An inductive framework of self-efficacy to understand and support farmers in conservation agriculture

V. Perry, M. A. Davenport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Twenty-four qualitative interviews were conducted with farmers and farmland owners in two Minnesota subwatersheds of the Red River Basin. The interviews were designed to elicit participant views on decision-making drivers and farm management goals, especially related to natural resource stewardship. In this paper we examine perceived self-efficacy as a determinant of conservation behavior. Study findings highlight multiple constraints to conservation agriculture, including low perceived self-efficacy, regardless of motivation.These results suggest that programs and policies designed to elevate self-efficacy may be helpful for increasing conservation behavior. In particular, we suggest empowering feedback loops as a mechanism to build self-efficacy among farmers and agricultural landowners. Improved understanding of farmer decision-making drivers and self-efficacy sources and constraints will likely aid natural resource professionals and policy makers in designing and implementing agricultural conservation programs and policies that are more closely aligned with goals and values of farmers, and will thus be helpful in achieving state and local water conservation goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-208
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Soil Conservation Society of America. All rights reserved.


  • Agriculture
  • Conservation behavior
  • Identity
  • Self-efficacy
  • Values


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