Farm level implementation of soil conservation measures: farmers’ beliefs and intentions

Magdalena Werner, Erwin Wauters, Jo Bijttebier, Horst-Henning Steinmann, Greet Ruysschaert, Andrea Knierim

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    Understanding motivating factors for taking soil conservation measures is seen as key to improving on-farm implementation. However, to date only few on-farm conservation measures have been investigated. The objective of this paper is to investigate the influence of farmers’ subjective beliefs on their intention to apply and actual implementation of cover cropping, with the region of Brandenburg (Germany) as a case. An additional objective was to investigate how these insights can contribute to increase farm level implementation of soil conservation measures. Theory of planned behavior provides an approach to understand human behavior by analyzing farmers’ subjective beliefs. Our results, based on a survey of 96 farmers, show that attitudes (ATTs) and perceived difficulty significantly explain variations in intention to apply cover cropping, with ATTs being generally very positive. We discuss that, in this case, the most effective way to increase on-farm implementation is to decrease the farmers’ perception of difficulty. This can be achieved by providing information to farmers on how to overcome barriers to implementation of conservation measures. In-depth insights into belief structures reveal what kind of information is most useful in the case of cover cropping.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRenewable Agriculture and Food Systems
    Issue number6
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - Dec-2017


    • B400-animal-husbandry
    • theory of planned behavior
    • cover crops
    • conservation practice adoption
    • best management practices
    • agri-environmental problems
    • farm compatibility


    Dive into the research topics of 'Farm level implementation of soil conservation measures: farmers’ beliefs and intentions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this