Five Key Advantages for CROs Utilizing Next-Gen Software and Digital Tools
The importance of Agriculture trial data reporting
Agriculture trial data reporting is a critical part of developing new crop protection, nutrition, crop varieties, and genetics. It’s no secret that developing new crop production chemistries is a challenging process for agribusiness companies.
Agricultural trials remain essential in bridging the gap between pure scientific research and scale agriculture and ensuring the effectiveness of new products and technologies under real farming conditions.
In recent years, however, the pace of innovation among the large agribusiness companies producing seed and crop protection products has slowed considerably due to increased costs of product development.
Evaluations of new varieties, technologies, and products depend on data generated from trials. However, such multi-faceted variety evaluation is expensive and time-consuming. Thus, the use of these data needs to be optimized.
Regulatory testing adhering to globally harmonized guidelines and best practices, plays a major role in the registration of the products. With the depth and spread of the ever-increasing regulatory expectations and the advent of new scientific tools, it has become more common for agribusiness companies to outsource product evaluations. The CRO business model has existed since the 1970s within crop protection after safety and efficacy regulations became more stringent for new crop protection products.
This article explores the importance of field-scale agronomic trials and five transformative ways agriculture data analytics is proving invaluable for CROs in agriculture trial data reporting.
Why are large-scale agronomic trials essential?
Knowing how a crop variety or product performs under local conditions is important. The current challenges in agricultural production are more likely to be addressed by locally adapted solutions that consider both environmental and socioeconomic information.
For trials to be relevant they need to be conducted in a soil and climatic area that is representative of the reality of a crop grown on a farm. For example, a CRO in Spain will say that the outcome of a trial in the US is not necessarily relevant proof of the pudding for Spanish conditions.
In addition, crop breeders need to evaluate the proposed genotypes against existing varieties in a country or region.
During the long process of testing and evaluating new products, many factors can complicate the process. Client needs can change, new regulatory requirements emerge, and competitive products can pre-empt opportunities. Crop protection products are some of the most regulated in the world. This regulation ensures that while we protect our crops, we’re also safeguarding the environment and human health, ensuring a healthier planet for future generations–for good reason so the process requires thorough and repetitive testing.
For example, new crop varieties need to meet multiple criteria, including agronomic performance, product quality, and sustainability. Farm-scale experiments can be useful in assessing environmental criteria because they provide the platform for full biogeochemical nutrient cycling studies: within the soil itself, between soil and water, as well as soil and the atmosphere.
In addition, the role of plants and livestock in these nutrient cycles can also be studied. Such studies also enable investigation of the effects of climate and management on water, nutrients, and carbon cycling. The regulatory environment has tightened, concerns about personal and environmental safety are on the rise, and the cost of research and development has increased substantially.
So how can Agriculture big data analytics help with field scale trials?
Running Flawless Trials
The essence of successful agriculture trial data reporting lies in impeccable trial operations. Achieving this involves complex logistics, meticulous management, and end-to-end oversight – from the blueprint of layouts to the judicious allocation of resources and budgeting. Any mistake not only inflates costs but can also jeopardize the trust built with clients.
Enter Agriculture data analytics:
- Real-time Visibility: With the aid of an agronomic field research dashboard, CROs can monitor trials in real time, ensuring timely interventions and corrections.
- Informed Planning: Legacy data serves as a treasure trove, offering insights to sidestep past errors and streamline the planning process.
- Holistic Trial Management: Integrated within an agricultural trial management platform or software, these analytics cater to every nuance of the trial, from inception to completion.
Adhering to Sponsor Protocol
Meeting and exceeding sponsor expectations remains the bedrock of any service industry. In agricultural trials, clients often stipulate protocols which, while ensuring precision, might demand considerable time and resources.
However, agriculture data analytics changes the game by providing:
- More diverse Data Collection: Utilizing sensors, drones, and collected data, it continuously monitors trials, ensuring rigorous adherence to protocols.
