GFM Network News


A flag is planted at each corner of each treatment in the Plot2Farm program so results can be accurately measured.

On-farm research: Making it pay can be a tricky proposition

Plot2Farm project aims to show that a formal research protocol, and agronomic support, delivers results

Farmers are no strangers to on-farm research, but a new program aims to make these field-scale trials easier — and more profitable. “I think it boils down to dollars and cents,” said Gordon Ellis, a farmer from the Olds area who participated in the Plot2Farm program this year. “Everybody farms to make a living and […] Read more

Livestock research gets even more complicated during pandemic

Cattle groups have tips for conducting on-farm research — two pages’ worth

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Beef Cattle Research Council, and Canadian Beef Breeds Council has put together a two-page list of guidelines to follow if research is being conducted on your ranch or feedlot. Topping that list is: “Consider postponing on-farm research activities that require more than one person or interaction with farm operators whenever possible […] Read more


Two members of the Farming Smarter research team collect seed samples for a field-scale trial.

Doing your own research? Then keep it simple

You can collect lots of data but much of it may be of no use — or worse, it might lead you down the wrong path

There’s a big world of information out there today, more so than ever before. When it comes to precision ag, universities, applied research institutions, governments, and companies all have their own research recommending everything from the best VRT settings to the right seed depth in specific soil profiles. And all those reams and reams of […] Read more

7 tips for on-farm research tests

Is that shiny new product likely to work on your farm? To separate the heifer dust from the cream of the crop, farmers need to take a hard look at the research behind the marketing claims. John Heard, soil fertility specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, says the best way to learn about good research “is to[...]
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Expert suggestions for the best on-farm research

Here are some key considerations to get the best results from your on-farm trials

When it comes to on-farm research, the key things to remember are preparation, location, and repetition. “The rigour you have to use goes up considerably if you want to turn it into research,” said Dan Heaney, research and development vice-president with Farmers Edge. Long, narrow configurations work better than block configurations for check strips, Heaney[...]
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Farmers doing their own tests could try a smaller-scale version of repeated check strips used by commercial researchers.

Three keys to successful on-farm research

The first critical step in research is to keep it simple. “Ask one question, and keep it very specific,” said Farming Smarter researcher Lewis Baarda. “It’s important to keep that as simple as you can and have one research question where you can look at one thing at a time. The simpler you make it,[...]
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On-farm research can pay big dividends but “no data is better than bad data,” says Farming Smarter’s 
Ken Coles.

On-farm research done right can save producers big bucks

It takes time and effort, but doing research on your farm means you’re 
‘not just flying blind’ when buying costly inputs

There really wasn’t much scientific about Kevin Auch’s first foray into on-farm research almost 30 years ago. “It was basically a visual display of micros being applied by hand in a severely eroded area — there was no measured-out pounds per acre or anything like that,” said the Carmangay-area mixed grain farmer. “All it would[...]
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