Are Farmers Slow Learners?
As I sat in an agronomy meeting this week, an interesting point was brought up – are farmers slow learners? The literal reading of the question is demeaning, of course, but it followed with explanation. When implied as intelligence, it’s an obvious “no”; you have a number of decisions on variables that could be compared to an engineer at a chemical plant. You have the knowledge to grow the most economical crop – i.e. you consider the opportunity cost with each input.
The point that was raised with the question is that you have only one chance to make many of those single decisions each year; some of those decisions have an effect that may not be seen for years. So, you have a limited number of chances to learn throughout a single farming career. Therefore, the answer to the question is “yes”, farmers are slow learners because they don’t have the repetition to learn from their decisions.
As I look at this from a grain marketing perspective, the takeaway is there are just as many decisions to make on the marketing side as there is on agronomics. That chemical engineer above doesn’t have to make all the decisions for that plant, not one person there does – those decisions are made together. Same goes for you as the farmer, you have many resources to help make those decisions as well. Grain markets have more than enough information to help the “slow learning”, but all the information they have can be paralyzing when it comes to decisions. Our grain merchandisers can help you filter through that information and come up with actionable solutions for your grain.
We wish you a merry Christmas and hope to be a part of your profitable new year!
Director of Ingredient Trading