This paper analyzes the adoption behavior of smallholder farmers using comparable plot-level duration data for Kenya and The Philippines. We find that adoption behavior is strongly linked to the process of land ownership transfer. This relationship is found both for data from Kenya and The Philippines and is robust to the inclusion of observed and unobserved village, household, plot, and time factors. While previous studies on adoption using duration or panel data have focused on the role of various changing village- and household-level factors, no previous adoption study has emphasized the crucial role of land ownership changes. As a corollary, the paper argues that policy-makers should look at the role of land market dynamics for investment in land. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.