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kazemi N, sharifzadeh M. Investigating Frost Protection Behavior of Walnut Orchardists of Komehr Township, Sepidan County. Journal of Spatial Analysis Environmental Hazards 2016; 3 (1) :15-30
URL: http://jsaeh.khu.ac.ir/article-1-2542-en.html
1- , m.sharifzadeh@yu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (5377 Views)

Frost is one of the sources of risk in agriculture which threatens the orchardists' performance and their security of products. The protection of cold-sensitive species of fruits against frost damage is an annual challenge in many growing regions of the world. Frost protection managerial behavior is the the first way to avoid or reduce the effects of frost damage to walnut trees. Application of active and passive methods of frost protection is effective under conditions of strong thermal inversions. However, most of studies on the adoption of managerial behaviors to environmental hazards usually ignore underlying psychological constructs that affect farmers’ decisions and behavior. Sepidan county is one the well-known regions of Fars province which is subjected to frost damage for its climatic nature. The amount of frost damage to walnut orchards of Komehr township, which is located in Northwest of Sepidan county is significantly substantial in recent years. The region is well-known for its walnuts and this product is the most important source of velliagers’ income. This research aims at investigating frost management behavior of walnut orchardists of Sepidan county, Fars province, Iran. The managerial behavior is composed of active and passive methods of protecting walnut trees to frost damage.

This applied study was based on descriptive correlational method. Data collection tools were structured questionnaires. The sample of this survey study was consisted of 90 orchardists of Komehr township. The sample orchardists were selected based on their vulnerability against frost. Structured questionnaires were used to collect information from a random sample of walnut orchardists that were interviewed. Face validity was confirmed by a panel of experts. And the reliability was confirmed by conducting a pilot study in Bardzard region. The calculated Cronbach’s alpha for the measures of the instrument were 0.53-0.82. Statistical package for social science (SPSS) in WINDOWS context was used for analyzing data. Coefficient of variation and cluster analysis was the most important analysis methods applied in this research.

Results revealed that active methods of frost protection includes burning fuel, tires etc., were the most common methods of controlling frost in walnut gardens. While using energy intensive practices (heaters, sprinklers) were shown the lowest rate of interest. However, orchardists' "perceived effectiveness", "perceived ease of use" and "perceived usefulness" of their active and passie controlling behavior was investigated. As it was shown by the results, orchardists' perception of effectiveness of the method of controlling frosts was in a low position. On the other words, they were not belived in the effectiveness of the methods. This was whilst, orchardists belived in ease of using the active and passive measures of controlling frost. They were noted that these methods had the potential of controlling damage to their gardens. Performing frost controlling methods was not easily applicable and garden's context was known as the most important barrier to performing the frost controlling behavior. To better understand orchardists' profile regarding to their frost protection behavior, cluter analysis was used. By means of this method, orchardists were categorized to two clusters: orchardists with convergent behavior with respect of frost protection protocol and divergent ones. Convergent group of orchardists (n=23, 25.5 %) were those who invested more on their gardens, used crop insurance supports, and more importantly they used lower levels of chemical products (poisons, fertilizers, etc.) on their gardens. On the other hand, divergent system of gardening regarding to frost protection pointed to the system of negative orientation towards rational thinking and behavior of gardening protection. These group of orchardist (n=67, 74.5%) were those who were performed eclologically dangerous methods of gardening regarding to use of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemical inputs. Low level of orientation towards crop insurance organizations and investment for the gardens were the most differtation factors for this group. However, results shed light on the difference of these two groups of orchardists regarding to their percievd effectiveness, ease of use and usefulness of frost protection methods. As it was shown by the results, frost protection- conevergent group of crchardists was significantly different from their divergent counterparts regarding their frost protection behavior and perception of ease of use and usefulness of frost protection methods. The aforementioned group of orchardists perceived frost protection methods easy to perform. From their viewpoints, these methods were useful in increasing crop yield, promoting its quality and controlling damge.      

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2016/10/18 | Accepted: 2016/10/18 | Published: 2016/10/18

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