Which factors influence farmers’ intentions to adopt nutrient management planning?

A. Daxini*, C. O'Donoghue, M. Ryan, C. Buckley, A.P. Barnes, K. Daly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The adoption of nutrient management practices can lead to win-win outcomes in terms of both improving productivity and reducing the environmental impact of farming. However, adoption of key practices remains below expectations globally. Few studies specifically focus on the adoption of nutrient management practices and the majority overlook psychological factors in their analysis. This study examines the factors which influence Irish farmers' intention to apply fertiliser on the basis of soil test results. An expanded version of the theory of planned behaviour is used as a framework for analysis. The influence of policy is also accounted for by this study which requires certain farmers in Ireland to adopt soil testing on a mandatory basis. The results for the national sample (n = 1009) show that attitudes, subjective norms (social pressure), perceived behavioural control (ease/difficulty) and perceived resources are significant and positively associated with farmers' intentions. In terms of the voluntary sample (n = 587), only attitude, perceived behavioural control and perceived resources are significantly and positively associated with farmers' intentions. Whereas, for the mandatory sample (n = 422), subjective norms, perceived behavioural control and perceived resources are significantly and correlated in a positive direction with intentions. A number of farm and farmer characteristics are also significantly associated with intentions. Policy recommendations are made based on these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-360
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018

JEL classifications

  • o13 - "Economic Development: Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products"
  • q00 - "Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics: General"


  • Adoption
  • Farmer behaviour
  • Farmer decision making
  • Intentions
  • Logistic regression
  • Nutrient management planning
  • Principal component analysis
  • Theory of planned behaviour
  • agricultural management
  • decision making
  • environmental impact
  • farmers attitude
  • fertilizer application
  • human behavior
  • management practice
  • nutrient
  • perception
  • planning theory
  • principal component analysis
  • regression analysis
  • soil test
  • technology adoption
  • adult
  • agricultural worker
  • Article
  • attitude
  • behavior control
  • cattle farming
  • controlled study
  • dairying
  • environmental management
  • environmental planning
  • environmental policy
  • human
  • Irish (citizen)
  • soil fertilization
  • Theory of Planned Behavior
  • tillage
  • agriculture
  • behavior
  • Ireland
  • questionnaire
  • water quality
  • nitrogen
  • phosphorus
  • Agriculture
  • Farmers
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Water Quality

Cite this