|dc.contributor.author||Smith, Daniel E.||en
|dc.description.abstract||The most common form of pollution from New Zealand dairy farming is nitrogen, in the form of
nitrates, being leached into aquifers and waterways resulting in increased nitrate levels and
eutrophication of water bodies. The nitrate pollutants originate from cow urine and chemical
nitrogen fertilisers which both contain ammonium nitrogen. The ammonium nitrogen is
subsequently transformed into nitrates and nitrites by microbial behaviour in the soil profile.
The transformation of nitrogen by soil microbes is called nitrification.
In an attempt to reduce the negative environmental impact of New Zealand dairy production the
nitrification inhibitor product eco-n™ was developed by scientists at Lincoln University and
commercially released by the Ravensdown Fertiliser Cooperative in 2004.
Despite the benefits of eco-n™ in both an environmental protection and a production sense
there has been lower uptake of eco-n™ than expected by Ravensdown. The usage rate of econ
™ by Ravensdown’s dairy farmer shareholders across Canterbury, Otago and Southland was
17% in 2008 and 7% in 2009. This research seeks to investigate the factors influencing these eco-n™ adoption rates while also
paying attention to published material about the diffusion and adoption of innovations.
The research involved two separate research processes; the first was a quantitative analysis of
the Ravensdown dairy customer database to identify the usage patterns of eco-n™. The second
stage of the research was a mixed method approach that involved interviewing 108 dairy
farmers about eco-n™. The resultant information created a qualitative case study that was then
analysed using Microsoft Excel™ as well as more sophisticated statistical computer software.
There were three obvious patterns to emerge from the usage analysis. The first pattern showed
a decrease in eco-n™ usage between 2008 and 2009 across all sub-groups. The second pattern
showed a consistently higher eco-n™ usage with large farms classified by Ravensdown as Key Accounts. The third pattern demonstrated a higher eco-n™ usage rate with farms located closest
to and within Canterbury.
The second stage of the research project found a range of mediums have helped the spread of
eco-n™ information. The two most prominent influences of eco-n™ use have been the
Ravensdown Account Managers and other dairy farmers.
The 2009-Users of eco-n™ are more likely to have adopted the technology for its environmental
benefits while the discontinuous users are more likely to have adopted eco-n™ for its potential
production and economic benefits.
It is evident that the restricted uptake of eco-n™ is a result of inconsistent research messages
relating to eco-n™, the limited ability to quantify the on-farm benefits and the variability in the
results of eco-n™ use experienced by those who have used the product. Cashflow and price were also given as reasons for restricted uptake of eco-n™ and there is a
distinct relationship between 2008 to 2009 eco-n™ usage and the 2008 to 2009 Fonterra payout
price. The application restrictions on eco-n™, the up-front costs involved and the lack of sitespecific
trial results are other factors adding to the restricted use of the technology.
Over 95% of the interviewed farmers believe they have received enough information about econ
™ to make a sound use decision.||en
|dc.title||Eco-n adoption patterns and strategies of South Island dairy farmers||en
|thesis.degree.name||Master of Applied Science||en
|lu.contributor.unit||Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce||en
|lu.contributor.unit||Department of Land Management and Systems||en
|dc.rights.accessRights||Digital dissertation can be viewed by current staff and students of Lincoln University only.||
|pubs.organisational-group||/LU/Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce||
|pubs.organisational-group||/LU/Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce/LAMS||