Identifying and understanding factors influencing the uptake of new technologies on dairy farms in SW England using the theory of reasoned action
Rehman, T., McKemey, K., Yates, C. M., Cooke, R. J., Garforth, C. J., Tranter, R. B., Park, J. R. and Dorward, P. T. (2007) Identifying and understanding factors influencing the uptake of new technologies on dairy farms in SW England using the theory of reasoned action. Agricultural Systems, 94 (2). pp. 281-293. ISSN 0308-521X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2006.09.006
Whilst much is known of new technology adopters, little research has addressed the role of their attitudes in adoption decisions; particularly, for technologies with evident economic potential that have not been taken up by farmers. This paper presents recent research that has used a new approach which examines the role that adopters' attitudes play in identifying the drivers of and barriers to adoption. The study was concerned with technologies for livestock farming systems in SW England, specifically oestrus detection, nitrogen supply management, and, inclusion of white clover. The adoption behaviour is analysed using the social-psychology theory of reasoned action to identify factors that affect the adoption of technologies, which are confirmed using principal components analysis. The results presented here relate to the specific adoption behaviour regarding the Milk Development Council's recommended observation times for heat detection. The factors that affect the adoption of this technology are: cost effectiveness, improved detection and conception rates as the main drivers, whilst the threat to demean the personal knowledge and skills of a farmer in 'knowing' their cows is a barrier. This research shows clearly that promotion of a technology and transfer of knowledge for a farming system need to take account of the beliefs and attitudes of potential adopters. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.