The previous Knowledge grows newsletter outlined some significant benefits of doing product demonstrations. We want to take another opportunity to discuss some other tangible benefits of trying products, other than observing the effects on yield. What other factors do you get to see and measure when doing a demo? Here are some to consider:
Any of these or any combination of these can greatly affect the marketability of the crop which can translate into significant gains economically.
Take maturity and grade, for example. Both can be influenced simultaneously by a proper, complete nutrition treatment, if set up right. In certain years yield increases can be completely outweighed if the crop grade is off, i.e., #1 CWRS wheat versus feed wheat. Protein can also de independent of grade and significantly influence marketability of grain; for example, we can have a #1 CWRS but 14% protein versus 11.5%. Maturity improvements can also overcome yield gains, i.e., canola maturing 1 week earlier in an area experiencing frost. Canola can grade out from 1CC to a 3CC due to frost.
Another factor you can observe and measure when doing demos is the crop harvestability. Crop that is tangled or difficult to thresh can delay harvest and cause increased wear on harvest equipment. It can get even worse when bad weather occurs. Harvest delays pay a toll on quality parameters mentioned above, which can really change the marketability of the crop. The marketability of a crop is ultimately influenced by any one or combination of the factors listed above, all of which can be quantified to a value. A crop that is not marketable or easily able to be sold could be very concerning for a grower as this could negatively impact their cash flow.
At the end of the day, demos are a great way to get out and see a product’s performance first hand. When evaluating I encourage everybody to weigh all of the parameters beyond just yield and I also encourage testing on multiple years to see what the results are on a good or poor growing seasons.
Yara has developed some tools to support growers and ag industry professionals making the best decisions for their farm. Digital tools will continue to be a focal point for Yara so keep checking back for more. Download them on an iOS or Android device.
New school to focus on applied learning
Saskatchewan has a known strength of post-secondary education in the field of agriculture and also a large footprint of agricultural research and development. The University of Saskatchewan is likely the first thing that would pop into someone’s mind if they are thinking about agricultural education in Western Canada. The Sask Polytechnic is developing a program focused on applied learning and is teaming up with Ag in Motion to provide a more practical research program at the Ag in Motion farm site near Langham, Sk.