Date of this Version
Cornhusker Economics (January 4, 2023)
Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Producers need to have access to information regarding new conservation practices and technologies to ensure land management in the face of ecological threats in general and vegetation transitions (VTs) in the context of our study. This study investigates the role of an individual producer's social network on the willingness to seek information about technologies and management practices and the likelihood of new technology adoption with special attention to risk attitudes and producer spillover effects. Our results provide evidence that network composition and information obtained through a producer's social network don't influence an individual's willingness to seek information about new technologies or management practices. However, when it comes to adopting specific technology, like screening and imaging technology, social network measures have a significant impact. Additionally, we found risk attitude and spillover effect positively influence the likelihood of technology adoption. The significant positive impact of the spillover effect confirms that producers are reactive to the effects of VTs that they observe within their neighbor's land and are willing to seek information regarding new practices and technologies and adopt them.
Considering the above results, it is evident that if public and private agencies are interested in addressing negative effects of VTs through changes in producer behaviors, they would be well served to invoke the mechanism of producer personal social networks to ensure effective receipt and dissemination of information regarding the new technology. Such effective information transmission can be combined with existing (and new) environmental policies to address VTs issues in Nebraska (and possibly in other areas where producers have similar profiles).
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