Crop insurance: A barrier to conservation adoption?

Michelle Fleckenstein, Ashlyn Lythgoe, Junyu Lu, Nathan Thompson, Otto Doering, Seth Harden, Jackie M. Getson, Linda Prokopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Midwest corn producers face inherent risks in their daily operations and incorporate risk-management strategies to reduce uncertainty; among these, crop insurance has dominated the agricultural landscape for decades. Previous research on conservation adoption has primarily examined the impact of individual-level characteristics on adoption, yet little is known about the impact of external factors, such as crop insurance. Using a mixed-methods approach, we conducted semi-structured interviews and a multi-state survey to determine if crop insurance requirements limit cover crops and/or conservation tillage adoption for Midwest corn producers. Our findings indicate that crop insurance requirements are not a barrier to adoption. Rather, crop insurance and conservation practices serve unique - not contradictory - roles in Midwest producers’ operations and are used simultaneously. Future research should continue to identify and seek solutions for external barriers to broadly increase adoption rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111223
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
StatePublished - Dec 15 2020


  • Adoption
  • Conservation
  • Conservation tillage
  • Cover crops
  • Crop insurance
  • Risk-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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