Farmers’ Attitudes and Investment Intentions Regarding Land Drainage in a Salinising Australian Landscape

By Ross Kingwell and Samuel Cook.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Land drainage is an engineering option for salinity management in the salinising agricultural landscape of Western Australia and a variety of views are expressed about its environmental, technical and economic merit. This study documents landholders’ different views and investment intentions regarding land drainage. Key characteristics of landholders who have strongly contrasting investment intentions regarding drainage are revealed through classification and regression tree analysis. Landholders’ planned and actual investment decisions regarding drainage mostly are found to be linked to their perceptions about the efficacy of drainage, and the extent to which they rely on other landholders or researchers as their principal source of information about drainage. Farmers with drains mostly favourably view their investments in drainage and, because they are likely to be a principal source of information for other farmers, further adoption of drains is very likely, whether economic or not. Further, a majority of landholders are prepared to allow outflow from drains, in spite of its negative impacts on downstream environments and downstream users. These attitudes and perceptions about land drainage represent challenges for policymakers and environmental managers.

Keywords: Drainage, Salinity, Water Management, CART, Farmer Attitudes, Farmer Investment

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.169-186. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 934.010KB).

Dr. Ross Kingwell

Senior Lecturer, School of Agricultural & Resource Economics, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Agricultural and resource economists with over 20 years research experience in public sector agencies and academia; co-editor of the Australian Journal of Agricultural & Resource Economics; chief research interests in broadacre farming systems in Australia.

Samuel Cook

University of Western Australia, Western Australia, Australia

Former graduate student in the School of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Western Australia.

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