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From decision-support to compliance tool: the social dimensions of Overseer and the implications for farm nutrient management

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Show simple item record Barr, Emma Brittany 2017-12-20T01:48:49Z 2017-12-20T01:48:49Z 2017
dc.description.abstract An increase of public and scientific pressure resulting in recent reforms of New Zealand’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) has instigated a reliance on Overseer to regulate nutrient losses from agricultural land. Overseer was previously used as a qualitative tool for farmers to assess fertiliser requirements for the following season, but has now changed to a quantitative, compliance tool in use by a number of regional councils. Understanding farmers’ perceptions of this new approach is vital to its effectiveness as a management technique. This research presents an analysis of fifteen semi-structured interviews of farmers and farm consultants from two locations in the Bay of Plenty: The Rangitāiki Plains, who use Overseer for decision-support, and the Rotorua Lakes, who use Overseer for compliance. This research has found that the role of numbers, power and authority, model credibility, perceived fairness, social identity, and the relationship to data production were significant to farmers’ perceptions of Overseer. The perceptions farmers have of Overseer is a key influence in their acceptance of nutrient regulation and adoption of sustainable nutrient management practices. By taking the focus away from individual’s technical understandings of scientific knowledge, this research has attempted to explore the social identities that characterise public responses to regulations. Trust and credibility emerged as key themes in the development of perceptions to the use of Overseer by farmers, shaped by the working relationships between farmers and council staff, council scientists, private consultants, members of the public, and industry representatives. It was found that when considering Overseer, many farmers focus on contextual factors surrounding its use, rather than the practicalities of the model itself. This shows that continued efforts to improve the scientific accuracy of Overseer will not resolve issues of distrust between farmers and Overseer. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Lincoln University en
dc.subject standardisation en
dc.subject environmental standards en
dc.subject environmental policy en
dc.subject trust in authority en
dc.subject modelling credibility en
dc.subject compliance en
dc.subject dairy farming en
dc.subject nutrient management en
dc.subject Overseer TM en
dc.title From decision-support to compliance tool: the social dimensions of Overseer and the implications for farm nutrient management en
dc.type Thesis en Lincoln University en Masters en Master of Natural Resources Management and Ecological Engineering en
lu.thesis.supervisor Duncan, Ronlyn
lu.contributor.unit Department of Environmental Management en
dc.subject.anzsrc 070107 Farming Systems Research en

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