Novel products: Run your own tests

Rescue treatments for hail, excess moisture and other stress factors are rarely tested in broad scientific studies. Growers considering these treatments have to remember the decision comes down to buyer beware and your level of trust for the person promoting them.

Some peace of mind can come through on-farm trials.

Growers can use strip trials on their own farms to test how a particular practice or product performs in a local environment. A strip trial could test, for example, the difference between acres treated or untreated with fungicide or test new fertility practices without the cost of treating all acres.

The primary purpose of the on-farm demonstration is to give the grower an opportunity to try a new management practice or product on a limited acreage to find response areas, both negative and positive, within the particular field. This information can then be used to help decide whether it may be worthwhile to try this new practice or product on a larger proportion of the farm, and to target it at the acres with the greatest likelihood of success.

The Canola Council of Canada has field scale trial protocols so canola growers can implement their own on-farm research trials, and test and evaluate the performance of new tools or techniques for their farms.

Further reading:

Tips for on-farm strip trials