Since the reform and opening up, a large proportion of the Chinese rural labor force has transferred to urban and non-agricultural industries. Rural labor transfer not only changes the allocation of household labor in agricultural and non-agricultural sectors but also affects the utilization of other agricultural production factors. Based on data from 818 households in three counties in northern Jiangsu province, this paper analyzed the impact of labor migration on farmers’ adoption of cultivated land quality protection (CLQP) behaviors. The survey results showed that farmers’ awareness of CLQP was still very weak, and the proportion of farmers adopting measures such as subsoiling, straw application, cover crops and green manures and the complementary use of organic fertilizers was still relatively low. The empirical results showed that perennial out-migration for work can constrain households’ protective inputs into soil conservation, but part-time farming locally can promote households’ inputs. The results also showed that farmer characteristics, farming conditions and external environment also significantly affected the farmers’ adoption of soil conservation practices. According to these conclusions, this paper puts forward the corresponding policy implications.
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