||Data from a 1994 survey of 82 farmers who grow maize on steep hillsides in Motozintla, Chiapas, provided information on agricultural practices, including the adoption of conservation tillage practices; the profitability of the local maize-bean intercropping system; and factors affecting diffusion of conservation tillage practices. Adoption of conservation tillage appears promising: farmers no longer burn crop residues but leave them in the field as mulch, and 66% of survey farmers had adopted the no-tillage component of the technology. At present, however, only 29% of farmers are true adopters of both components of conservation tillage. Farmers who adopt both components obtain more favorable yields and farm budgets. Adopters of the mulch component of the technology appear to be less exposed to production risks. Results of a multivariate logistic model indicate that adoption of the mulch component can largely be explained by the slope of the maize field, which affects access of livestock to the field for grazing on crop residues. Adoption of the no-tillage component was explained by the availability of cash and farm size. Communal livestock pressure had a significant effect on adoption of both components, as did the availability of family labor. State agricultural policy also stimulated adoption, particularly the distribution of incentives, in combination with the local law against burning. However, because farmers still use local varieties, system productivity remains low. In addition to improving the productivity of the system, the use of improved varieties could also increase the availability of residues for forage or mulch.