Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)


The use of alternative decision models for farmer decision-making under uncertainty is demonstrated in this study. Particular emphasis is given to game theoretic models. These models have previously had little empirical application to farmer decision problems. This study has shown, however, that the models suggest plans which farmers in various problem settings may wish to follow. Research and extension personnel may want to use the models to derive farmer recommendations.

Farmers must make decisions in their given, uncertain environment. How are these decisions to be made so that the plans resulting will, as nearly as possible, have the outcomes desired by the farmer? This question expresses the problem this study was designed to investigate. Farmers can follow any of several models specifying how to plan under uncertainty. They may apply the models to their own problems directly or follow recommendations based on the models. Research and extension personnel influence choice of decision models through data and recommendations. Research workers must use some choice mechanism to derive recommendations. Published data may influence choice of decision models, by being suitable for use in only one or a few models. Farmers' abilities to plan rationally may be increased by providing a variety of recommendations based on different decision models giving plans with outcomes desired by farmers. Abilities also may be increased by providing data applicable to several decision models.



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