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Article

Decision-Making Process Factors Explain Some of the Heterogeneity of Irrigation Practices among Maize Farmers in Southwestern France

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AGIR, INRAE, Université de Toulouse, F-31320 Castanet-Tolosan, France
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MIAT, INRAE, Université de Toulouse, F-31320 Castanet-Tolosan, France
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AGIR, INPT ENSAT, Université de Toulouse, F-31320 Castanet-Tolosan, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alban Kuriqi and Luis Garrote
Water 2021, 13(24), 3504; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243504
Received: 8 October 2021 / Revised: 4 December 2021 / Accepted: 5 December 2021 / Published: 8 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic Water Management in the Era of Climatic Change)
Agricultural practices are heterogeneous among farmers in the face of climate hazards. Structural and material resources as well as risk preferences explain some of this heterogeneity, but little is known about how psychological factors associated with the decision-making process may explain differences in practices among farmers. The aim of this study was to understand whether decision-making process factors help explain the heterogeneity of a specific practice—the date of first irrigation—among maize farmers, along with material and structural factors. We conducted semi-directed interviews with 35 farmers who irrigated maize in southwestern France. We analyzed discriminating factors of the decision-making process, such as reactivity (i.e., capacity to change plans), deliberation (i.e., level of internal information used to make decisions) and assistance (i.e., level of external information used to make decisions). We used two complementary statistical methods (linear regression and regression trees) to analyze the database. Our study confirms the influence of material and structural factors, and also reveals the strong influence of decision-making process factors. A high level of reactivity is associated with adaptive behavior. Moreover, using decision-support tools and technologies helps farmers to manage the use of water resources. These elements could be used by advisors and public policy-makers in the agriculture sector to improve adaptation. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptation; water scarcity; adaptive capacity; decision-making; irrigation practices; maize-cropping system adaptation; water scarcity; adaptive capacity; decision-making; irrigation practices; maize-cropping system
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MDPI and ACS Style

Albert, M.; Bergez, J.-E.; Couture, S.; Faivre, R.; Willaume, M. Decision-Making Process Factors Explain Some of the Heterogeneity of Irrigation Practices among Maize Farmers in Southwestern France. Water 2021, 13, 3504. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243504

AMA Style

Albert M, Bergez J-E, Couture S, Faivre R, Willaume M. Decision-Making Process Factors Explain Some of the Heterogeneity of Irrigation Practices among Maize Farmers in Southwestern France. Water. 2021; 13(24):3504. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243504

Chicago/Turabian Style

Albert, Marine, Jacques-Eric Bergez, Stéphane Couture, Robert Faivre, and Magali Willaume. 2021. "Decision-Making Process Factors Explain Some of the Heterogeneity of Irrigation Practices among Maize Farmers in Southwestern France" Water 13, no. 24: 3504. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13243504

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