Managing Manure from China’s Pigs and Poultry: The Influence of Ecological Rationality

Chaohui Zheng, B. Bluemling, Yi Liu, Arthur P.J. Mol, Jining Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We have investigated manure management practices at three farm scales in Chinese pig and poultry production. The concept of ecological rationality was employed to explore empirically how environmental concerns drive adoption of environmental-friendly manure management technologies at different farm scales. The more developed Rudong County in Jiangsu Province and the less developed Zhongjiang County in Sichuan Province were chosen as cases for study of 258 animal breeders. On the contrary to our hypothesis, medium-scale farmers were not always found to be laggards in adoption of manure management technologies. Government ecological rationality played a key role to induce environmental-friendly technology adoption on its own, but also in cooperation with ecologically rational individual or network drivers. Authorities no longer applied their efforts in a conventional command-and-control way, but more in the form of incentives, stimulation, and information to farmers. Individual farmers in general showed low environmental responsibility in relation to manure handling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-672
JournalAMBIO - A Journal of the Human Environment
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Manure management practices
  • Pig farmers
  • Poultry farmers
  • Nutrient emission


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