It works! Two farms took advantage of Farming Smarter's Field Tested project this past season.
This project sees trained staff with experience to conduct effective and reliable on-farm research working with producers to execute reliable field-scale trials.
Mercer Seeds brought in Farming Smarter this past season to provide an unbiased and scientifically rigorous examination of ATP Nutrition PreCede and ReLeaf products on spring wheat; which is a seed dressing & a foliar nutritional product.[caption id="attachment_14232" align="alignright" width="449"] Farming Smarter truck filled with sample bags from the trial harvest at Mercer Farms. These will be analyzed to provide information on grain quality to augment geo-referenced yield data from the trial[/caption]
"I wanted to know if there is a beneficial effect and that there could be for my customers as well. I don't want to recommend something that I'm not convinced about myself," says Ryan Mercer.
Farming Smarter did two things for him. They set up the trial and explained the reasons for the layout and treatments. They also performed oversight; which was practical assistance to get things done and added the third-party credibility to the trial.
The trial included 370 acres and had 9 strips, 120 ft wide with check strips and different treatments. Because it was a field scale trial, it needed 120-foot sprayers and drills.
Mercer says it adds a whole other layer of credibility to have Farming Smarter involved in the trial. He recommends to other growers working with them for on-farm research.
"If you're curious about something or looking at spending a bunch of money, this is a great way to try it before you spend thousands of dollars," Mercer says.
Baarda adds that while farmers can do on-farm research themselves, they may not have the tools, skills and time to ensure the research meets a standard that makes it reliable
"It's not part of a farmer's core business to do research," says Lewis Baarda, Farming Smarter On-farm Research project lead. This is where Farming Smarter can help. "We curate the trial to make sure the data collected is scientifically rigorous so that farmers can confidently use it to make decisions on their farm," he says.
"We walk with them all the way and provide oversight every step of the way. We do a proper analysis of the data to give to the farmer. We collect the data, we analyze it, package it and write a report that outlines what we see."
The second project had different parameters and objectives but was equally successful.
To find out more about on-farm research on your farm, call Lewis Baarda, 403 317 0022.