Arable Farmers – how do you react to risk?

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09 September 2021, UK: Researchers from the James Hutton Institute and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research are calling on arable farmers from across Scotland to help them develop a greater understanding of attitudes towards making risky decisions, as part of an international study. 

Risk management is more important than ever in farmers’ daily activities. It plays a vital role as it is intrinsic to agricultural production with regards to uncertainty about yield, prices, weather, technology and finances.

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The James Hutton Institute are partners in the project, under the coordination of REECAP (Research network on Economic Experiments for the Common Agricultural Policy), tasked with gathering data on risk perceptions in agriculture. The project includes many universities and European research institutes, with the Hutton being responsible for the implementation of the project in Scotland. Farmers from across Europe are also participating in the project.

The project has created a short anonymous survey to compile a diverse spread of opinions to better understand risk decision-making of farmers. Within the survey, participants will be asked to answer questions about their risk perception and to provide some socio-demographic information.

The survey takes approximately 20 minutes and participants will get an initial payment of £10 for completing the survey, individuals can lose up to £3.20 from the initial payment or win up to £13, the exact amount depends on selections made during the survey.

The survey will be open for participation until the 10th of October. The project team is looking for 100 participants, the survey may be closed early if this objective is achieved.

Laure Kuhfuss, a research scientist at the James Hutton Institute’s Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences department said: “Better understanding decision making can help adjust the support provided to farmers and stakeholders to better anticipate and reduce consequences of risk. It can also help inform and enhance agricultural policies.”

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