Will Adoption Occur if a Practice is Win-Win for Profit and the Environment? An Application to a Rancher’s Grazing Practice Choices
Yuyuan Che, Hongli Feng, David A. Hennessy
March 2023 [23-WP 647]
Che, Y., H. Feng, and D.A. Hennessy. 2023. "Will Adoption Occur if a Practice is Win-Win for Profit and the Environment? An Application to a Rancher’s Grazing Practice Choices." Working paper 23-WP 647. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.
Rotational grazing has the potential to provide both economic and environmental benefits; however, the set of ranchers that adopts is much smaller than the set that regards rotational grazing as a win-win practice. To investigate this adoption gap and learn about adoption decisions and motivations, we survey 874 ranchers on the U.S. Great Plains. We find that a large proportion of surveyed ranchers who view rotational grazing as win-win for both profit and the environment do not adopt the practice. We also find that win-win non-adopters are a constrained group for most potential challenges to rotational grazing adoption, especially for high initial costs, water resource limitations, and ranch conditions. Some of these impediments could be relieved by capital to which, however, win-win non-adopters have limited access. Win-win non-adopters are more likely to adopt rotational grazing than others when a one-time subsidy is offered, suggesting that win-win non-adopters hold promise as a target group for subsidies to reduce the cost of adoption. Our analysis shows the importance of understanding the specifics of an adoption gap when making and implementing policies.