Date of Graduation

12-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Jennie S. Popp

Committee Member

Lucas D. Parsch

Second Committee Member

Harrison Pittman

Third Committee Member

John Pennington

Keywords

Social sciences; Biological sciences; Agriculture; Conservation adoption; Conservation programs; Eqip; Northwest arkansas; Survey

Abstract

A survey was developed and administered to agricultural producers in Northwest Arkansas in order to better understand producer awareness of, application for and participation in six federal and state conservation programs available in Arkansas: the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, the Arkansas Revolving Loan Program, the Arkansas Nonpoint Pollution Management Program , the Arkansas Soil Nutrient and Poultry Litter Application and Management Program, and the Surplus Poultry Litter Removal Incentives Cost Share Program. Survey results found that less than half of the sample was aware of any one of the programs. A logit model was developed to identify those factors that significantly influenced the likelihood of program awareness. Demographic and choice variables that proved significant in at least one of the six examined programs were: On-Farm Income, Years of Farm Operation, County of Operation, Operator Education, Type of Agricultural Operation, and Source of Conservation Program Information. The most commonly significant variables were Source of Conservation Program Information and On-Farm Income. Policy recommendations include a general increase in on-farm conservation education in NWA; to specifically target smaller operations with basic information about the nature of government-organized agricultural conservation programs; and to target larger farms with information about program participation.

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