Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Robert S. Dotson

Committee Members

Cecil E. Carter Jr., Horace C. Smith


The purposes of the study were to: (1) determine certain characteristics of Marion County soybean producers and their farms; (2) more accurately determine which recommended production practices soybean producers were using in 1968 and 1969; (3) study the relation between use of recommended production practices and yield levels; and (4) identify some of the more important factors influencing adoption of recommended soybean production practices. Thirty-eight soybean producers, which constituted both population and sample, were interviewed for the purpose of gathering data for study purposes. The data included the crop years of 1968 and 1969. Growers were categorized in above and below average yield levels, and main comparisons were made between these two groups. Findings disclosed that soybean producers and their farms had the following characteristics: (1) had an average farm size of 430 acres; (2) had an average of 155 acres of cropland; (3) planted an average of 102 acres of soybeans; (4) had an average educational level of 9.5 grades; (5) had an average age of 47.1 years; and (6) had a median gross family income of $14,375 (for those answering this optional question). When the High and Low yield groups were compared it was found that the former had: (Da larger average farm size (498 vs 365 acres); (2) more average acres of cropland (178 vs 150 acres); (3) planted fewer acres of soybeans (92 vs 114 acres); (4) a slightly higher average educational level (9.9 vs 9.2 grades); (5) a slightly lower average age (46.8 vs 47.9 years); and (6) a higher median gross family income for those answering this optional question ($17,499 vs $13,333). With regard to adoption of eleven recommended soybean production practices studied, farmers in the High yield group had slightly higher total average practice diffusion ratings than did the Low yield group. Essentially no difference was shown between the High and Low yield groups with regard to use of soybean production practices and the producers position in the diffusion process, although more of the former were liming and fertilizing according to soil test recommendations and were seeking advice from professionals. Some reasons given to explain why soybean producers were not adopting recommended soybean production practices included: (1) lack of adequate machinery and equipment; (2) lack of technical knowledge needed; (3) relative cost of the practice and net returns per acre; (4) more rewarding activities demanded grower's time and money; and (5) belief that practices were not sound. With regard to sources of advice about soybean production practices the growers listed (in order of frequency mentioned); neighbors and friends; seed, fertilizer, or pesticide dealers; soybean buyers; equip-ment dealers; Extension agents; Soil Conservation Service representative; soybean specialist; Farmers Home Administration representative; and banker or Production Credit Association representative. Additional sources of information mentioned were farm magazines. Extension distri-buted bulletins and publications, Extension newsletters, radio, weekly newspapers, farm meetings, commercial bulletins, daily newspapers, field days and tours, and television in that order. It was recommended that study findings be used in the development of an Extension teaching plan for soybean producers in Marion County.

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