• Adoption of Brush Busters: Results of Texas county extension survey

      Kreuter, U. P.; Amestoy, H. E.; Ueckert, D. N.; McGinty, W. A. (Society for Range Management, 2001-11-01)
      Changing landowner demographics and the increasing recognition that some quantity of woody plants is valuable for certain rangeland management objectives has led to increasing interest in selective brush management practices. Brush Busters is a collaborative extension/research program developed in response to this growing interest. A survey of Texas County Extension Agents-Agriculture was conducted in 1999 to determine their perceptions about the interest in and adoption of Brush Busters practices. Using 3 threshold photographs, Extension Agents representing almost 50% of the counties in the 9 Extension Districts surveyed estimated that 44, 34, and 49% of the total area of mesquite, juniper and pricklypear, respectively, could be treated using Brush Busters. They also indicated that over 405,000 ha (78% mesquite) were treated with Brush Busters methods between 1995 and 1998, but that this represented less than 7% of the potentially treatable area. In most Extension Districts, more time was spent disseminating information about Brush Busters methods than any other brush management method since 1995. Extension Agents indicated that Brush Busters has become popular because it is perceived to be an inexpensive, convenient, safe, effective and predictable method for controlling brush, and because user-friendly information is widely available. Our findings suggest that increasing the adoption rates of ecologically sound rangeland management technologies requires: (1) greater emphasis on developing and disseminating user-friendly messages to rangeland managers and Extension Agents; and (2) greater emphasis on short-term efficacy rather than the long term advantages of new technologies.