Barriers and Incentives: Adopting Soil-Health Best-Management Practices


If you received this survey, it is because you attended the Compost Council's workshops on the "Biology of Soil Health". We are asking you to answer a few questions on the subject of soil health and farming. The main catergories include: what you see as the barriers to adopting soil-health BMPs; how you value some possible incentives for overcoming those barriers; your feedback on our workshop; and some information (from the farmers among you) about your current practices. The survey should only take a few minutes of your time. Thanks for your cooperation!

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Which of the following best describes your participation in agriculture?

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Into which of the following age categories do you fall:

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Over the next seven questions, we will be asking you about the importance of various barriers to adopting soil-health best management practices (BMPs), such as minimum tillage and cover crops.
1  How important is the risk of reduced yield?
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2  How important are extra costs, such as new equipment and cover crop seeds?

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3  How important is the lack of relevant, east-to-access information?
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4  How important are the negative opinions/comments of neighbours and others in the community?
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5  How important are crop insurance criteria or requirements?
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6  How important is the lack of personal motivation to change?
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7  How important is the lack of solid evidence regarding the benefits of soil-health BMPs?
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In the next seven questions, we will be asking you about the value of various possible incentives for adopting soil-health best management practices, such as minimum tillage and cover crops.

8  How valuable, as a possible incentive, is 
the availability of local, low-cost, convenient workshops on how to implement best management practices?

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9  How valuable, as a possible incentive, is the availability of low-cost, timely on-line webinars on how to implement best management practices? 
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10  How valuable, as a possible incentive, is the availability of a low-cost, reliable soil-health test?
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11  How valuable, as a possible incentive,  are low-cost, practical workshops, offered locally, on how to conduct on-farm testing of soil health?

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12  How valuable, as a possible incentive, is the availability of local mentors (consisting of farmers already practicing soil health methods)?

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13  How valuable, as a possible incentive, are local soil-health demonstration projects?
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14  Are there any other incentives for adopting soil-health practices that you feel would be valuable?

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The next six questions are to solicit your feedback on the Compost Council's "Biology of Soil Health" workshop:

15  How likely are you to recommend this workshop to a friend or colleague?

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16  How would you rate the content of the workshop, in terms of its interest to you?
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17  How would you rate the content of the workshop, in terms of its usefulness to you (short or long-term)?
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18  How would you rate the quality of the workshop as a whole?
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19  Would you recommend this workshop to friends and colleagues?

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20  Are you able to suggest anything that would improve the overall usefulness of the "Biology of Soil Health" workshops?

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The remaining seven questions are for farmers/commercial growers only.

21  Please list your main crops.

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22  Which of the following practices do you already employ, at least to some degree, on your farm?

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23  What impact did your attendance at the “Biology of Soil Health” workshop have on your understanding of soil health?

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24  What impact did your attendance at the “Biology of Soil Health” workshop have on your commitment to improving the health of your soil?
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25  What impact did your attendance at the “Biology of Soil Health” workshop have on your planning for this year's operation?
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26  What impact do you think that your attendance at the “Biology of Soil Health” workshop will have on your farming practices in the future?
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27  Please rank the following goals in terms of personal importance.