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On-farm precision testing program expands


The on-farm cropping practices testing network started by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) in 2000 continues to grow.

In 2011, farmers working with On-Farm Network programs expect to conduct cornstalk nitrate testing and/or field-scale replicated strip trials in at least 10 states, including newcomer Missouri. Other states with On-Farm Network programs include Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia.

Initially, the goal of the Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network was to conduct on-farm full-field tests of nitrogen and phosphorus fertility practices. But trials soon expanded to include a range of topics, including tillage, planting and weed-, insect- and disease-control practices.

The program harnesses precision agriculture technologies, including yield monitor data, to design trials that are practical for farmers to conduct and produce scientifically valid results, according to Tracy Blackmer, the On-Farm Network research director. The annual ISA On-Farm Network conference – next scheduled for Feb. 22, 2011, in Ames, Iowa – draws hundreds of farmers from across Iowa and the U.S.

More information on On-Farm Network programs is available at Or write

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