NPR - Risks, Attitudes And Sources Of Information Of Large-Scale Corn Belt Farmers
The transfer of innovations and knowledge to farmers can be improved by increased understanding of farmers’ decision making and their sources of information. To assist, farmers attending the Purdue University Top Farmer Crop Workshops (TFCW) have responded to brief questionnaires. Participants in the 1991, 2001 and 2012 TFCWs were asked to rate sources of and managerial responses to risk and the value of different sources of information. Production, marketing or price, financial, legal and human risks were included. TFCW participants are younger, have more years of education and operate much larger than average farms. Likert-type scales from 1 (low) to 5 (high) were used for rating. Not unexpectedly, prices were consistently a highly rated source of risk. The importance of yields declined over time, and there were considerable changes in other rankings. Similar results were found for responses to risk. The increase in importance of crop/revenue insurance was striking. Ratings of value of information sources generally increased from 1991 to 2001 and then declined in 2012. These results suggest that producers themselves, educators and others working with farmers need to review producers’ perceptions frequently because only change is certain.
Keywords: risk, risk management, agricultural risk, information