The Influence of Objective and Perceived Adaptive Capacity on Midwestern Farmers’ Use of Cover Crops

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2019-07-01
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Gardezi, Maaz
Arbuckle, J. Gordon
Arbuckle, J. Gordon
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Sociology
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Sociology
Abstract

Cover crops are grown between periods of regular crop production or planted into crops with the primary purpose of protecting and improving soil health. These crops possess several resilience-enhancing properties that are well suited to help farmers adapt to climate change. Through an “adaptive capacities framework,” we examine how farmers’ adaptive capacities—contextualized within institutional and environmental conditions—can influence their decision to use cover crops. We use generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) to examine the relative importance of (i) “internal” variables—farmers’ perceived capacity to act; (ii) “external” or “objective” resources—assets and entitlements; and (iii) contextual variables—the institutional and environmental context within which adaptation occurs, as predictors of farmers’ use of cover crops. Our results suggest that several objective and perceived adaptive capacities are positively associated with farmers’ decisions to use cover crops, and formal institutions such as risk management subsidies are correlated with lower use of cover crops.

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This article is published as Gardezi, Maaz, and J. Gordon Arbuckle. "The influence of objective and perceived adaptive capacity on Midwestern farmers’ use of cover crops." Weather, Climate, and Society 11 (2019): 665-679. doi: 10.1175/WCAS-D-18-0086.1. Posted with permission.

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