CSI Partners Value Opportunities for On-Farm Trials

Mark Licht, Field Specialist -Crops, Northwest Area

Problem Statement:

Many retail agronomic businesses conduct hybrid/variety trials with ease and at many locations. And often retailers conduct strip trials to look at genetic traits, fungicide response or other high interest crop production and management topics. However, too frequently these trials only generate yield and grain moisture data that is used with the retailers clientele base. Many times trials are setup to look at a more complicated problem than a simple strip trials can get at. Additionally, yield and agronomic responses may not be the most economical answer to the problem.

Programmatic Response:

Prior the 2007 growing season Corn Soybean Initiative Partners were asked to work with ISU Extension Field Agronomists to develop research trials that would generate answers to topics that where of greatest interest to the Partner, the Field Agronomist and their client base. This provided an opportunity for more in-depth on-farm trials that could be utilized by all involved.


At the time trials were being developed there were three CSI Partners in west central Iowa. All three Partners had strong interest in both campus-based trials and field-based trials developed in collaboration between Field Agronomist and Partner. The three Partners combined to participate in three campus-based trials relating to soybean seed treatments, potassium response and corn fungicide response. In addition to the campus-based trials, four field-based trials were developed looking at corn fungicide response and soybean cyst nematode variety effectiveness. Each of these campus-based and two of the field-based trials resulted in monetary support directly to ISU and all trials resulted in in-kind support in the form of product and data collection.

Data collected throughout the growing season has been well received by the partners. One Partner commented that based on data collected our recommendations to producers have changed, resulting in producers spending less on inputs that we supply. The same Partner continued the conversation exploring ideas for 2008 growing season trials.

Another Partner commented, the partnership we have with CSI is valuable due to its visibility. Its only fair for us to provide in-kind and monetary support to be a part of these trials. To attest to that statement all three existing partners and two new Partners have expressed an interest in developing their own field-based trials or participating in campus-based trials for the incoming 2008 growing season.

100 Corn and Soybean Production and Protection


Page last updated: January 10, 2008
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu