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Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 684;

Conjoint Analysis of Farmers’ Response to Conservation Incentives

Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
Rutland Area Food and Farm Link, Rutland, VT 05701, USA
University of Vermont Extension, Saint Albans, VT 05478, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Iain Gordon
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 6 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 July 2016 / Published: 16 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
Full-Text   |   PDF [563 KB, uploaded 16 July 2016]   |  


Environmental degradation threatens the long term resiliency of the US food and farming system. While USDA has provided conservation incentives for the adoption of best management practices (BMPs), only a small percentage of farms have participated in such conservation programs. This study uses conjoint analysis to examine Vermont farmers’ underlying preferences and willingness-to-accept (WTA) incentives for three common BMPs. Based on the results of this survey, we hypothesize that federal cost share programs’ payments are below preferred incentive levels and that less familiar and more complex BMPs require a higher payment. Our implications focus on strategies to test these hypotheses and align incentive payments and other non-monetary options to increase BMP adoption. View Full-Text
Keywords: best management practices; willingness to accept; cover crops; conservation tillage; riparian buffers best management practices; willingness to accept; cover crops; conservation tillage; riparian buffers

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Conner, D.; Miller, J.; Zia, A.; Wang, Q.; Darby, H. Conjoint Analysis of Farmers’ Response to Conservation Incentives. Sustainability 2016, 8, 684.

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