1 - On-Farm Research
Dr. Ronald C. Seymour, Nebraska Extension Educator; David Grimes, Farmer; Brandon Hunnicutt, Farmer
Learn about the basics of on-farm research and hear farmer input about the importance of on-farm research for their farming operations.
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[00:00:04.310]Hello, I'm Dr.
[00:00:05.240]Ron Seymour and I worked with the University
of Nebraska and Nebraska extension.
[00:00:10.130]I'm located in the extension
office and Hastings,
[00:00:14.090]which is Adams County. And I work
in the cropping systems area.
[00:00:18.320]So today I want to talk about on-farm
research and why that's really important
[00:00:23.270]for farmers. And, you know, there,
[00:00:25.970]there's a lot of things that
we do out in crop fields or in
[00:00:32.750]have the basis of research
to let us know how to improve
[00:00:37.880]the kinds of things that we do so that
we can simply get better over time.
[00:00:42.740]And if we hadn't been
doing this, there'd be a,
[00:00:45.200]we would be way back in the thirties
when we were still a plowing,
[00:00:49.910]everything, listing, doing
things that caused a lot of dust,
[00:00:53.420]a lot of problems and lower yields.
Well, by applying some simple principles,
[00:00:59.690]do these projects where we can learn
what actually works in a farmer's
[00:01:04.580]own field. So a lot of the
research projects that we do,
[00:01:07.970]they start with university, a scientist,
[00:01:10.550]or industry scientists
doing the, treatments,
[00:01:15.230]or trying to find out new
information in small plots
[00:01:19.760]and the, they do those small plots because
they can control what they're doing,
[00:01:24.680]and get reliable results
that then can be published.
[00:01:29.000]So it's a great place to start,
[00:01:30.740]but we need to be able to
transfer that information to
[00:01:35.870]a large production field. And
there are some differences,
[00:01:39.710]and we're just hoping that what we
found in a small plot will actually work
[00:01:44.780]in a large field the same
way. Well, we have to test it.
[00:01:48.230]We have to see does it
really work for,
[00:01:51.820]in a large field and
for a particular farmer,
[00:01:54.320]because every farm is
different. The land's different,
[00:01:57.920]the management operations are
different, the irrigation,
[00:02:00.080]or whether you have rainfall,
that all makes a difference.
[00:02:03.620]And so to test a product
or a technique out in your
[00:02:08.570]own field is just crucial to seeing
whether it works or not. Now,
[00:02:12.410]I remember a long time ago, we used to
do that with a single row out there,
[00:02:16.010]or you do half the field and
that's okay to start out with,
[00:02:20.660]but it really doesn't tell
you what you need to know,
[00:02:23.930]because there is a lot of
variability in the world
[00:02:28.580]and particularly a variability in
field there's differences in soil
[00:02:33.080]differences in how irrigation
water is applied and
[00:02:37.700]difference in plants. And so we
have to try to account for those.
[00:02:41.510]And the way you do that is you
randomly assign treatments in a
[00:02:47.120]And then you replicate these
treatments and replication means
[00:02:51.710]doing one or two treatments
multiple times through a field.
[00:02:56.210]And that way you can see
what's really going on.
[00:02:59.590]And the randomization is so important
because we want to be able to, to,
[00:03:04.540]not have to deal with any,
[00:03:07.750]the variability that's out there.
[00:03:09.640]Or if we have some areas that
consistently change across field, we can,
[00:03:14.290]we can deal with that. And so,
very easy to randomize. I mean,
[00:03:18.850]you can either use a random number
table or simply flip a coin,
[00:03:23.920]and then you can decide, okay,
[00:03:26.470]treatment a here treatment B here
compared to the untreated control.
[00:03:30.940]And those are all important. And
then when it comes to replication,
[00:03:34.990]at least one replicant, but
much better to do four to six.
[00:03:39.760]So that when we go to,
[00:03:42.670]to do some statistical analysis,
[00:03:45.070]which will help us define and
take care of that variation,
[00:03:48.880]we can tell the differences between
the treatments that we have out there.
[00:03:53.230]And so put those out there,
[00:03:56.140]work with your local extension
educator or extension specialists,
[00:04:00.040]and they can help design the
experiment for you so that we can set
[00:04:04.990]this up in a way that's easy for
you as the farmer to put it out
[00:04:10.090]and then for the scientists to take
data and to analyze that data so that
[00:04:15.250]when we get all done, we
add some meaningful results.
[00:04:19.180]Now I mentioned earlier about just
doing a single row out there. No, no,
[00:04:23.590]we want full length field of full passes
[00:04:28.420]of a piece of equipment. Particularly
if you're doing a planting study,
[00:04:31.390]say you have a 24 row planter, well,
[00:04:34.780]you can do 12 rows on one treatment
and 12 rows on another treatment.
[00:04:38.800]And with modern equipment today,
[00:04:40.540]it's pretty easy to switch back and forth
between those treatments so that you
[00:04:44.620]can do your replication and
randomization just fine.
[00:04:47.740]GPS works really well to
help us to find where these
[00:04:52.510]different treatments are. And
we use things like field flags,
[00:04:55.930]so that when you're on the ground, you
can see those and know what they are.
