Field Tested 2020 Up & Running

Field Tested’s on-farm research program for 2020 is underway.  The program, now starting its third season, provides a research service that helps to evaluate products, practices and technologies in a field setting. The agriculture industry is enterprising and progressive, continually experimenting with better ways to produce crops. Once the commotion of field season begins, finding the time to take a rigorous look into the real value of new ideas and technologies can be a real challenge. Field Tested manages all aspects of on-farm trials, carrying out a scientific deep dive into performance responses and results.

Working on the field until sunset.

This year the program is comprised of 15 trials located in 8 different counties across Alberta. The trials this year will focus on a range of agronomic and technological questions.

  • Precision Planter Canola — Farming Smarter completed four years of plot research exploring the performance of precision planters for canola and found canola planted in narrow rows out-yielded conventional air drill technology. Three trials will compare the performance of 15″ planters to air drills at typical and low seeding rates
  • Flea Beetle Neonics – This trial explores the best options for flea beetle control without using neonicotinoid insecticide seed treatment. The trial will explore the efficacy of increased seeding rates and foliar insecticide applications for flea beetle control in canola
  • EM38 In-season Soil Moisture – Our research team began soil mapping in two fields last year to determine whether an EM38 soil conductivity sensor could be used to better understand soil moisture in-season. We will continue to build on this research in 2020, and the first EC survey for each field was conducted mid-May at the time of seeding.
  • Herbicide Resistant Kochia – Resistance in Southern Alberta kochia populations is a growing concern. This project aims to develop tools that will help manage resistant kochia using a site-specific approach.
  • Spore Trapping – Beginning this year, Field Tested will explore the use of spore traps as a tool to anticipate outbreaks of FHB in wheat, white mold in peas, and sclerotinia in canola. Monitoring the presence of spores could improve risk monitoring and make better fungicide application decisions.
  • Other Trials – Field Tested brings our scientific expertise to help some of our partners answer critical questions using on-farm research. A blend of growers and companies chose us to evaluate the field performance of some innovative products and practices
One of our field tests.

Field Tested aims to conduct practical, reliable scientific research on the farm in real-world conditions. This is critical to better understanding and improving how we farm. What value do the practices you use bring to your farm?

Progress on these trials will be shared throughout the season, so keep a close eye on Farming Smarter’s events and media releases for more information. Please contact me If you are interested in participating in any of these trials or if you would like to partner with us on answering your research questions.

Lewis Baarda
Phone: (403) 308-8551
Twitter: @LewBaarda