As margins get tighter in 2016, it will be important for producers to cut their costs. With so many products on the market today, it can be hard to know if they will actually increase yields as they claim, but also if it is economically feasible. The Nebraska On-Farm Research Network can help producers do just that – test products and/or production practices to determine their economic feasibility. With planting season just around the corner, consider joining the Network to evaluate products/production practices which can increase your profitability, while gaining access to Extension specialists and educators who will help you set up your research and guide you through the process. In addition, participants benefit from networking with other farmers and being part of this innovative group.
On-farm research has many variants and approaches. It is research that you do on your field(s) using your equipment and normal production practices. This means the research is directly applicable to your operation. The Nebraska On-Farm Research Network approaches topics that are critical farmer production, profitability and natural resources questions, such as:
- Nutrient management
- Pest control
- Irrigation Strategies
- Conservation programs
- New technologies
- Soil amendments
- Cultural practices
- Hybrid and variety selection
Comparisons are identified and designed to answer producers’ production questions. Project protocols are developed first and foremost to meet individual cooperator needs. Only projects that are randomized, replicated and harvested accordingly are reported. Multiple year comparisons are encouraged.
In 2015 alone, 80 on-farm research studies were completed with 66 producers participating in studies. Results were presented to 250 people at update meetings in North Platte, Grand Island, Norfolk, and the ARDC near Mead in February. Planning for 2016 projects is underway. More information about project opportunities will be coming soon. If you have interest in conducting an on-farm research study, let Laura Thompson know (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com)!
Access to the 2015 growing season results can be found on the CropWatch website.