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Understanding the Influence of Climate Forecasts on Farmer Decisions as Planned Behavior

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  • + Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • | # Department of Psychology, and Nebraska Public Policy Center, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • | @ School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • | 4 Center for Instructional Innovation, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • | * *Department of Geosciences, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • | ++ Department of Agronomy, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Abstract

Results of a set of four regression models applied to recent survey data of farmers in eastern Nebraska suggest the causes that drive farmer intentions of using weather and climate information and forecasts in farming decisions. The model results quantify the relative importance of attitude, social norm, perceived behavioral control, and financial capability in explaining the influence of climate-conditions information and short-term and long-term forecasts on agronomic, crop insurance, and crop marketing decisions. Attitude, serving as a proxy for the utility gained from the use of such information, had the most profound positive influence on the outcome of all the decisions, followed by norms. The norms in the community, as a proxy for the utility gained from allowing oneself to be influenced by others, played a larger role in agronomic decisions than in insurance or marketing decisions. In addition, the interaction of controllability (accuracy, availability, reliability, timeliness of weather and climate information), self-efficacy (farmer ability and understanding), and general preference for control was shown to be a substantive cause. Yet control variables also have an economic side: The farm-sales variable as a measure of financial ability and motivation intensified and clarified the role of control while also enhancing the statistical robustness of the attitude and norms variables in better clarifying how they drive the influence. Overall, the integrated model of planned behavior from social psychology and derived demand from economics, that is, the “planned demand model,” is more powerful than models based on either of these approaches alone. Taken together, these results suggest that the “human dimension” needs to be better recognized so as to improve effective use of climate and weather forecasts and information for farming decision making.

* Agricultural Research Division, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Contribution Number 14825

## Current affiliation: Global Market Research, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Johnston, Iowa

Corresponding author address: Dr. Gary D. Lynne, 103B Filley Hall, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0922. Email: glynne1@unl.edu

Abstract

Results of a set of four regression models applied to recent survey data of farmers in eastern Nebraska suggest the causes that drive farmer intentions of using weather and climate information and forecasts in farming decisions. The model results quantify the relative importance of attitude, social norm, perceived behavioral control, and financial capability in explaining the influence of climate-conditions information and short-term and long-term forecasts on agronomic, crop insurance, and crop marketing decisions. Attitude, serving as a proxy for the utility gained from the use of such information, had the most profound positive influence on the outcome of all the decisions, followed by norms. The norms in the community, as a proxy for the utility gained from allowing oneself to be influenced by others, played a larger role in agronomic decisions than in insurance or marketing decisions. In addition, the interaction of controllability (accuracy, availability, reliability, timeliness of weather and climate information), self-efficacy (farmer ability and understanding), and general preference for control was shown to be a substantive cause. Yet control variables also have an economic side: The farm-sales variable as a measure of financial ability and motivation intensified and clarified the role of control while also enhancing the statistical robustness of the attitude and norms variables in better clarifying how they drive the influence. Overall, the integrated model of planned behavior from social psychology and derived demand from economics, that is, the “planned demand model,” is more powerful than models based on either of these approaches alone. Taken together, these results suggest that the “human dimension” needs to be better recognized so as to improve effective use of climate and weather forecasts and information for farming decision making.

* Agricultural Research Division, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Contribution Number 14825

## Current affiliation: Global Market Research, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Johnston, Iowa

Corresponding author address: Dr. Gary D. Lynne, 103B Filley Hall, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0922. Email: glynne1@unl.edu

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