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Understanding signals influencing on-farm change

December 2023

Author(s): Denise Bewsell, Dave Gray, Charlotte Butler, Tafi Manjala, Phoebe Gill, William Kaye-Blake, Adam Barker, Declan Barrett

We developed a framework to identify external off-farm signals from farmers’ operating environment and internal on-farm signals that provide information about the farming system. We used an inductive case study method, interviewing farmers and advisors to test the framework.

The data revealed that no single signal prompted on-farm change. Instead, several signals appeared to influence decision making on-farm. These signals need to be considered by extension agents and policy makers. The framework provides a checklist for this.

Refinement of the framework would be useful to determine how on-farm signals differ from intrinsic drivers and to refine the critical attributes of signals.

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