5 Tips to Get Answers from Your On-Farm Trial

Have you ever conducted an on-farm trial and had more questions than answers after reviewing the trial results?  Anyone that has looked at yield data at the end of the year may have asked these questions.  Did the product make a difference?  What other factors had an impact on the trial? Where should I apply this product in the future?  These are the questions we wanted to answer from the trial and the reason we conducted the trial in the first place.  However, these questions are still unanswered at the end of the season.

There is a lot of time and effort that goes into conducting a trial and all your time and effort may not result in answers if not managed correctly.  Follow these tips to get the most out of your on-farm trial:

  1. Game plan. Understand beforehand what question(s) you want answered. Set up the trial to best answer your question(s). Be strategic. Understand the product you’re testing. It may give you insights on where, when, and why you’re applying the product. Conduct the trial on a field that you understand. Make sure the “test area” is large enough to give you a good set of data.

  2. Keep it simple. Test one product or one farm practice at a time. Do not complicate it by testing multiple products. It’s difficult to know what product had an impact if products are applied together. For best results: test one seed variety versus another; low compared to high management; one product versus a check.

  3.  Understand your variables. Soil types, fertility, and weather are factors that may affect your outcome. Be strategic about where you place your trial to account for these variables. It’s important to account and track as many variables as possible when reviewing trial results.

  4. Work as a team. After creating your game-plan; engage your managers, applicators, agronomist, and anyone else that has a role in the trial. Everyone being on the same page will give you a higher chance of success.

  5. Work with your Crop Advisor. If trial results differ from what you expected, ask your Crop Advisor to help determine why.  Understand that you may need to adapt if conditions change.

By following these tips, you can be confident in your trial results and have solid on-farm data to help you make future decisions.

Yield Quest is a great system offered by Centra Sota to ensure you get the most from your on-farm trials.  Yield Quest assists in the game plan, application process, and trial analysis.  Contact your Centra Sota Crop Advisor to find out more about how to conduct on-farm trials or Yield Quest.

Contact Your Crop Advisor

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