Agribusinesses and Farmers Interested in Working with ISU Extension

Name and Title:
Mark Licht, Field Specialist / Crops

Fiscal year Submitted: 

POW Title and Number:
100 – Corn and Soybean Production and Protection

Agribusinesses and Farmers Interested in Working with ISU Extension

Over the years I’ve witnessed farmers and agribusinesses that were interested in what ISU Extension know about practice X or product Z. Many retail agronomic businesses and farmers conduct side by side studies to get experience with products and practices but don’t know how to interpret what they find from one year to the next. In all cases yield data is generated but productivity doesn’t always match profitability or explain what was seen.

What Did You Do?
Over the last year, working with CSI Partners, ISU research farms and Iowa growers, I’ve worked to establish 9 on-farm trials in 2009 and expect 12 on-farm trials in 2010. These trials are replicated and randomized to meet scientific rigor, but most importantly they are topics that the grower or agribusiness was interested in learning about. This provided an opportunity for more in-depth on-farm trials that could be utilized by all involved.

This effort has led to a great synergistic effect between ISU Extension, CSI partners and growers. Many of the growers continue to develop on-farm trial interests to help them fine-tune their farm management systems. For example, many trials start off as simple planting population trials and in 2010 I anticipate a twin row trial, continuation of a row spacing trial, a foliar fertilization trial and starter nutrient trials. Additionally, growers and CSI partners often become ambitious not only conducting one trial, but often two or three trials.

The data collected from these on-farm trials is then used to support/dismiss products and practices with neighboring farmers. And the results are also used to help recruit additional growers/partners to conduct on-farm trials with ISU Extension.


100 – Corn and Soybean Production and Protection


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