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Investigation of Farmer Attitudes to Arable Options in Agri-Environment Schemes - BD0414

Description
The introduction of the Countryside Stewardship and Environmentally Sensitive Area agri-environment schemes is aimed at increasing biodiversity and halting the loss of wildlife species, which has arisen due to the intensification of agriculture. A pilot scheme has also been developed which will examine the effectiveness of a range of management prescriptions aimed at restoring wildlife on arable farms. In this study, the attitude of farmers to current and proposed arable options in agri-environment schemes will be determined. The study will be composed of 3 specific objectives outlined as follows, together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. Identification of key factors that have influenced the uptake of arable options under existing schemes, and that are likely to influence uptake under Arable Stewardship. This will involve an exploratory survey and a formal verification survey. The exploratory survey will identify the factors farmers use in evaluation of schemes in order that hypotheses may be formulated. It will also help determine the terms and expressions that farmers use when discussing/describing schemes. Personal interviews will be conducted, together with informal survey methods, such as a review of the literature and other secondary sources on environmentally beneficial management of arable land on field margins and headlands. The formal verification survey will be driven by the hypotheses produced from the exploratory survey and will seek to identify and explain the factors responsible for the variation in uptake amongst farmers and the perceived efficacy of marketing programmes. Respondents will be chosen from different farm types in different geographical areas and will involve both participants and non-participants in existing schemes. A formal telephone questionnaire will be presented to farmers, and data will be analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences; 2. Examination of the present format of arable options for agri-environment schemes and the promotion/marketing of the Arable Stewardship scheme. The efficacy of existing processes will be assessed against criteria derived from the exploratory and formal surveys. Factors and conditions which underpin the awareness, persuasion, decision, implementation and confirmation process will be determined, together with formal and informal channels of communication which support this process, conditions and bureaucratic procedures involved, choice of extension and advisory methods, and the role of agents of change (e.g. conservation organisations, FRAC officers and leading farmers); and 3. Recommendation of appropriate approaches to the promotion/marketing of the Arable Stewardship scheme and possible future amendments to the options or prescriptions of the schemes that might encourage uptake, whilst delivering the required environmental benefits. Attention will focus on factors, both positive and negative, which critically affect adoption. The concept of the Hierarchy of Effects will be used which recognises that public communication involves several successive stages from awareness, through knowledge and attitude, to action. The study will evaluate the position of farmers with respect to the stages of the adoption process in order to develop appropriate strategies to move them up the decision hierarchy in favour of adoption. Results of the project as a whole will identify possible future amendments to options or prescriptions of schemes that may encourage uptake, whilst delivering the required environmental benefits.
Objective
(a)To identify the key factors that have influenced uptake of arable options under existing schemes, and that are likely to influence uptake under Arable Stewardship; (b)To examine and recommend improvements to the present format of the arable options for agri-environment schemes and the promotion/marketing of the Arable Stewardship Scheme; (c)to recommend appropriate approaches to the promotion/marketing of the Arable Stewardship and Countryside Stewardship Schemes and possible future amendments to the options or prescriptions of the schemes that might encourage uptake whilst delivering the required environmental benefits.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1997

To: 1997

Cost: £37,317
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Cranfield
Keywords
              
Fields of Study
Environmental Stewardship