Over the fence: understanding what people do and how they might change


  • A.P. Rhodes
  • M.J. Casey
  • T.A. Payne
  • M. Brown


Landholders in New Zealand hill country are being challenged in the future to provide the resource for increasing agricultural productivity while balancing social and environmental demands. This will lead to an increasingly complex ecosystem which challenges simple approaches to achieving change on farm. This paper discusses principles such as degree of complexity, systems thinking in farming systems, knowledge, and barriers to decision making and adoption in relation to agricultural production systems. These concepts are often little considered or understood where there is an expectation of uptake of new technologies or an increased rate of practice change. Better understanding and consideration of these concepts could help in the development and design of more effective extension programmes. Keywords: behaviour change, adoption, extension, farming systems, complexity, barriers, knowledge






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