Does a producer’s net profit increase continually each time more inputs are added to the crop?
This question is the focus of a four-year research project about field crop input intensity initiated at Lakeland College in May 2014. The goal of the study is to develop field-scale data on the benefits of adding crop inputs at various levels and managing the plots using a typical crop rotation.
Plots were established on Lakeland’s student-managed farm land, with replications on the land of three local producers. The same plots will be used for the next four years. One of the local producers, whose son is a student at the college, was eager to participate in the trial.
“We believe in promoting and encouraging young individuals in further developing their understanding of agronomics,” said Henry Dejong.
Webbs’ Crop Services of Vermilion is a primary industry partner in this trial. The company is providing the main agronomy advice and field scouting services for the project. Medium, high and maximum levels of input intensity are being studied. The levels of input intensity and crop choice were defined by a steering committee made up of representatives of Lakeland College faculty and staff, the student-managed Farm Research Team members, agronomists, and producers.
Calvin Ireland of Webbs’ Crop Services has valued participating in the crop input trial. “Communicating with local producers on what areas of research are lacking in the industry, and implementing these practices first hand on their own land has given us valuable results that actually pertain to our region, soils, climate, and topography on a large scale.”