Understanding Tasmanian dairy farmer adoption of pasture management practices: A Theory of Planned Behaviour approach
Hall, A and Turner, L and Kilpatrick, S, Understanding Tasmanian dairy farmer adoption of pasture management practices: A Theory of Planned Behaviour approach, Animal Production Science, 59, (10) pp. 1-10. ISSN 1836-0939 (2019) [Refereed Article]
Improved pasture management and increased pasture utilisation are positively associated with dairy farm efficiency and profitability in Tasmania. Supporting dairy farmers in developing pasture management knowledge and skills has been a key priority for research, development and extension in the Tasmanian dairy industry. The role of extension has been to increase farmer awareness and knowledge of best practice pasture management and to facilitate farmer learning, focusing on training farmers to use pasture measurement tools. However, many farmers have never used a pasture measurement tool, only trialled/tested a tool, and/or do not implement recommended pasture management practices. This study aimed to identify and understand factors influencing pasture management decision making and behaviour for different farmer sub-groups. Qualitative data was obtained through semi-structured interviews with thirty Tasmanian dairy farmers. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) was used to identify and explore key factors influencing pasture management behaviour. There was a negative effect of social influence on pasture measurement tool use by experienced farmers, with many perceiving tool use to be for less experienced, younger 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 applying measurement data on-farm. This study demonstrates how the TPB can be used to identify and understand factors influencing adoption behaviour of Tasmanian dairy farmers, and assist in developing recommendations for future extension and pasture management programs.
decision making, intention, pasture management, tools, Theory of Planned Behaviour, adoption, dairy farmers