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Evaluation of socioeconomic characteristics of farmers who choose to adopt a new type of crop and factors that influence the decision to adopt switchgrass for energy production

by 1978- Ellis, Pamela C.

Abstract (Summary)
Evaluating farmers’ perceptions and obtaining feedback about the adoption of a new crop is necessary for improving the efficiency of research, technology exchange, and information flow to policymakers. New technology has created new uses for nontraditional crops (such as switchgrass) as a sustainable source of energy. With new technology utilizing non-traditional crop uses, it is important to discern and understand the determinants of farmers’ behavior and attitudes toward new crop adoption rather than new technology adoption. Farmers must analyze financial and social costs and benefits of new crops, farming practices, and economic activities. Better understanding of the factors farmers consider when evaluating land use change, production activities on the farm, and resource allocation will help in developing and implementing guidelines for recruiting switchgrass growers and promoting long-term producer participation in Tennessee. Switchgrass utilization is an emerging market currently in the research and demonstration project stage. Most switchgrass research has been centered in the prairie states of the Midwestern United States and the prairie provinces of Canada. Switchgrass is a valuable soil-protection cover-crop. Switchgrass production can benefit farmers, taxpayers, industrial-fiber producers, energy producers, and consumers of energy. Because the market for switchgrass is not well developed, information regarding producer’s attitudes toward switchgrass markets, net returns required to produce switchgrass, and acreage that might be converted to switchgrass is needed. The purpose of this study is to assess the producer’s views on switchgrass markets, their willingness to iv produce switchgrass, and the acreage amount and type of agricultural production that might be converted. In this study a survey was conducted to obtain information about Tennessee farmers’ views on switchgrass for energy production. A logit model was then used to show what characteristics of the farm and farmer have the highest effect on adoption rates of switchgrass. Using the estimated logit model, an analysis was done to predict the likelihood of adoption of switchgrass from survey respondents who did not know if they would be interested in adopting switchgrass. v
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:farmers new crops tennessee

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