An Examination of the Adoption of Agri-Environmental Practices: A Case Study of Alberta

  • Author / Creator
    Van Wyngaarden, Sarah
  • Best Management Practices (BMPs) are commonly promoted as a way for agricultural producers to adapt to and mitigate environmental risks on agricultural land. Agri-environmental policies are an integral component towards encouraging producers to adopt these practices, mostly through the use of cost-share environmental stewardship programs. The decision-making process for BMP adoption is influenced by a multifaceted number of factors, and literature has been unable to determine consistent and significant influences on this decision process. In this research, we use a three-paper approach to examine the relationship between policies, programs, and BMP adoption rates using a case study of Alberta, Canada. Our first paper (Chapter 4) provides an in-depth overview of Canadian and Albertan agri-environmental policies where we discuss current policy limitations and compare their effectiveness to other developed nations. We find policies and programs were not properly monitored resulting in an inability to determine if policies met environmental goals. Findings suggest taking influence from other developed nations policies, including introducing performance-based measures and cross-compliance. The second paper in this thesis (Chapter 5) uses a logistic regression to analyze factors that influence Alberta farmers participation in the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), a voluntary risk-assessment tool. Alberta farmers decision to complete an EFP was influenced by industry standards, conservation training, and gross farm revenue. Although, exposure to extension was not influential in this process. Our last paper (Chapter 6) addresses BMP adoption rates across agri-environmental risk areas. We develop an ESA adoption score and debate which model is the best fit for fractional (proportional) dependent variables, settling on a Linear Probability Model for our analysis. The analysis supports the importance of the EFP, where respondents who had completed an EFP were significantly more likely to adopt practices. We also address the role of endogeneity regarding the use of the EFP as a measurement variable, where we produce split sample models iii to find producer decisions differ depending on whether they had or had not completed an EFP. Significantly, producers without an EFP were highly influenced by exposure to extension. Lastly, we find spatial effects for adoption across Municipal Districts, including the possibility of spill over effects. In line with prior literature, we find vast heterogeneity across respondent characteristics.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.