On-farm Field Trials for Canadian Farmers

February 5, 2021

farmers in a field

It has always been important to learn how to make the most of your fields, and now, on-farm field trials can be key in harnessing their fullest potential. That’s because technology has changed the game. In fact, with the right tools, today’s on-farm field tests are virtually unrecognizable from those of the past. Compared to all the time and effort required for placing flags and hand-scrawling notes just to see how two potential field scenarios stack up against one another, using Climate FieldView for on-farm testing is a walk in the park.

Optimize with Yield Analysis

With FieldView, you have all the insights to take your farm field tests to a whole new level. Evaluating what works best—and what doesn’t—for your unique operation has never been this easy. With the Yield Analysis tool, you can go way beyond a simple A/B test.

This technology puts the power right at your fingertips to conduct tests on a range of factors: different hybrids/varieties, seeding densities, genetic potential, fertility management practices, crop protection, tillage practices, and anything else you can imagine. Every farm has unique challenges and opportunities, and every farmer will use yield analysis in different ways.

Build on your successes, season over season

It’s been said change doesn’t come easy. But using FieldView to evolve your on-farm variety trials is an exception to that rule. From setup to analysis, it’s simple to conduct multiple tests at once to learn how inputs are performing in different areas and environments. And best of all, rather than making decisions based on results from someone else’s trials across the province, the data you collect is specific to your fields.

Even on an individual farm level, FieldView helps to establish trends and precedents that can help you navigate the challenges of a difficult year. This is more important than ever, given the increasing unpredictability of the weather. By gathering data each season, you can build cumulative insights into how to mitigate challenging weather and even make evolving conditions work in your favour.

Make it a team effort

You can do it alone, but conducting on-farm field trials can also involve a wider, off-farm team, with your agronomist or seed dealer weighing in. For many farmers, collaborating with a digital tool is indispensable. Instead of just sitting across the table sliding paper back and forth, you can keep track of everything on an iPad® or mobile device and know exactly what’s been done—and what needs to be done, getting ideas and input along the way.

Keep your eye on the prize

There is nothing that can replace the knowledge you’ve built working your fields over the years, but sometimes, our assumptions can hold us back. This is especially true when it comes to using yield analysis to perform farm field trials. Many farmers have found valuable solutions in unexpected, sometimes counterintuitive places.

Ultimately, FieldView’s yield analysis will make running farm field tests an intuitive process for you. But for the platform to do the work, there are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Keep your field boundaries current
  • Use the hybrid catalogue to keep product names clean
  • Make sure all your equipment is synced up
  • Upload any historical field data you have
  • Connect your account with those you work with for field trials

Farm field trials using Climate FieldView will help you determine what’s profitable—and that doesn’t always mean pushing for the highest yields of a certain crop that may have proven a good bet in previous seasons. By balancing the expense and potential of each input, FieldView helps you see if an input approach is actually worth it. This cost/benefit analysis goes a long way to accomplishing more on your farm, while using less. And isn’t that what the game is all about?