Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

In the face of change: A rapid reconnaissance survey of Northwest horticultural crop producers

  • Laura S. Brophy (a1), Helene Murray (a2), Larry S. Lev (a3), Richard P. Dick (a4) and Lorna M. Butler (a5)...

Abstract

A rapid reconnaissance survey (sondeo) of twenty-five western Oregon and Washington horticultural producers was conducted using interdisciplinary interviewing teams and flexible on-farm interviews. The group interviewed included both certified organic and conventional farmers who are adopting innovative production methods. Our objectives were to determine the primary factors affecting the choice of farming methods, to identify growers' responses to these factors, to examine the effectiveness of the sondeo technique for gathering such information, to build a team for the longer-term studies, and to locate growers to participate in the longer-term studies. The growers shared characteristics that crossed organic-conventional boundaries. Less experienced growers identified practical crop management issues as their primary problems, while the more experienced ones were concerned with labor and regulatory problems. Most conventional growers were reducing their reliance on agricultural chemicals; organic producers generally used fewer agricultural chemicals, but many relied on organically certified insecticides. A primary regulatory concern among conventional growers was the loss of pesticide registrations for minor crops. Both organic and conventional growers were concerned about government regulation of farm labor, particularly increased paperwork and changing immigration law. Many growers attempted to provide good working conditions to retain a reliable labor force, but a few are mechanizing the harvest to reduce labor requirements. They were aware of the increasing public interest in the health aspects of agricultural methods and were responding with modified chemical use, direct involvement in public education, and membership in commodity groups, cooperative marketing groups, and other grower organizations. The sondeo was a fast and low-cost method for gathering information and provided team members with an interdisciplinary perspective that will be valuable in future research.

Copyright

References

Hide All
1.Beebe, J. 1985. Rapid rural appraisal: The critical first step in a farming systems approach to research. Farming System Support Project Networking Paper No. 5. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
2.Byerlee, D., Harrington, L., and Winkelmann, D.. 1982. Farming systems research: Issues in research strategy and technology design. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 64:897904.
3.Chambers, R. 1981. Rapid rural appraisal: Rationale and repertoire. Public Administration and Development 1:95106.
4.Collinson, M. P. 1981. A low cost approach to understanding small farmers. Agricultural Administration 8:433450.
5.Crawford, E., and Franzel, S.. 1987. Comparing formal and informal survey techniques for farming systems research. Agricultural Administration and Extension 27:1333.
6.Esseks, J. D., Kraft, S. E., and Vinis, L. K.. 1990. Agriculture and the environment: A study of farmers' practices and perceptions. The American Farmland Trust, Washington, DC, and The Center of Government Studies, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois.
7.Hildebrand, P. 1981. Combining disciplines in rapid appraisal: The sondeo approach. Agricultural Administration 8:423432.

In the face of change: A rapid reconnaissance survey of Northwest horticultural crop producers

  • Laura S. Brophy (a1), Helene Murray (a2), Larry S. Lev (a3), Richard P. Dick (a4) and Lorna M. Butler (a5)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed