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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Planned Behavior, Social Networks, and Perceived Risks: Understanding Farmers' Behavior toward Precision Dairy Technologies

Ahmed, Haseeb; Ekman, Lisa; Lind Ranneberg, Nina


Precision dairy tools (PDT) can provide timely information on individual cow's physiological and behavioral parameters, which can lead to more efficient management of the dairy farm. Although the economic rationale behind the adoption of PDT has been extensively discussed in the literature, the socio-psychological aspects related to the adoption of these technologies have received far less attention. Therefore, this paper proposes a socio-psychological model that builds upon the theory of planned behavior and develops hypotheses regarding cognitive constructs, their interaction with the farmers' perceived risks and social networks, and their overall influence on adoption. These hypotheses are tested using a generalized structural equation model for (a) the adoption of automatic milking systems (AMS) on the farms and (b) the PDT that are usually adopted with the AMS. Results show that adoption of these technologies is affected directly by intention, and the effects of subjective norms, perceived control, and attitudes on adoption are mediated through intention. A unit increase in perceived control score is associated with an increase in marginal probability of adoption of AMS and PDT by 0.05 and 0.19, respectively. Subjective norms are associated with an increase in marginal probability of adoption of AMS and PDT by 0.009 and 0.05, respectively. These results suggest that perceived control exerts a stronger influence on adoption of AMS and PDT, particularly compared with their subjective norms. Technology-related social networks are associated with an increase in marginal probability of adoption of AMS and PDT by 0.026 and 0.10, respectively. Perceived risks related to AMS and PDT negatively affect probability of adoption by 0.042 and 0.16, respectively, by having negative effects on attitudes, perceived self-confidence, and intentions. These results imply that integrating farmers within knowledge-sharing networks, minimizing perceived risks associated with these technologies, and enhancing farmers' confidence in their ability to use these technologies can significantly enhance uptake.


precision dairy tools; automatic milking system; digitalization in agriculture; theory of planned behavior

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2024, Volume: 107, number: 5, pages: 2968-2982

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        Animal and Dairy Science
        Business Administration

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