Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



Agricultural production can have result in environmental deterioration in cases where proper management practices have not been implemented. Louisiana, one of the tropical states, has a significant agricultural base with more than 1,600 farmers raising crawfish. Large volumes of waste water containing environmental pollutants result significant environmental problem in the state. Voluntary adoption of a number of best management practices (BMPs) that are considered to be environmentally and economically beneficial is encouraged in Louisiana. The major objectives of this study are to investigate farmer adoption of 18 selected Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) cost share eligible BMPs and the reasons for farmers’ adoption or non-adoption decisions. The study further analyzes the complementarity or substitutability of different BMPs. A mail survey to 770 Louisiana crawfish producers was conducted in Fall, 2008, based on Dillman’s Total Design Method. The adjusted response rate was 15%. Probit, multinomial logit, and t-tests were conducted to analyze the results. The results of this study showed farmers’ land tenancy, education, age, income diversification, and risk-bearing characteristics significantly affecting their probability of adoption. The prerequisite assumption of independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA) of the multinomial logit model was successful for only two BMPs: Irrigation Land Leveling, and Irrigation Water Conveyance via Pipe; and the results in these two BMPs showed farm size, rotation with other crops, education, farmers’ risk averse and early adoption behavior significantly affecting adoption or non-adoption decisions. Some BMPs were also found to have complementary relationships with other BMPs.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Gillespie, Jeffrey M.