View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 1.

Survey respondent comparisons for the Embarras River and Upper Salt Fork Watershed with county and statewide agricultural census statistics.†

 
Survey respondents‡
Ag census county statistics
EMB watershed USF watershed Douglas County Champaign County Illinois
Gender
 Male 95.5% 97.6% 94.7% 90.7% 90%
 Female 4.5% 2.4% 5.3% 9.3% 10%
Average age, yr 60.1 59.7 54.7 57.6 56
Farm size, acres
 1–99 15.5% 10.3% 56.0% 42.6% 50.7%
 100–499 32.7% 46.0% 21.8% 30.1% 28.3%
 500–999 24.5% 23.0% 8.8% 14.9% 10.8%
 1000–1999 19.1% 18.4% 8.7% 9.3% 7.2%
 ≥2000 8.2% 2.3% 4.7% 3.1% 3.0%
 Average acreage 374 340 398 396 348
Farm income
 <$10,000 4.2% 0% 40.6% 27.2% 46.9%
 $10,000–49,999 9.5% 6.7% 16.3% 17.9% 14.7%
 $50,000–99,999 11.6% 18.7% 9.0% 11.5% 8.1%
 $100,000–499,000 47.4% 49.3% 21.4% 30.7% 21.0%
 ≥$500,000 27.4% 25.3% 12.6% 12.7% 9.3%
Education
 Some high school 0.9% 2.3% NA§ NA 13.5%
 High school graduate 24.3% 30.2% NA NA 37.3%
 Some college 38.7% 46.5% NA NA 32.3%
 College degree 28.8% 19.8% NA NA 17%
 Postgraduate college 7.2% 1.2% NA NA NA
Sources: USDA ERS 2007 county and statewide data; education level for Illinois from USDA ERA (Illinois Fact sheet 2007–2011 rural data).
EMB, Embarras River; USF, Upper Salt Fork Watershed.
§Not applicable.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 2.

Embarras River and Upper Salt Fork Watershed water quality perception perspectives.

 
SD Watershed comparison Influence by size or ownership
Rating of water quality in ditches and streams in watershed (1 = very poor; 5 = excellent) 3.32 0.85 t = 6.31†*** NS
Level of concern about water quality in ditches and streams in watershed (1 = not at all concerned; 5 = very concerned) 3.30 1.19 NS t = 2.63‡**
Geographic scales of concern (1 = not at all concerned; 5 = very concerned)
 Home 3.10 1.50 NS NS
 Farm 3.09 1.41 NS NS
 Drainage district 3.20 1.30 NS NS
 Watershed 3.20 1.20 NS NS
 Wabash River 3.04 1.17 NS NS
 Mississippi River 3.11 1.20 NS NS
 Gulf of Mexico 3.09 1.23 NS NS
**Significant at the 0.01 probability level.
***Significant at the 0.001 probability level.
Upper Salt Fork Watershed farm operators more likely to rate water quality condition higher than the EMB farm operators.
Owner operators were more likely to indicate higher level of concern of water quality issues than renters.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 3.

Embarras River and Upper Salt Fork Watershed survey responses about currently used conservation practices.

 
Currently use it Watershed Influence by size or ownership
%
Conduct regular soil test 84.9 NS† Χ2 = 15.31‡***; Χ2 = 9.39§**
Follow a nutrient management plan 61.0 NS Χ2 = 5.11§*
Follow university fertilization rates 54.6 NS Χ2 = 19.12‡***; Χ2 = 4.82§*
Use variable-rate application technology 54.6 NS Χ2 = 20.38***; Χ2 = 6.43§*
Cover crops 9.4 NS NS
Wetlands 5.9 NS NS
Controlled drainage 5.6 NS Χ2 = 5.13‡*
Bioreactors 0.5 NS NS
*Significant at the 0.05 probability level.
**Significant at the 0.01 probability level.
***Significant at the 0.001 probability level.
Not significant.
Farmers of larger farms more likely to use practice than farmers of smaller farms.
§Renters more likely to use practice than owner operators.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 4.

Embarras River and Upper Salt Fork Watershed level of familiarity with conservation practices that respondents were not currently using.

