Navigation Links
Farmers more likely to be green if they talk to their neighbors, according to MSU research
Date:7/27/2011

EAST LANSING, Mich. --- Besides helping each other plant and harvest, rural Chinese neighbors also influence each other's environmental behavior farmers are more likely to reenroll their land in a conservation program if they talk to their neighbors about it.

Scientists from the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at Michigan State University used a simulation model to study the amount of land farmers in the Wolong Nature Reserve in southwestern China reenrolled in the Grain-to-Green Program (GTGP), which aims to reduce soil erosion by converting sloping cropland to forest or grassland. Farmers receive an annual payment of either 5,000 pounds of grain or $498 for each 2.5 acres enrolled in the program. In 2005, this was about 8 percent of the farmers' income.

"To achieve global environmental sustainability, it is important to go beyond traditional economic and regulatory approaches," said Jianguo "Jack" Liu, center director and a co-author on the paper. Liu holds the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability at MSU.

Xiaodong Chen, who conducted the research while working on his doctorate at MSU, and colleagues found that if farmers had the opportunity to interact with each other, they were willing to reenroll their land in the GTGP. And the more times they interacted, the more land was reenrolled.

The study is published online in the journal Ecological Modeling.

"When people talked to each other, they learned of the others' decisions and were more likely to reenroll their land at the same payment," said Chen, now assistant professor of geography at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. "More than 15 percent more land was reenrolled when people had 10 interactions with their neighbors. With three interactions, 7.5 percent more land was reenrolled. The study shows that if people interact, it improves the efficiency of the program and is good for the environment."

The research builds on earlier findings by Liu and Chen showing that employed people in larger Chinese cities were more likely to adopt environmental behaviors, such as separating recyclables from trash, recycling plastic bags or participating in environmental education programs.

"One of the possible reasons urban Chinese who have jobs tend to be more green-minded is because people's environmental behavior may be affected by other people's environmental behavior in their working environment," Chen explained. In the Wolong Nature Reserve, we found that people's participation in the GTGP also is definitely affected by their neighbors' behavior."

The Wolong Nature Reserve is home to several thousand species of plants and animals, including the endangered giant panda.

"The GTGP takes advantage of the general trend of rural-to-urban migration in China," Chen added. "People want to work off-farm, but they don't want to give up their land. Grain-to-Green allows them to do that and still get some income from the land. We found that if they talked to their neighbors, most people would actually leave the land in the program even if the payments stopped."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jamie DePolo
depolo@msu.edu
609-354-8403
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Farmers can spot lame sheep, but fail to prevent footrot spread
2. From genes to farmers fields
3. Rot-resistant wheat could save farmers millions
4. ORNL, Los Alamos pioneer new approach to assist scientists, farmers
5. Genetically engineered crops benefit many farmers, but the technology needs proper management to remain effective
6. Farmers beliefs on a higher plain
7. Dairy farmers can fight growing disease threat with chlorine and stainless steel
8. Sequencing of cacao genome will help US chocolate industry, subsistence farmers
9. Chocolate farmers could benefit from newly sequenced cacao genome
10. New study shows benefits of Bt corn to farmers
11. Transgenic corn suppresses European corn borer, saves farmers billions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/18/2017)... Calif. , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global ... of a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s ... recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during ... at the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... their offering. ... tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the ... 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. ... the server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across ... has already secured over 15 million users across the ... of connected home product suites and physical access represent ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... As a full-service marketing agency, ... customers with the right message. Their effective, cutting-edge inbound marketing strategies are available ... how crucial the agriculture industry is,” said David Phelps, chief marketing officer at ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... August 09, 2017 , ... Each year in the ... recover well enough to live an independent lifestyle and, even worse, the one-year mortality ... discovery by doctors at the University of California Davis Medical Center (Sacramento) and Second ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 10, 2017 , ... DrugDev ... new educational webinar to demonstrate how Good Clinical Practice (GCP) can be ... documents. In addition the webinar will discuss the importance of GCP compliance, how sites ...
(Date:8/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... BellBrook Labs announces the launch of their ... new high throughput screening (HTS) assay to aid researchers in their search for ... Chemical modification of gene expression, also known as epigenetics, is perhaps the most ...
Breaking Biology Technology: