Two Lincoln University researchers have been examining how farmers make their decisions, the role intuition plays, and how it can be improved.

Dr Peter Nuthall and Dr Kevin Old, from the Department of Land Management and Systems, have had their analysis of farmers' intuitive decision making published in the international rural research journal Rural Studies.

Research has shown farmers make the majority of decisions using their intuition. They do not formally analyse each decision, but use their mental powers to decide on what action to take.

"Sometimes the decision is instantaneous, but in others a range of thought levels are brought to bear before acting. Good decision intuition is not a mysterious process," says Peter.

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As an aid to improve intuition Dr Nuthall has produced a novel 'The intuitive farmer … inspiring management success' — available through most international online book sellers.

A new novel is being prepared to guide farmers through the process of modifying their 'management style'.