22. Where Programs Succeed • Focus on watersheds with sufficient capacity: • Paid watershed staff • Active conservation groups • Inter-agency trust and collaboration • Problem salience and awareness • “Basic” BMPs already adopted • Some farmers are conservation leaders Source: facilitated discussion with government program administrators, university researchers, and professional resource managers
  23. 23. Where Programs Fail • Focus on the individual farmer, not communities • Lack of consistent farmer network engagement • Don’t think about maintenance • Don’t consider constraints such as drainage boards or equivalent • No landscape-scale planning, geographic targeting • Despite interest from farmers!* *Margaret Kalcic, Ph.D. Dissertation, 2013
  24. 24. Conceptual Model for Social Indicators Social EnvironmentalAdministrative Improvement & protection of water quality social norms Program Activities knowledge awareness skills attitudes capacity values constraints Use of water quality management Practices Reduction in Stressors
  25. 25. Social Indicators for Planning & Evaluation System (SIPES)  Critical areas & target audiences  Scale is project level  Consistent survey questions and data collection protocols  Used across projects  Compared over time  Compared across projects Prokopy et al. Journal of Extension, 2009
  26. 26. SI Planning and Evaluation Process
  27. 27. Pilot Testing Over 30 projects in six states  Rural/urban  Large/small  Experienced/non-
  28. 28. Download at: www.iwr.msu.edu/sidma Highlights • Checklists for all 7 steps • How to use SIDMA • Choosing a survey method • Selecting sample size • Administering a survey • Interpreting data • Designing outreach programs • Sample surveys and cover letters
  29. 29. Main Page
  30. 30. Contact Information: Linda Prokopy lprokopy@purdue.edu http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~lprokopy/ Photo credit: nasa.gov Questions?

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