Local farmers visiting the compaction alleviation experimentLowRes27 April 2020 A team from the SoilCare project has published a new open access paper in Emerald Open Research: "Social capital factors affecting uptake of sustainable soil management practices: a literature review".  The narrative reviewed aimed to understand how social capital influences the adoption of sol management practices in developed nations.  The review found that the four components of social capital – trust, norms, connectedness and power – can all influence the decision of farmers to change their soil management.

Specifically, information flows more effectively across trusted, diverse networks where social norms exist to encourage innovation. Uptake is more limited in homogenous, close-knit farming communities that do not have many links with non-farmers and where there is a strong social norm to adhere to the status quo. Power can enhance or inhibit uptake depending on its characteristics.  Future research, policy and practice should consider whether a lack of social capital could hinder uptake of new practices and, if so, which aspects of social capital could be developed to increase adoption of sustainable soil management practices. Enabling diverse, collaborative groups (including farmers, advisers and government officials) to work constructively together could help build social capital, where they can co-define, -develop and -enact measures to sustainably manage soils.

Rust NA, Ptak EN, Graversgaard M, Iversen S, Reed M.S, de Vries J.R, Ingram J, Mills J, Neumann R.K, Kjeldsen C, Muro M, Dalgaard T. Social capital factors affecting uptake of sustainable soil management practices: a literature review [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 1 approved with reservations]. Emerald Open Res 2020, 2:8 (https://doi.org/10.35241/emeraldopenres.13412.2)

For more information about this paper please contact Niki Rust This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.