Coppock, D. Layne
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
Recurrent drought is a defining feature of rangelands. How ranchers cope with drought is an important issue. In 2010 a mail and telephone survey was conducted across Utah that involved 509 randomly selected cattle ranchers. One goal of this work was to assess the use of 14 drought-management tactics during the last multi-year drought of 1999-2004. Tactics included an array of technical and policy-related options covering the management of water, land, livestock, and forage as well as household income diversification, enrollment in government programs, purchase of feed insurance, use of drought-forecasting tools, and seeking information from Extension services. Overall, the 14 tactics were used by 41% of the cattle-ranching population, on average. The most commonly used tactic was water development, as reported by 76% of survey respondents. The least-used tactic was hay forward-contracting (8% of respondents). Marked variation in the use of these tactics was thus evident, but why? To answer this question a follow-up survey was personally tailored to each of the 509 ranchers contacted in the 2010 effort. If a rancher had indicated that he or she had not used certain tactics, they had an opportunity to explain why. In this follow-up effort the framework of Everett Rogers (2003) concerning the diffusion of innovations was employed to help sort prominent barriers that limit innovation adoption. Four hundred and twenty-nine usable surveys were obtained from the second round, summarizing 3,133 non-adoption decisions. Overall, the majority (44%) of non-adoption decisions occurred due to the tactic not being relevant to the priorities of the producer. Lack of need was followed by a lack of key resources necessary for implementation (15%), high complexity or low utility (12%), lack of awareness (10%), or high cost (6%). Implications of these findings for development of drought-related technologies, policies, and programs are reviewed.
Conference Name: 
SRM Reno, NV
Conference Date: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Resource Type: 
Document Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Society for Range Management

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