• Perceptions vs. recommendations: A rangeland decision-making dilemma

      Rowan, R. C.; Ladewig, H. W.; White, L. D. (Society for Range Management, 1994-09-01)
      This paper analyzes subjective perceptions of Texas ranchers concerning management decision-making to obtain insight for improving technology transfer. Correlations among variables from a 1990 mail questionnaire were transformed by principal component analysis into a small number of "new" variables representing unobservable patterns of behavioral similarities. Two principal components explained variability in rancher's perceptions for each of the areas of interest: stocking rate factors, grazing program benefits, and weed/brush treatment techniques. Stocking rate and grazing program components were each characterized by traditional and nontraditional factors. Ranchers perceived the primary benefit from instituting a grazing program to be improved livestock performance (traditional grazing component 1). Some modification of ranchers' perceptions about the primary benefits of grazing programs is indicated. Weed/brush decision-making was characterized by information-source and economic factors. The information-source component was defined by the importance of advice from neighbors and fear of treatment methods. Because these tend to be negative perceptions, both of these variables have the potential for restricting adoption of weed/brush technology.
    • Regional differences among Texas rangeland operators

      Rowan, R. C.; White, L. D. (Society for Range Management, 1994-09-01)
      Based on a 1990 mail survey of Texas beef cattle producers owning and/or operating rangeland, 54% are older than 56 years, but nearly 95% had completed a high school education. Seventy-five percent of total family income came from livestock production, off-ranch employment, and off-ranch investments. Percent of total income from off-ranch investments, off-ranch employment, livestock production, and wildlife production varied with location (vegetation/resource management region). As ranch location progressed from east (humid) to west (arid) ranches became larger, the proportion of livestock income increased, and rancher's reliance on off-ranch employment decreased. Leasing additional rangeland increased the percentage of livestock income and probably increased labor responsibilities which precluded the opportunity (or need) to work off of the ranch. Number of years of ranching experience, rancher age, and the type of animal enterprises also influenced percentages of family income from various sources. More brush control using mechanical, herbicide, and fire techniques was planned when ranchers perceived that more than 49% of their rangeland needed treatment. Less mechanical control and more herbicide use was planned for weed control when ranchers perceived that more than 50% of the area needed treatment.