Soil Health On-Farm Demonstrations
Did you know that on-farm demonstrations provide powerful teaching and learning opportunities in local communities?
On-farm demonstrations are the best way to learn about and teach how a new management practice may work in the field. Demonstrations allow agriculture producers and researchers to learn how an alternative management option, such as no-tilling or planting certain cover crops, will perform on local farms at the field scale. Any producer can do a demonstration on their own if they are willing to make a change in management to even a small number of acres. A demonstration can be located anywhere a cooperating producer is willing to host it. Demonstrations at the local level, instead of a university farm, allow producers in a community to see how a new management system, or method, will work in their specific area.
Get involved! We assist interested ag producers by putting them in touch with partner agencies near them for guidance and potential resources. Demonstrations are most useful when they are shown to others, so ag producers willing to host a field day for observation and discussion are given priority assistance. There are three types of demonstrations to choose from:
Proof of Concept: Applies an alternative management practice on a field or group of fields; it is discussed during field days to provide an understanding of how it was done and the outcome. This is often combined with a discussion of how the new or alternative practice compared to a neighboring field, where the standard management practice was used.
Strip Trials: Alternative management practices are imposed in strips within the same field. These provide useful side-by-side comparisons of different practices, which can provide more information and stronger comparisons than comparing one field to another. Spatial variability within the field must be considered when comparing outcomes from one practice to another. The simplest form of strip trial is one in which two alternative practices are imposed on two halves of a field and can serve as an example of how spatial variability can influence results.
Replicated Field Trials: Each management alternative is imposed in multiple locations within a field. Can be used to demonstrate a practice is viable at a particular location and determine the likelihood that a new practice will result in a better outcome compared to the standard practice.
Interested in doing a demonstration? Contact Us.