Incorporating non-numeric and subjective information in investment decision models for farmers

James D. Monke, Bruce J. Sherrick, Steven T. Sonka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microcomputer-based business and financial decision aids have become important tools for farmers in the changing global economy. Unfortunately, many sophisticated software packages are either too expensive for widespread use or too limited to be realistic. This paper proposes linking multiple software programs to create comprehensive yet inexpensive computerized decision aids that help the farmer clarify information needs, sort and manipulate data, and specify subjective differences among alternatives. Three software packages that combine numeric and subjective information are linked in a pre-retirement investment planning example. The demonstration shows an investment strategy that is rejected by empirical optimization software to be the best strategy using the linked software approach. The process ensures a more realistic result and a better documented decision than is commonly available. The methodology is attainable by many computer-literate readers and applicable to a broad spectrum of farm management problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-217
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Horticulture


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