Information and Farmers' Attitudes About Pesticides, Water Quality and Related Environmental Effects
This paper investigates the effects of information from different sources on farmers' attitudes regarding the effects of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals on environmental quality using a survey of 2700 farmers in three mid-Atlantic states. Farmers' beliefs are similar to those of the general public on average, but are distributed more uniformly, suggesting that the farm community may be more polarized on environmental issues than the general public. Farmers regard first-hand sources of information such as direct field observation and pesticide labels as being the most important. Chemical dealers and extension rank next in importance. Farmers who attached greater importance to information from news media and extension expressed greater environmental concern. Farmers who found information from chemical dealers more important expressed greater concern about injury to wildlife and pesticides in drinking water but less concern about general environmental quality problems associated with agricultural chemicals.