[00:05:00.310]And so as you get these set
up, get them put out.
[00:05:05.170]usually in the spring time,
[00:05:06.430]we do a lot of different studies
like planning studies,
[00:05:10.150]product treatment studies,
[00:05:13.720]just there's anything that you have in
mind that you would want to test for your
[00:05:17.950]field. We can figure out
a study on how to do that.
[00:05:21.370]And so you get it set up
your university educator,
[00:05:26.470]a specialist will help you get it, set
up, helping put it out in the field,
[00:05:29.890]and then maybe take some interim
data through the summer so that,
[00:05:33.670]or through the growing season,
[00:05:34.810]so that we can get some points of
reference as to what might've happened
[00:05:39.760]and why at the end of the season.
[00:05:41.770]And then the last thing that's really
important to take is the yield we want to
[00:05:46.240]look at. Did it make an
economic difference for you,
through the yield and,
[00:05:51.220]with a well calibrated
Yieldmo yield monitor,
[00:05:55.150]it's really simple to do that.
[00:05:56.680]You just a pass or the middle of the
treatment and then record what the yield
[00:06:01.130]was. Now, if you don't have a yield
monitor, we have a solution for that too.
[00:06:04.910]You can go out there, we can collect
some samples and then with the combine,
[00:06:10.040]and then we can use a weigh
wagon to see what the yield was.
[00:06:15.200]So you take all that data and
then you take your economic
[00:06:19.820]input data, and then we'll
analyze it in, in laboratory,
[00:06:23.930]on a computer and come back with
some results that will tell us,
[00:06:28.370]was there a significant difference
between treatment a and treatment B or
[00:06:32.720]treatment C depending on how
many that you have set up,
[00:06:35.750]and then we can report
that to you as the farmer,
[00:06:39.230]and then you'll know whether
that was a good thing or not.
[00:06:42.500]And then we'll also have
an opportunity for a,
[00:06:46.050]a we'll go out to have
a meeting where you can
[00:06:50.960]meet with a lot of other farmers who
have done the same types of on farm
[00:06:54.920]research and discuss what
the results are. And finally,
[00:06:58.370]we'll publish those results in a report
booklet that then you can refer back to
[00:07:03.200]later and you can look at other people's
research results so that you can
[00:07:08.060]try that on your field using
these on-farm research techniques.
[00:07:12.980]And so to do it well, it's not hard,
[00:07:15.860]but it's important so that you
can get good, reliable results.
[00:07:20.090]So you can tell if it's worked
on your farm in your situation,
[00:07:24.290]so that make you more money.
[00:07:26.650]You know, I've been involved with,
[00:07:27.970]we've been involved with on-farm
research now for a number of years,
[00:07:30.670]all the way back when it was quad
County, research group and,
[00:07:34.300]and have stayed with it ever since,
[00:07:35.980]and always fun to try different things
and see what we can learn, see what,
[00:07:39.690]what products are out there,
what, what different, farming,
[00:07:43.570]farming operations we can, we can
utilize in our own operation.
[00:07:48.040]it's definitely one of those things
we'll keep doing in the future because we
[00:07:50.260]see a lot of value in a lot of value
of collaborating with other farmers and
[00:07:53.980]having the university involved
to make sure that we've got good,
[00:07:56.500]solid data moving forward.
[00:07:58.450]And that's probably one of the best
educations I got from doing this lots
[00:08:03.430]of times, there's different
suppliers and companies that will
[00:08:08.320]advertise certain results from products.
[00:08:11.650]And they're not always,
[00:08:14.680]probably done in a manner
that replica their,
[00:08:19.750]what they would call their test plots,
not in a manner that's probably reliable.
[00:08:25.240]You know, there've been some things
that we've learned that, you know,
[00:08:27.970]you go all the way back to when we did
some original planning speed studies
[00:08:32.770]that we found out that when you put other
pieces of equipment on your planner,
[00:08:36.280]like seed farmers, that it,
[00:08:37.870]it helps mitigate some of the risk of
if you're deciding to plant faster.
[00:08:42.190]You know, some of the products that
were promised to work over the years,
[00:08:45.370]especially on soybeans, that didn't
pan out quite like they said.
[00:08:48.370]And some other products that we figured
out did work on our own operations and,
[00:08:52.150]and any of those things that we
can utilize. cost-effectively.
[00:08:56.760]On the farm. I've always been,
[00:08:57.870]always been good and it's fun to see what
works in some areas of the state and,
[00:09:01.050]and what doesn't work in
some areas of the state.
[00:09:04.820]If there's an issue that I wanted to
test to something I want to know of,
[00:09:09.590]if a certain product pays
to use, if it helps or not,
[00:09:13.460]then I can do that and get
some valuable expertise in
[00:09:18.290]being able to test it in a way
that I can rely on the results.
[00:09:24.380]Okay. So if you'd like more
information about this,
[00:09:27.230]go to the on-farm research
site and, it's on the,
[00:09:31.970]the URL is on the screen and there's
all kinds of results there that you can
[00:09:36.680]look for this year. And
from previous years,
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