Farmers have been innovators and experimenters for millennia.
Farmers have been innovators and experimenters for millennia. They developed new types of crops and methods of farming.
Agronomic researchers – the scientists who study how our food is grown – have been working on their own fields. When they make new discoveries, they transfer the knowledge they’ve gained through workshops and publications to farmers.
A few decades ago, farmers and researchers began working together more closely. This “on-farm research” allows farmers a chance to work side-by-side with researchers. Collaborations like this allow for the testing of new agriculture products and methods in real-world conditions.
Laura Thompson and her team were interested to determine what motivated farmers to participate in on-farm research. So, their group at the University of Nebraska interviewed the 140 farmer-researchers in their network. The results, recently published in Agronomy Journal, can help future collaborations improve processes – and perhaps increase the number of farmers involved.
Read more at American Society of Agronomy
Image: Nathan Mueller (left), a Nebraska extension educator, and Ryan Siefken (right), a Nebraska farmer, assess an on-farm research study in east central Nebraska looking at soybean planting population. (Credit: Laura Thompson)