Soil erosion is a problem with serious on-site and off-site consequences. There exists a broad series of measures to mitigate soil erosion, unfortunately policy makers observe little voluntary adoption. This paper reports on a study to elicit the factors explaining adoption of soil erosion control practices in Belgium. Following a socio-psychological approach, the theory of planned behaviour (TPB). adoption of cover crops, reduced tillage and buffer strips is evaluated using linear regression techniques. Results show that the most explaining factor is attitude towards the soil conservation practice. The TPB adapted to include perceived control and difficulty appears to provide a suitable framework for evaluating adoption of erosion control measures in Belgium. Future interventions directed at promoting erosion control measures should be directed at changing the attitude of farmers. Further study is, however, required in order to elucidate the cognitive foundations of the negative attitude of a majority of farmers towards the implementation of erosion control practices. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.