Factors affecting suitability of on-farm remedial measures for non-point pollution control in the Canadian Great Lakes Basin
This report presents the findings of a one year research project dealing with the effectiveness and farmer acceptability of specific soil conservation practices within the Thames River Basin. Eighty-two farmers with one or more soil conservation practices in place on their farms were interviewed. The farmers were asked to rationalize their attempts at conserving soil in terms of the benefits, costs and effectiveness of their conservation practice(s). The specific benefits can be considered "selling points" for extension personnel involved in promoting remedial measures. The costs (both direct and indirect) of implementing a soil conservation practice can be viewed as "barriers to acceptance". These obstacles must be removed, resolved or discredited if the practice is to become highly acceptable to the farming community. However, these costs and benefits are criteria which should be considered when making site specific recommendations. In addition to the above, several farmers with erosion problems were interviewed. The purpose was to determine the factors farmers considered in their decisions to implement remedial measures. An opinion survey dealing with the acceptability and effectiveness of a wide variety of conservation practices was developed and mailed out to five-hundred and twenty- three farmers within the Thames River Basin. This survey generated data on farmers' attitudes towards soil erosion as it relates to water quality, farm productivity, farm priorities and existing government programs. Several professionals (i.e. Agricultural Engineers, Soils and Crops Specialists, Drainage Commissioners, etc.) associated with soil conservation were interviewed or contacted by mail to determine their attitudes towards erosion control and their approach to remedial measures. Extension personnel can use this document when making site specific recommendations. Researchers can use it to determine research hypotheses and priorities.