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One of Che key dynamics in today's increased interest in alternative fanning is concern for the environment (Beus and Dunlap, 1990). Many advocates of alternative farming argue that conventional farming harms the environment and may even destroy the future of agriculture. The implicit, and often explicit, notion associated with this view is that conventional farmers are less concerned about the environment than are alternative farmers. The present study will test this notion by comparing the attitudes toward the environment of conventional farmers with two types of alternative farmers, organic and no-till. By definition, conventional farmers are those farmers who practice high-input farming, including the use of such commercial chemicals as herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and synthetic fertilizers. Additionally, they typically practice routine tillage to supplement their chemical efforts to control weeds. In contrast, alternative farmers are those farmers who generally avoid the use either of commercial chemicals or of conventional tillage techniques. Specifically, organic farmers minimize the use of commercial chemicals, while no-till farmers minimize tillage. Presumably, the goal in switching to these alternative practices is to reduce pollution and soil erosion, so it is reasonable to expect that farmers who engage in these practices have more pro-environment attitudes than those who do not.



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