Conor Keelan and Fiona S. Thorne
Rural Economy Research Centre, Teagasc
Paul Flanagan
Oak Park Research Centre, Teagasc
Carol Newman
Trinity College, Dublin
Ewen Mullins
Oak Park Research Centre, Teagasc

In this article, we use a probit model to assess the factors that will influence the decision of Irish farmers to adopt genetically modified (GM) technology should they be given a choice in the near future of selecting between GM and non-GM varieties of crops. The results from the probit model indicate that among the likely early adopters of GM technology in Ireland are farmers with large farm acreage who are specialist crop farmers and who have formal agricultural education together with access to high-quality soils. Contrary to expectations and theory, the farmer’s age was insignificant in the final specification of the model. Neither tenure nor profitability had any influence in determining the likelihood of adoption once farm size was accounted for, indicating that farm size may dominate other farm-level characteristics.

Key words: Adoption and diffusion theory, GM technology, Ireland, probit models, technological innovations.