Surveying Farmers: A Case Study
Posted: 23 Nov 2002
A large percentage of farmers do not respond to mail surveys. To gain insight into why farmers do not respond and how to improve response rates, a three-step research design was developed. First, an initial survey, based on in-person interviews with 15 farmers, was sent to 100 farmers. Second, farmers who did not respond to this mail survey were contacted by phone to investigate the reasons for not responding. Third, based on the information from these nonrespondents, the survey instrument was revised and sent to 3,990 U.S. farmers. Our studies show that the period in which the survey is sent is a crucial factor in the willingness to participate, along with the form and amount of compensation, the sender of the questionnaire, and the perceived length of the questionnaire.
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