Best management practices that could improve sustainability of dairy farming systems in northern Italy include crop rotation, green manure, sprinkler or drip irrigation, incorporation of crop residue, and adoption of a nutrient management plan. Despite the numerous advantages that scientific literature reports for these Best management practices, they are not always adopted by farmers, because other factors – of financial, technical, or social nature – limit their adoption. The theory of planned behaviour, based on the identification of outcomes, referents surrounding the farmers, and control factors, was applied through a detailed questionnaire to study individual farmer beliefs that influence the intention to adopt best practices. More than 50% out of the farms applied incorporation of crop residue, rotation with a grass or a legume meadow, sprinkler or drip irrigation, and adopted a nutrient management plan. Reasons for applying them were mainly related to soil sustainability (improvement of soil organic matter content, soil structure, fertility and yield) or to environmental sustainability (reduction of nitrogen losses, use of fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides). Among the main barriers to their adoption, the most important ones were an increase in direct or indirect costs. The only practice that was not adopted and, despite a limited number of barriers, will not be adopted by farmers, is green manure. Likely, our survey did not capture the real barriers against the adoption of this practice. Across all best management practices, the main difference between adopters and non-adopters was found in referents’ opinion on applying them. This means that it is very important, for the adoption of best management practices, that the community of family members, neighbor farmers, and various advisors, are in favour of adoption. This important finding should be used by public authorities to promote the development of focus groups, demonstration days, demonstration farms, and especially good and updated independent farm advisors who could substantially increase the adoption of best management practices by farmers.
Drivers and barriers to adopt best management practices. Survey among Italian dairy farmers / L. Bechini, C. Costamagna, L. Zavattaro, C. Grignani, J. Bijttebier, G. Ruysschaert. - In: JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION. - ISSN 0959-6526. - 245(2020 Feb), pp. 118825.1-118825.14.
|Titolo:||Drivers and barriers to adopt best management practices. Survey among Italian dairy farmers|
|Parole Chiave:||crop residue; green manure; irrigation; nutrient management plan; temporary meadow; theory of planned behaviour|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/02 - Agronomia e Coltivazioni Erbacee|
|Progetto:||Compatibility of Agricultural Management Practices and Types of Farming in the EU to enhance Climate Change Mitigation and Soil Health|
|Data di pubblicazione:||feb-2020|
|Data ahead of print / Data di stampa:||16-ott-2019|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118825|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|
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