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Research article2018Peer reviewed

Understanding the adoption of grazing practices in German dairy farming

Schaak, Henning; Musshoff, Oliver


Due to a simultaneous decline in agricultural practice and an increased favorability and demand by society, grazing based milk production has become a topic of heightened interest in European agricultural policy, as well as dairy product marketing. This paper studies the behavior of German farmers with respect to the adoption of grazing practices. To do so, a structural equation model based on the technology acceptance model (TAM) is developed. Generally, the TAM hypothesizes that the perceived usefulness and the perceived ease of use are key determinants of the intention to use and the actual usage behavior of a technology. The results indicate that the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use statistically significantly influence the adoption of grazing practices. Other important aspects are the production limitations on the individual farm, and the farmers' subjective norm towards grazing. Furthermore, the analysis reveals differences between conventional and organic farmers, showing that the influence of farmers' beliefs on the usage behavior tends to be greater for conventional farmers. The results show that farmers' subjective norm influences multiple other constructs of the model, including the intention to use. Under the assumption that farmers' perceptions of societal expectations depend on the public discourse, this indicates the relevance of public information and communication for the farmer's decision-making processes.


Technology acceptance model; Structural equation model; Grazing practices; Dairy production

Published in

Agricultural Systems
2018, Volume: 165, pages: 230-239 Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

    Publication identifier


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