Presenter/Author Information

J. Parsons

Keywords

multiobjective decision making, land use, agricultural production decisions

Start Date

1-7-2002 12:00 AM

Description

From sustainability to productivity, agricultural land use issues involve complex multiobjective decision making problems. The Agland Decision Tool is an Excel based decision support system designed to help agricultural property managers make informed production decisions. Using the Agland Decision Tool, managers can build and compare up to five different production alternatives on the basis of: landlord returns, tenant returns, weather reduction risks, flexibility, capital outlay, labor requirements, and erosion control and sustainability. The alternatives are ranked using the multi-criteria decision making methods: PROMETHEE and weighted average. The ability to compare results using two different ranking methods provides the decision maker valuable insight into the decision making process. The program was designed and this paper was written using the author’s own agricultural property as a baseline example. The property is a multi-use dryland cropping system located in the high plains of western Nebraska in the United States. Three cash crops and three pasture grazing alternatives are used to build five production alternatives for comparison. The ranking results identify two clear choices, with PROMETHEE and weighted average each producing a different top alternative. Analysis of the ranking process clearly identifies the important factors influencing the different final rankings under each method. Thus, the essential elements to be traded off in narrowing the selection to one choice are clearly identified for the decision maker. This paper provides valuable insight into the decision making process of an actual agricultural landowner. The development of decision support tools, like Agland Decision Tool, are an important element in aiding agricultural land managers in maintaining the long-term sustainability of agricultural production systems.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Agland Decision Tool: A Multicriteria Decision Support System for Agricultural Property

From sustainability to productivity, agricultural land use issues involve complex multiobjective decision making problems. The Agland Decision Tool is an Excel based decision support system designed to help agricultural property managers make informed production decisions. Using the Agland Decision Tool, managers can build and compare up to five different production alternatives on the basis of: landlord returns, tenant returns, weather reduction risks, flexibility, capital outlay, labor requirements, and erosion control and sustainability. The alternatives are ranked using the multi-criteria decision making methods: PROMETHEE and weighted average. The ability to compare results using two different ranking methods provides the decision maker valuable insight into the decision making process. The program was designed and this paper was written using the author’s own agricultural property as a baseline example. The property is a multi-use dryland cropping system located in the high plains of western Nebraska in the United States. Three cash crops and three pasture grazing alternatives are used to build five production alternatives for comparison. The ranking results identify two clear choices, with PROMETHEE and weighted average each producing a different top alternative. Analysis of the ranking process clearly identifies the important factors influencing the different final rankings under each method. Thus, the essential elements to be traded off in narrowing the selection to one choice are clearly identified for the decision maker. This paper provides valuable insight into the decision making process of an actual agricultural landowner. The development of decision support tools, like Agland Decision Tool, are an important element in aiding agricultural land managers in maintaining the long-term sustainability of agricultural production systems.