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CM – Global paradigm shift in which producers actively contribute to agronomic understanding

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December 23, 2021

from University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Since its inception in 1989, the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network has worked with Nebraska Extension to help producers analyze experiments appropriate to the specific conditions of their fields. This cooperation has increased the agronomic understanding as well as the profits of the producers. On-farm experimentation or « OFE » is a growing phenomenon around the world, and a new journal article co-authored by a Nebraska Extension specialist explains this global dimension and the possibilities of bettering conventional agronomic research with manufacturer-generated knowledge and analysis coordinate.

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Laura Thompson, an extension instructor with extensive experience with the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network, wrote, along with contributors from Canada, Argentina, Great Britain, France, Morocco, Malaysia, and China, “On-Farm Experimentation to transform global Agriculture . « The article appears in Nature Food magazine on December 23rd.

OFE now encompasses » a distinct and growing community of practices « worldwide with over 30,000 farms in more than 30 countries, the article estimates, unlike Nebraskas On -Farm Research Network, OFE initiatives are usually relatively new. An international network that has been involved in 11 OFE initiatives around the world was established to expand understanding of the approach and its dynamics.

Such farm-derived data and analysis « provides an opportunity for agricultural professionals to complement conventional agricultural research by working with the dynamic farm management that exists in the real world, » the article says, through this focus on « locally appropriate Knowledge ”, write Thompson and her co-authors, OFE can accompany“ a paradigm shift ”, through the producer actively to deepen the agronomic understanding contribute it worldwide.

Nebraska has seen the benefits of such an approach for the past three decades, says Thompson. Notable achievements include the insights gained for soybean production, including sowing rates and planting times. Sowing the seeds earlier helped increase yields and using a smaller amount of seeds helped reduce costs. Another success is improved nitrogen management using precision technology that enables higher profits and less environmental impact.

Approximately 70 Nebraska producers are currently participating in the on-farm research network, a total of around 100 on-farm experiments since some farms have multiple projects underway.

Farmer-centric on-farm experimentation, according to the Nature Food article, can play an important role in realizing the benefits of agriculture-centric digitization.

Nebraska On-Farm Research shows how digital Technologies enable precise data collection and give growers important opportunities to fine-tune management within a field, says Thompson. « Farmers can do their research more conveniently, » she says, « and at the same time we can generate more research data and address more site-specific situations instead of managing a field as a unit. » Overall, OFE can manage global production in four ways strengthen, write Thompson and her contributors. First, by providing new tools for collaborative understanding of real world needs and practices. Second, by emphasizing flexibility so that research practices can best take into account local conditions. Third, through added value for the producers. Fourth, by introducing disruption in order to achieve “new ways of learning” about appropriate agricultural and innovative practices and to share this knowledge on a global level.

In order to make these new learning methods possible, stronger links between the « theorists and practitioners » of the agricultural community – scientists, farmers and other agricultural actors – to stimulate ideas and approaches. By creating this new scientific foundation, the authors say, global agriculture can advance to new heights.

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Similar title :
Worldwide paradigm shift in which producers actively Contribute to agronomic understanding
On-farm experiments for the transformation of global agriculture


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