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The Value of AgValidity™ for Product Testing

  • AgValidity™ is a FS tool, designed to test and validate new Ag products coming to market.
  • AgValidity aims to provide an in-depth review on the performance claims of these new products across various geographies and conditions, under real farm environments.
  • In 2020 GROWMARK teamed up with over 30 startup companies, 20 Member Companies, and 150 Crop Specialists and Growers to test out new products and technologies.
 
What is AgValidity­™­? AgValidity is a FS tool designed to validate new agricultural products coming to the market. With the innumerous amounts of new products, technologies and services being developed in the market at a rather fast pace, it becomes hard to certify the value that some of these products bring to the farm gate. This is why AgValidity came about. It is a tool that aims to provide an in-depth review of these new products, to help sift through the many offerings and retain those that actually bring a benefit to growers and their farming operations. In AgValidity, GROWMARK teams up with agtech startups, Crop Specialists, and Growers to evaluate these new products and tools. These can include biologicals, soil health products, robotics, remote sensing and data management tools. “We saw this opportunity where we potentially could be the conduit or the connecting point between these really smart, innovative people that had great ideas but maybe didn’t have farm experience or access to the farm gate, to talk to a farmer or test their product with an actual farmer to see if it’s valuable,” said Lance Ruppert, director of agronomy marketing technology for GROWMARK. 

 

An important value to the GROWMARK system, is the ability to set up AgValidity trials across many different geographies, soil types, application methods and practices, dealing with various geographical issues and diverse environments. This ensures that we have enough data points to get a good grasp on product performance, its potential effects on plant growth, yield impacts and ROI benefits. Through AgValidity and the GROWMARK system, we are capable of testing multiple new products with similar claims and confirm those claims, so when we move these products to commercialization, we make sure to always bring the grower the absolute best product or practice for their operation. 

 

As many Crop Specialists, Agronomists and Growers are preparing to harvest or have started harvesting this year’s crop, we are looking forward to getting yield data on the AgValidity Trials we had in 2020. This year GROWMARK teamed up with over 30 startup companies, 20 Member Companies, and 150 Crop Specialists and Growers to test out new products and technologies. While we wait for crops to be harvested and yields to come in, we have access to other pieces of information from these trials which include NDVI imagery, stand counts, yield estimates, plant and root growth and vigor responses.

 

The picture below (Image 1) is from an organic field in Iowa where you can see to the line where a biological product was applied.  

 

 

 

agvalidity trial.jpg

Image 1  (above) 

 

In another trial (not pictured here), corn was planted on May 11th and a biological product was applied to the center block on June 10th, along with reduced Nitrogen rates (37% less nitrogen than that applied in the standard blocks). A few weeks later we saw a significant difference in biomass, and yield checks estimated 219 bu/A on the block with the biological product and reduced nitrogen compared to 195 bu/A in the “untreated” block with standard N fertilization. 

 

Images 2 and 3 below are from a field in Southern IL comparing the same biological treatment that we referred to above, to a standard N rate with no biological product. Yield estimates predicted a 114% yield increase in the biological block compared to the standard treatment.  

 

 

agvaldity trial 2.jpg

Image 2 (above)

 

 

 

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Image 3 (above)

 

In soybeans we saw a positive response as well with this same biological product, where, in one trial, the biological treated block produced 20 nodes and 62 pods per plant while the untreated block had 17 nodes and 39 pods. Other soybean trials with this biological product are showing on average a 21% increase in the number of pods/plant. 

 

The above were just a few examples of the hundreds of AgValidity trial observations we have seen so far this season. Even with the immense growth we have seen in the development of new products, technologies and services, we expect that trend to continue upwards. We are excited to introduce even more trials in 2021. If you are interested in harnessing the potential power of these new products and tools in your own fields, reach out to your local FS Crop Specialist to learn more about AgValidity Trials. 

 

 

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