On-farm trials are an exercise not widely pursued by farmers in general. What’s unfortunate about that is the fact that most farmers could stand to benefit greatly from adopting some type of on-farm trial. The reason being that a lot of manufacturer trials are limited in scope for financial reasons. They may perform fewer location based trials strictly because it is cost-prohibitive. Depending on the product and the area that product is used, there could be previously unknown issues that affect that products performance tied to a specific soil type, chemistry or climate. That’s why it’s best to try a product out on your own farm first.
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One person who’s realized first-hand the benefits of on-farm trials is Josh Fankhauser of Lamb Farms near Claresholm, Alberta. Josh has instituted regular on-farm trials as a means of testing the effectiveness of almost all his farm inputs prior to widespread use. I spoke to Josh about the importance of on-farm trials on his farm near Claresholm.
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