Environmental degradation threatens the long term resiliency of the US food and farming system. While USDA has provided conservation incentives for the adoption of best management practices (BMPs), only a small percentage of farms have participated in such conservation programs. This study uses conjoint analysis to examine Vermont farmers' underlying preferences and willingness-to-accept (WTA) incentives for three common BMPs. Based on the results of this survey, we hypothesize that federal cost share programs' payments are below preferred incentive levels and that less familiar and more complex BMPs require a higher payment. Our implications focus on strategies to test these hypotheses and align incentive payments and other non-monetary options to increase BMP adoption.
© 2016 by the authors.
Conner D, Miller J, Zia A, Wang Q, Darby H. Conjoint analysis of farmers’ response to conservation incentives. Sustainability. 2016 Jul;8(7):684.