Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Department



Loyd L. Young

Date of this Version

Summer 5-1972


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College in the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Adult Education Area Under the Supervision of Professor James T. Horner Lincoln, Nebraska May, 1972. Copyright 1972 Loyd Young


The purpose of this study was to analyze the influence agricultural pesticide dealers have on farmers' decisions to purchase and use agricultural pesticides. Specific objectives of the study were to: 1. Ascertain the extent to which dealers influence farmers in their decision-making to use and purchase pesticides. 2. Examine the characteristics of the farmer and his farming operation in relation to the amount of influence the dealer had on the farmers' pesticide purchasing decisions. 3. Evaluate the reasons farmers selected their pesticide dealers. 4. Determine the factors that influenced farmers to use pesticides. PROCEDURE Data were obtained. by personal interviews using a prepared schedule of questions developed by the investigator. One hundred randomly selected farmers in the East Crop Reporting District of Nebraska, who produced corn, grain sorghum, or soybeans., w:ere interviewed during the summer of 1971. The dependent variables in this study were dealer influence, reason for dealer selection and the three Reason-For-Use Scores (Dealer, Educational, and Own Choice). The independent variables were age, education, years farmed, years farmed' on this farm, distance to agricultural trading center, distance to major dealer, land ownership, freedom of purchase, number of available dealers, number dealers purchased from, and advance purchase of pesticide. SELECTED FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS 1. Dealers had a low degree of influence on farmers' selection and use of pesticides. Only 5.3 percent of the farmers reported high influence exerted on them by the dealer to purchase and use a pesticide. 2. More tenant farmers were influenced by pesticide dealers in their decision to purchase and select their pesticides than part or full owner farmer operators. Full owners were influenced the least. 3. The price charged by a dealer for a pesticide was not an important factor in the farmer's selection of his pesticide dealer. 4. Farmers choose their pesticide dealer because of honest and fair dealing with the dealer in the past. 5. Farmers used pesticides because of their own choice influence reasons. The own choice influence reasons Were much more important in the farmer's decision to use pesticides than dealer or educational influence reasons. Forty percent of the farmers interviewed had a high Own Choice Reason-For-Use Score while only 11.5 percent had a high Dealer Reason-For- Use Score. Only 7.4 percent of the .interviewed farmers had a high Educational Reason-For-Use Score. 5. Farmers, who rated the dealer influence on their decision as little or no influence, identified their neighbors as the major influence on his decision to purchase and select a pesticide. 7. The single most important reason the interviewed farmers gave for using a pesticide was because they expected a possible increase in yield.