Using pruning residues as mulch: Analysis of its adoption and process of diffusion in Southern Spain olive orchards

Journal ar
Journal of Environmental Management
  • Volumen: 92
  • Número: 3
  • Fecha: 01 March 2011
  • Páginas: 620-629
  • ISSN: 03014797
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2010.09.023
  • Document Type: Article
This paper analyses both the processes of adoption and diffusion of the practice of using the chopped residues of pruning as mulch in the olive orchards of the Southern Spanish province of Granada, one of the major olive-producing areas in the world. Many olive groves in the area are located on steep areas where the risk of soil erosion is high. A majority of farmers have adopted no tillage, as an alternative to traditional tillage, combined with either vegetation soil covers or, more frequently, using the chopped pruning residues as mulch. The data used comes from a survey carried out in 2005 to 215 olive farmers. From farmers' responses we estimate a binomial probit model to identify some socio-economic and institutional factors related to the decision to use the practice of mulching on a regular basis. We also estimate several diffusion models that describe the spatial and temporal spread of mulching among farmers. Our results show that mulching using the pruning residues is adopted by 43% of the surveyed farmers. The diffusion process of this practice has been very intense since the middle nineties, and seems to have been based on the interactions among farmers in the area of study rather than in other external source of information. Some of the relevant identified factors that affect the probability of adoption of this practice are farmer's experience, the level of soil degradation in the farm or the continuity of farming by some relative. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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