A causal model of integrated pest management adoption among Iowa farmers
A primary objective of this study was the development and testing of a set of variables that were posited as explaining the differential rapidity with which farmers adopt integrated pest management (IPM) practices. Especially important to the study was the treatment of explanatory variables in a systems perspective which entailed use of path analysis;In the application of social action theory as a general framework, age and educational attainment were included to measure actor characteristics. Farm size, farm income, IPM availability and IPM diffusion were used to measure "situational elements." Finally, opinion leadership, adoption orientation, chemical attitudes and awareness of IPM were the variables selected to represent the orientational component of the model;In the model, age and educational attainment are posited to affect opinion leadership, adoption orientation, chemical attitudes, awareness and adoption of IPM. Farm size and farm income should affect opinion leadership, adoption orientation, awareness and adoption of IPM. IPM availability is deemed to affect chemical attitudes, IPM diffusion, awareness and adoption of IPM. IPM diffusion should affect chemical attitudes, awareness and adoption of IPM. Adoption orientation and chemical atttudes are posited to affect awareness and adoption of IPM. Finally, awareness of IPM is posited to affect the adoption of IPM;Findings from the path analysis revealed that only the paths from opinion leadership, adoption orientation and awareness of IPM to adoption of IPM as a dependent variable were supported. For awareness of IPM as a dependent variable, only the paths from farm size, IPM availability, adoption orientation and chemical attitudes were supported. For chemical attitudes, significant paths were found for educational attainment and IPM diffusion, but these were contrary to initial predictions. For adoption orientation, paths from educational attainment, farm size, farm income and opinion leadership were supported. For opinion leadership, only the path from farm income was supported. For IPM diffusion, the path from IPM availability was supported;The amount of explained variance (R('2)) of the endogenous variables in the causal model ranged from 6 to 26 percent.