New book shows farmers how to be more decisive

21 April 2022 | News

A new book by Honorary Associate Professor Peter Nuthall aims to help farmers discover how their personal attributes can impinge on management success.

The The Decisive Farmer follows Associate Professor Nuthall's recent book, The Intuitive Farmer. Both are written as novels and cover farm business management.

It tells the story of a group of farmers who take part in an expert-guided experiment designed to test approaches to improving management skills.

They meet at each other's farms to learn about their issues and develop solutions to improve their management styles, with the aim of removing any identified decision system biases. 

Each chapter is devoted to one of the common issues defining management approaches.

One involves the farmers sorting out problems around succession planning, another covers farmer anxiety, and they also learn self-critiquing skills. Overall, there are 15 chapters covering both general and specific issues.

The characters who appeared in the first book are present in the second, together with new researchers and farmers necessary for the research. 

"The farmer is always the key to farming success, as he or she decides what will be done with the resources available, no matter what environment the farm is found in," Associate Professor Nuthall said. "If the farmer makes the right decisions for the resources available under the weather and market conditions faced, relative success is guaranteed."

His research showed that farmers largely made decisions utilising their well developed intuition. This was significantly influenced by variables such as the farmer’s intelligence, personality, experience, training, decision and technical knowledge.

The book is designed for all farmers but is also a valuable resource for students of farm management and agribusiness.