Hosting a company field trial on your farm — whether for a new seed variety, seed treatment or fungicide — is about far more than getting free product for a few acres.
Instead, you should think of company trials as an opportunity to grow and learn more about new management techniques, as well as what varieties or products work best on your farm, before they’re commercially available.
When a rep approaches you to be involved in a trial, it’s because they see you as having good practices that will help provide their company important trial data at the end of the season.
But before you commit to a trial, ask yourself: “Am I ready to take this on?”
You need to be willing to take the extra time to execute the trial properly through to harvest. Of course, that takes a fair bit of planning, from selecting a uniform portion of your field, to carefully calibrating your sprayer or seeding equipment to ensure everything goes in the ground as consistently as possible.
Be sure to invest the extra time at harvest to get quality yield data. Carefully mark off plot sites and use precision weighing equipment, such as a weigh wagon or grain cart with a scale, to get the most accurate measurements.
Chadrick Carley is technical development lead with Syngenta Canada