Research farms have proven to be an effective way to show farmers first-hand how new products or management looks in-field. Often, farmers are invited to research showcases with fields expertly tended and monitored, with controlled, perfect conditions.
For the farmers visiting the Advanced Agrilytics Huntington Research Facility this fall, some of the trials weren’t exactly catalog material.
“Ugly. That’s the only word to describe them,” says Kess Berg, co-founder of Advanced Agrilytics. “We know products can perform under ideal conditions. We want to challenge them to perform in real-world scenarios, we have set up our trials to do just that.”
Farmers, new and seasoned, know that weather variability can cause a major impact on results. And, that those results vary in different areas of a field based on other factors. The research being conducted at Advanced Agrilytics explores how – even the most marginal acre – can perform under adverse conditions.
“We can cross reference the environmental conditions from our trials with conditions found in our customers fields to provide the right management for the acre,” says Mitchell Pettit, with Advanced Agrilytics. “With the information we collect, we can make sure the right products are selected to give farmers the best outcome based on the challenging spots within a field.”
The “ugly” irrigation trials do more than just test the lack of, or over saturation, of water. Advanced Agrilytics is monitoring inputs and outputs, as well, to help better understand nutrient movement across a field. Monitoring nutrients for plant uptake and tile loss help Advanced Agrilytics observe how they interact with crop growth and development.
“Our trials are helping us develop a better overall assessment of effective management practices,” says Pettit. “By identifying the best approach to everything from nutrient application and crop rotation to tillage, and then basing that on individual environments within fields, we are helping our customers become better stewards of the environment while maintaining sustainable crop yields.”
Continuous improvement isn’t something that Advanced Agrilytics takes lightly. The trials found at the Huntington site are just one of the many ways Advanced Agrilytics is looking to increase their customers’ return on investment.