Adoption of nitrogen efficient eco-innovations by US corn farmers
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Anthropogenically introduced nitrogen has compromised environmental quality, but is an essential element for crop production, particularly corn production. Increasing nitrogen use efficiency by adopting eco-innovations such as nitrogen soil testing, plant tissue testing and nitrogen transformation inhibitors can ameliorate this problem. Data from the 2010 USDA Agricultural Resource Management Survey of corn producers was used to examine the factors affecting adoption of these practices. Twenty-one percent of the 1840 corn farmers had adopted nitrogen soil testing, three percent had adopted plant tissue testing and ten percent had adopted nitrogen inhibitors. A multivariate probit regression found significant results for each category of explanatory variable that was examined. Older farmers were less likely to adopt nitrogen soil testing and nitrogen inhibitors. Farmers who did not obtain external nitrogen recommendations were less likely to adopt all three practices than farmers who received recommendations from a crop consultant. Those who received recommendations from fertilizer dealers were less likely to adopt nitrogen soil testing. Those who indicated that high prices influenced their decision to plant corn on that field were more likely to adopt plant tissue testing but less likely to adopt the other two practices. All regions were more likely to adopt nitrogen soil testing than the Midwest. Those who adopted conservation tillage were more likely to adopt nitrogen inhibitors and those who received conservation payments were more likely to adopt nitrogen soil testing and plant tissue testing. Adoption was also associated with the adoption of several other technologies.