Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School


First Advisor

Tong Wang


No-tillage, Adoption, Adoption Intensity, Farmers, Reduced Tillage, Survey data, South Dakota


Many farmers are continuously looking for new ways to protect soil and increase yields and returns on investment. No-tillage and reduced-tillage farming may provide ways to achieve these goals. Such practices have been found as the alternative to overcoming the environmental challenge posed by conventional tillage practice and providing significant economic returns. However, a comprehensive study of the factors affecting the adoption and adoption intensity of these practices is lacking. This paper intends to fill this gap by utilizing a double hurdle model to analyze farmer survey data. The data used in this study were obtained from a survey of 350 commodity crop producers about their land management practices and attitudes in the eastern part of South Dakota. Our findings indicated that determinants affecting the adoption decision and intensity of adoption are mostly different. In addition to this, factors affecting no-tillage and reduced tillage adoption are also mostly different. Our findings indicated that farmers were more likely to practice no-till to control soil erosion, improve soil quality, increase yield, and earn profit from farming. Similarly, farmers involved in decision-making years for a longer period had positive influence on the adoption of reduced tillage. We found that: 1) farm size as a common factor affecting no-tillage and reduced tillage adoption and 2) that distance from home to field and rainfall had a positive and a negative impact on reduced tillage and notill adoption respectively. Similarly, our results suggest that farmers who have high erodible land are more likely to expand no-till acres. As a result, outreach efforts aimed towards these populations may be more successful in increasing the percentage of no-till acres adoption.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Conservation tillage -- South Dakota.
No-tillage -- South Dakota.
Farmers -- South Dakota.
Farm management -- South Dakota -- Decision making.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright