Precision Point Blog

What is Decision Paralysis?

by Chad Swindoll on November, 16 2017 in Agronomically Speaking, Ag Leader

We live and work in a culture replete with options. Producers face countless decisions regarding the big three – seed, chemical, fertilizer, and a long list of other items. If we look at seed alone, how many choices are there? Hundreds! 

The adoption of technology on farms has given growers the potential for improved decision making. Yet in reality, many producers are overwhelmed with options and underwhelmed with results. The rapid development within the ag service provider marketplace has produced a condition I term Decision Paralysis. 

"I know I should use my data. There are just too many choices, I don’t know how to choose."

"I never seem to get anything out of data that truly helps improve my farm."

"There are so many different companies, which solution is going to work for me? Will they be a long-term partner?"

To some degree, producers suffer from decision paralysis when choosing crop inputs. However, the difference is that when it comes to utilizing information, a farmer can continue to operate even if the information is neglected. He must choose a seed, chemical, fertilizer, tractor, etc. Consider the opportunity cost of neglecting to discover what the data is saying. Will the grower miss an opportunity to: lower production costs? Surpass yield barriers? Be more efficient? Probably.

A few tips on making information work for you:

  • 5% Rule – Look to improve one aspect of your operation by this margin
  • The best tool/app is the one that you will use! None are perfect. 
  • Consolidate as much as you can into one tool
  • Work with an advisor or a brand that you trust
  • Have a specific reason that you start using your farm's data. Don’t expect something great to jump out just because you spent money on a tool. Without a goal, you will never be satisfied with the results.

Don't get stuck in the decision paralysis, leverage your local precision ag experts to understand where you can get the ball rolling or for some assurance that you're on the right path.

Chad Swindoll

Chad works as a Precision Technology Agronomist for Ag Leader where he helps lead product research, spends time understanding crop production problems that farmers face each year, and helps our team “talk like farmers.” His knowledge of farming is based on hands-on experience working in the family farming operation in the Mississippi Delta region. Prior to this role, Chad was the Mid-South territory manager for Ag Leader, serving the region’s dealers for three years. Chad attended Mississippi State University where he obtained a Meteorology degree and GIS/Remote Sensing Certification in 2011. He is husband to Edna and father to three wonderful children. Chad’s passion is serving the Almighty Creator, his family, and agriculture.

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