Products can spend years in the lab and undergoing field research before they are ready for farmer use. But even after all of the time and labor that goes into research and development, new products still aren’t ready for your farm until a third party can âkick the tires’ through in-field trials and testing.
Sam Wilson, Ph.D., Verdesian vice president of technology development, says he believes in new products when they have legitimate yield data and agronomic science to support their claims.
“With in-field trials and testing, we ensure that our new technologies are ready for market,” he says. “Plus, we can thoroughly evaluate how well they work and decide what to tweak to produce the best crop results.”
In-field trials test whether the new technology results in a yield change and by how much. These trials can sometimes also measure economic and environmental benefits in addition to effect on yield. Good trials have several elements:
- Hypothesis: The expected outcome of the trial and why.
- Treatments: The variations to the normal procedure.
- Control: The crop without any use of the new technology.
- Design: The locations of treatments in the field and in relation to each other.
- Method: The steps taken to get the answer to the targeted questions.
- Measurements and Recording: The trial objectivity and effects of the treatments to prove how big the results are.
Field trials are an important component of the development of new technologies in agriculture. Testing products in regulated field trials is vital to develop important scientific information, to assess the performance of a new technology and to generate the necessary environmental safety data required by regulatory authorities that evaluate commercial product approvals.
Here’s what field research trials on Verdesian products have shown:
– Corn treated with AVAIL® Phosphorus Fertilizer Enhancer produced 8 more Bu./A* than untreated, based on 317 trials.
– Corn treated with AVAIL liquid corn starter produced 6.6 more Bu./A* than untreated, based on 122 trials.
– Soybeans treated with AVAIL produced 3.2 more Bu./A* than untreated, based on 46 trials.
– Wheat treated with NutriSphere-N® Nitrogen Fertilizer Manager produced 5.4 more Bu./A* than untreated, based on 60 trials.
– Corn treated with NutriSphere-N produced 10 more Bu./A* than untreated, based on 411 trials.
Wilson adds that the biggest takeaway from these trials is ensuring farmers are getting the most value from the money they’re spending.
“Kicking the tires of our new technologies with in-field trials and testing gives farmers piece of mind about the products they are investing in for their crops,” he says.