Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour framework to understand Tasmanian farmer decision making and adoption of pasture management practices to inform future extension
Hall, A and Turner, LR and Kilpatrick, S, Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour framework to understand Tasmanian farmer decision making and adoption of pasture management practices to inform future extension, Proceedings of the 13th European International Farming Systems Association Symposium, 1-5 July 2018, Chania, Greece, pp. 1-13. (2018) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Improved pasture management and subsequent increase in pasture production are positively associated with dairy farm efficiency and profitability in temperate climates. Supporting dairy farmers in developing pasture management knowledge and skills has therefore been a key priority for research, development and public extension in the Tasmanian dairy industry, in southern Australia. The role of extension has been to increase farmer awareness and knowledge of best practice pasture management and to facilitate farmer learning, with a focus on training farmers to use pasture measurement tools. Despite focused extension efforts, there remains a large proportion of farmers who have either not engaged in extension activities, or do not implement the recommended approach of measuring and monitoring pastures. To further understand farmer decision making, this study obtained qualitative data through semi-structured interviews with thirty Tasmanian dairy farmers. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) framework was used to identify and explore the key factors influencing farmer intentions and behaviour around engagement and adoption. There was a strong negative effect of social influence around the use of pasture measurement tools by experienced farmers. This negative influence limited their intention to measure pasture and engage in the learning process required to overcome perceived control factors and change practices. Perceived control factors limiting behaviour change included tool data inaccuracy and challenging calculations associated with recommended management practices. This study provides valuable insights into the adoption behaviours of farmer sub-groups in the Tasmanian dairy industry, and demonstrates use of the TPB framework to guide future development of extension content and delivery.
Refereed Conference Paper
adoption, decision making, engagement, extension, Theory of Planned Behaviour