NMSU: Using On-Farm Tests
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Using On-Farm Tests

Guide A-608

Shane T. Ball, Extension Agronomy Specialist

New Mexico State University

This Publication is scheduled to be updated and reissued 2/04.



Rapid development of new technologies applied to agriculture and new genetic techniques make it essential for farmers to stay competitive. Consider what it would mean if farmers could increase the silage yield by 300 to 500 pounds per acre. If those farmers were selecting the best set of hybrids for their operations, it's not an unreasonable goal. On-farm test plots are one of the best tools producers can use to select new management systems, varieties, and hybrids.

Agricultural scientists test crops varieties or cultural practices in small plots. But well-conducted on-farm tests can provide additional information about the variety or practice under a broad range of actual conditions that producers can encounter. This makes the results of on-farm tests relevant to farmers' practices, costs, and potential problems.

To get good information from on-farm tests, they should be conducted at several locations and over several years. It's also important to keep track of all the conditions that can vary from site to site or year to year. Some of these factors include weather, soil types, fertilizer applications, irrigation, as well as insecticides and herbicides that may have been used. Use the attached record sheets to chart your own on-farm tests.

On-Farm Research Management

Producer/farm:

Address:

Date planted:

Date harvested:

Treatments compared:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

Objectives

1.

2.

3.

Crop rotation (previous 3 years)

Last year:

2 years ago:

3 years ago:

Rain (per month)

January:

February:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:

December:

Observations (such as insects, diseases)

Observation

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Inputs

Fungicides (Type, rate, method):

1.

2.

Herbicides (Type, rate, method):

1.

2.

3.

4.

Insecticides (Type, rate, method):

1.

2.

3.

4.

Fertilizer (Type, rate, method):

1.

2.

3.

4.

Tillage operations (Type, method):

1.

2.

3.

4.

Irrigations (Date,amount applied):

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Other inputs:

1.

2.

3.

4.


New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.

Printed February 1999
Electronic Distribution March 1999