Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Practices: Diffusion, Farm Structure, and Profitability1


  • 1

    An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Western Social Science Association meeting held in Denver, CO, 1992. Contribution No. 2848 from the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station.


Abstract This paper employs diffusion and farm-structure variables to explain variations in Montana farmers' adoption of two kinds of sustainable agricultural practices: those involving intensive management and those which require fewer purchased inputs. While perceived profitability was found to be the most important factor affecting adoption of both, the independent variables had different effects on beliefs about net economic returns as well as on adoption of the two practices. Type of farm enterprise played a larger role in adoption of the low-input practices than the management intensive ones; access to information was more important for the latter. Implications for policy are discussed.