Drivers of farmers’ investments in nutrient abatement technologies in five Baltic Sea countries

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Adoption of new manure and fertiliser technology is considered an effective tool to reduce diffuse nutrient pollution from agriculture, and policy instruments to encourage technology uptake are therefore widespread. But policy makers need to understand farmers’ reasons for adoption of such technologies to design policies that actually work. Using data from a survey with responses from 2439 farmers in five countries around the Baltic Sea, we identify the drivers of technology adoption for three different abatement technologies: manure spreading equipment, slurry tanks, and precision technology for fertiliser application. We compare drivers for technology investments across technologies with a particular focus on the role of the scale of farm operations, neighbour relations, environmental concerns and innovation readiness. The results show that the scale of farm operation is important for the uptake of all three technologies, while we find no evidence that neighbour relations are important for technology investments. Environmental concerns for soil quality and other on-farm environmental qualities do drive investment; however, the impact of environmental concerns differs across technologies. Innovation readiness is a driver of investments in relation to some technologies, suggesting that the novelty or sophistication of the technology matters to the investing farmers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcological Economics
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

    Research areas

  • Baltic Sea, Farmer heterogeneity, Nutrient abatement, Technology adoption

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