Wheat School: Plot 2 Farm trials to share farm-ready information

When it comes to small plot trials, sometimes producers wonder how the data can be implemented onto their fields and used in a “real-life” format.

Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions are headed into the first year of their Plot 2 Farm program, which will conduct trials on wheat and barley on a larger scale.

On this episode of RealAgriculture’s Wheat School, Jeremy Boychyn, agronomy research extension specialist with the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions, says that after seeing how some of the other provinces were tackling trials, and commodity groups such as the Alberta Pulse Growers were as well, they decided to take their own angle on it.

He says that there are two main goals that AWBC is hoping to achieve through the trials: to help extend some information that’s coming from research projects in small plots and to empower producers with the proper tools to implement on-farm trials.

“One of the great ways to do that is to work with producers that are already doing trials or are interested in doing trials, and take that information and apply it to how it works with their management on their farm,” explains Boychyn. “So they are taking that information and they are using it on their own farm to see how it impacts them personally on their farm.

The second part of the program is really empowering producers with the proper tools to implement on-farm trials. The commissions are developing protocols for farmers to implement based on what they are looking for out of these trials. “If they are looking at comparing seeding rates on their farm, if they are looking at comparing different varieties, we’re developing the protocol for that,” he says. Farmers are provided with data collection sheets and the tools to make sure that data collection is sound, so that the end result is something that they can make decisions on.

2020 will be the first year of the trial and will start with two producers north of Calgary — with a barley grower and a wheat grower.

Boychyn says that although this first year is going to be kept small so they can work any of the difficulties out, they hope to grow the program from there.

Data may not be shared with producers the first year, but as the program grows the information will be put forward so that producers can see what results they are getting, as well as get involved and implementing it on their farms as well.

Check out the full conversation with Jeremy Boychyn and RealAgriculture’s Kara Oosterhuis, below:

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