Crop rotation, green manure, sprinkler or drip irrigation, incorporation of crop residue, and adoption of a nutrient management plan are important sustainable management practices for the cultivation of arable crops that could be adopted by dairy farmers in Northern Italy. Using interviews and questionnaires, we have identified the drivers and the barriers to the adoption, and quantified their importance. We found out that Italian dairy farmers are well aware of the benefits of sustainable management practices. The drivers for the adoption are mainly related to soil sustainability (improvement of soil organic matter content, soil structure, fertility and yield) or to environmental sustainability (reduction of nitrogen losses, reduced use of fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides). Another important driver is that the community of family members, neighbor farmers, and various advisors, is in favour of adoption. Among the main barriers to their adoption, the most important ones are an increase in direct or indirect costs.
Bechini, L., Costamagna, C., Zavattaro, L., Grignani, C., Bijttebier, J., Ruysschaert, G., 2019. Drivers and barriers to adopt best management practices. Survey among Italian dairy farmers. Journal of Cleaner Production, In press. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118825