Farmers working on highly erodible land (HEL) are subject to regulatory provisions called “conservation compliance plans.” 885 farmers with conservation compliance plans, randomly sampled, were interviewed about five possible reasons for possible noncompliance. Though relatively few respondents indicated reasons for noncompliance among the choices given, reasons for noncompliance result from producers believing there was only a small likelihood of violations being detected, as well as doubt in conservation plans’ ultimate effect on soil erosion. 50.5% of responding farmers managed livestock, 34.6% grew small grains, with 45.4% grew corn. 74.8% of farmers surveyed reported their conservation compliance plans included residue management, no till, or some other practice whose objective is to leave sufficient residue to reduce soil erosion. 64% practiced crop rotation. Despite 52% of respondents describing their experience receiving technical assistance as “very helpful”, only 26% claimed to want further assistance in the future. The majority of farmers, 88%, stated as their reason to change or modify their plans’ practice “because the practice you want to remove is difficult or uneconomic to use”. A prediction of compliance by grouping respondents according to their answers suggests 366 farmers are “likely to comply”, 299 are “very likely to comply”, 113 “may comply” and 43 “may not comply”.
Producers’ Opinions about Conservation Compliance: Analysis of a National Survey
J. Dixon Esseks and Steven E. Kraft
DeKalb, IL: American Farmland Trust
May 01, 1993
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