 
Currently not using and
Watershed Influence by size or ownership
Never heard of it Somewhat familiar with it Familiar with it
%
Conduct regular soil test 3.3 30.0 66.7
Follow a nutrient mgmt. plan 5.3 53.9 40.8
Follow university fertilization rates 10.1 36.0 53.9 – NS (ownership)
Use variable-rate application technology 6.7 19.1 74.2
Cover crops 25.4 31.8 42.8 Χ2 = 11.25†** NS (ownership)
Wetlands 15.3 41.5 43.2 NS NS
Controlled drainage 21.0 35.5 43.5 Χ2 = 34.69‡*** NS
Bioreactors 50.8 26.5 22.8 Χ2 = 13.72§** Χ2 = 6.09¶* NS (ownership)
*Significant at the 0.05 probability level.
**Significant at the 0.01 probability level.
***Significant at the 0.001 probability level.
Farmers of larger farms more likely to be familiar with cover crops than farmers from smaller farms.
Embarras River farm operators more likely to be familiar with controlled drainage than Upper Salt Fork Watershed farm operators.
§Embarras River farm operators more likely to never have heard of bioreactors than the Upper Salt Fork Watershed farm operators.
Farmers of smaller farms more likely to have never heard of cover crops than farmers of larger farms.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 5.

Embarras River and Upper Salt Fork Watershed survey responses regarding interest in new agricultural practices for their farm (1 = not interested; 5 = very interested).

 
SD Watershed comparison Influence by size or ownership
For production 4.11 0.99 NS t = −2.37†*; t = −3.21‡**
For conservation 3.93 1.01 NS t = −2.71‡**
*Significant at the 0.05 probability level.
**Significant at the 0.01 probability level.
Renters more interested in new practices for production than owner operators.
Farmers of larger farms more interested in new practices for production and conservation than farmers of smaller farms.



View Full Table | Close Full ViewTable 6.

Embarras River and Upper Salt Fork Watershed survey factors influencing water quality management decisions.†

 
SD Watershed comparison Influence by size/ownership
Importance of issues when making water quality management decisions on farm (1 = not at all important; 5 = very important)
Improving my farm production 4.25 0.91 NS NS
Improving my bottom line 4.24 0.94 NS NS
Improving the quality of water 4.14 0.90 NS NS
Promoting conservation 4.14 0.79 NS NS
Improving or maintaining relationships with neighboring farmers 4.10 0.93 NS NS
Improving/maintaining appearance of my farm 4.08 0.98 NS NS
Improving or maintaining the condition of my farm for future generations of farmers 4.40 0.84 NS NS
How much issues limit ability to implement water quality management decisions on farm (1 = not at all; 5 = a great deal)
Personal out-of-pocket expense 3.49 1.27 NS NS
Lack of government funds for cost share 3.39 1.28 t = 2.73‡** NS
Not having access to the equipment that I need 3.09 1.21 NS NS
Lack of available information about a practice 2.96 1.18 NS NS
No one else I know is implementing the practice 2.74 1.21 NS t = 3.60§***
Concerns about reduced yields 3.38 1.35 NS NS
Approval of my neighbors 2.52 1.32 NS t = 2.40§*
Don’t want to participate in gov. programs 2.51 1.26 NS NS
Requirements or restrictions of gov. programs 3.31 1.29 NS NS
Possible interference with my flexibility to change land use practices as conditions warrant 3.34 1.24 NS NS
Environmental damage caused by the practice 3.08 1.24 NS NS
I do not own the property 2.93 1.51 t = 2.88‡** NS
Not being able to see a demonstration of the practice before I decide 3.03 1.23 NS NS
Willingness to modify farm operation to improve water quality under the following circumstances (1 = not at all willing; 5 = very willing)
If federal or state regulations were established governing water quality of agricultural runoff 2.79 1.15 NS NS
If financial incentives were provided to cooperating farmers 3.57 0.97 NS NS
If most neighboring or family farmers adopted water quality improvement management practices 3.29 0.97 NS NS
If you saw convincing evidence from local demonstration plots that modifications would increase nutrient loss 3.68 0.92 NS NS
If recommended by your county Farm Bureau 2.90 0.96 NS NS
If recommended by your county Soil and Water Conservation District 3.24 0.92 NS NS
If recommended by University of Illinois Extension 3.08 0.99 NS NS
*Significant at the 0.05 probability level.
**Significant at the 0.01 probability level.
***Significant at the 0.001 probability level.
Questions were adapted and modified from the Social Indicator Planning and Evaluation System (see Genskow and Prokopy [2011]).
Embarras River farm operators rated greater limitation than Upper Salt Fork Watershed farm operators.
§Farmers of smaller farms rated greater limitation than farmers of larger farms.