Biological Systems Engineering

 

Date of this Version

12-1979

Comments

MIT Energy Laboratory Working Paper MIT-EL-79-066. Used by permission.

Abstract

This paper is one of a series resulting from institutional analysis of photovoltaic (PV) acceptance. It reports the results of a study of institutional factors influencing acceptance of center-pivot irrigation in the Nebraska agricultural community. Center-point irrigation (CP) was an interesting topic for study because (1) it was a major recently introduced technological innovation in agriculture which (2) had potentially detrimental attributes – water and energy intensity. A brief historical review of the introduction and acceptance of center-pivot irrigation in the Nebraska agricultural community is presented. Institutions which were a likely part of this institutional arena relative to CP introduction and acceptance were identified. Their likely response were hypothesized, then data collected regarding actual response. Three broad conclusions are drawn. First, there were definite, even controlling institutional influences in the acceptance of CP in the Nebraska agricultural community. Second, acceptance was facilitated in the Nebraska agricultural community because the innovation differentiation process yielded secondary attributes of CP that met prevailing social orders – productivity, automation, and felt need. Third, the innovation differentiation process for CP in the Nebraska agricultural community yielded both transformation and disconnection of detrimental attributes, creating the circumstances for attribute redefinition in the first instance and another innovation in the second instance.