There are many factors that can influence yield throughout the growing season. Some are in our control such as input selection, rates and timeliness of operations. Other factors such as the weather, leave us at the mercy of Mother Nature. Due to all the variability in weather and production environments, products and practices will not perform equally across all areas.
Data included in sales materials often provide limited value because it covers large geographies. The data may not reflect what you could expect under local growing conditions. It also may or may not include LSD numbers which are necessary to interpret the data.
Field variability can also give mixed results. Properly replicated strip trials are necessary to minimize some of this variability. Today’s GPS guidance technology has made it infinitely easier to establish and harvest replicated strip trials.
Technology such as yield mapping also makes it easier to mine additional data out of the trials. We can now compare product performance in different areas of a treatment strip such as hills vs depressions or by soil types. With a few clicks of a button we can compare the results of multiple treatments over topography, Electrical Conductivity (EC) or pH maps where available.
Working together in a group to pool trial data results in faster learning. When multiple producers coordinate to tackle the same trial, we can get more data in one season. If we lose one trial due to weather or other reasons, the whole year is not lost. Comparing data from multiple sites throughout the season might uncover situations resulting in increased performance.
The greatest benefit to on-farm research is the evaluation of new products or practices on your farm under local growing conditions. Antara helps remove the hurdles,making it easier for producers to adopt and integrate on-farm trials into their operation with minimal interruption. Contact Antara to learn more about what on-farm research projects we are involved in this upcoming season.