- Enriched Planning: Legacy data aids CROs in their dialogues with clients, furnishing insights that ensure the trial’s blueprint aligns with success.
Service providers, such as agricultural input suppliers, cooperatives, agricultural extension organizations, and NGOs, need to make recommendations to farmers, considering many different criteria (and trade-offs between these criteria) in different environments and under diverse types of crop management.
Managing Workflow and Field Assignments
Orchestrating a field trial team, especially against the backdrop of unpredictable weather and varying field conditions, is challenging. Analytics and reporting in agriculture field research help navigate this challenge by:
- Efficient Tasking: Streamlining task assignments and creating schedules that factor in workload, weather predictions, and on-ground conditions.
- Resource Optimization: Analytics ensure resources are deployed where they are most needed, ensuring cost-efficiency.
- Monitoring and Communication: Progress and performance metrics are tracked in real time, fostering enhanced collaboration and minimizing communication overheads.
- Documentation Automation: By automating reporting, ag data analytics ensures every decision and change is well documented, minimizing errors.
Streamlining Data Management and Integration
Despite improved technology, in many agronomic field trials data is still entered manually. The data essential for trials isn’t confined to field readings; it spans weather data, readings from soil probes, drone-captured data, and more.
Agricultural data analytics bridges these diverse data streams by providing:
- Harmonized Data: Data from disparate sources is automatically aligned and harmonized, to ensure consistency. Crop variety trial datasets are often very heterogeneous in terms of quantity, quality, types, and formats. Problems with different data sources include a lack of standardization in terms of syntax, semantics, and structure.
- The ability to review multiple sources: Through data dashboards for agronomic research analysis, clients can seamlessly peruse data from varied sources, enhancing the value proposition of research services and collaboration.
On-farm experimentation (OFE) describes innovative approaches to agricultural research and innovation that are embedded in real-world farm management and reflects new demands for decentralized and inclusive research that bridges sources of knowledge and fosters open innovation.
Digitalization enables OFE by dramatically increasing scales and complexity when investigating agricultural challenges.
Easy Reporting for Clients and Compliance
Whether a client needs intermittent updates or a comprehensive report at the trial’s conclusion, managing this vast data, especially with compliance mandates in play, is critical. Ag data analytics addresses this by:
- Real-time Access for Clients: Ensuring clients can access up-to-date data whenever they need, fostering transparency.
- Automated Reporting: With agricultural field research dashboard tools, reporting is not only automated but can also be customized based on client requirements, trimming unnecessary communication and bolstering collaboration.
- Compliance: The precision of ag data analytics ensures that reports can be trusted for compliance, reducing risks of non-conformance.
Agmatix: Leading the Charge for CROs
In an era where data drives decisions, Contract Research Organizations (CROs) in agriculture are rapidly recognizing the power of agriculture data analytics to revolutionize their operations and improve product development. Agmatix taps into the immense potential of analytics and reporting in Ag field research data and advanced AI.
Agmatix isn’t just a solution; it’s a radical shift in agriculture trial data reporting. Its capabilities, from simplified reporting and global trial management from a central platform to managing diverse teams and ensuring end-to-end oversight, position it as an invaluable asset for CROs.
Agmatix offers effortless collaboration among stakeholders by granting authorized users data access that can be permission-based. This allows researchers, agronomists, team members, and others to easily view, analyze, and report on the collected data, regardless of their geographical location.
Agmatix empowers stakeholders to make data-informed decisions and draw invaluable insights and the mobile app ensures accurate and streamlined data capture, whether online or offline.
Generating customized reports is easy, tailoring them to include all necessary details about protocols, and treatments. The solution effortlessly collects and compiles data from various locations, being immediately accessible for all stakeholders to view, analyze, and report.
Agmatix also understands the critical need for regulatory compliance and the importance of data security and privacy. By utilizing our secure cloud-based SaaS platform, data remains protected and accessible only to authorized personnel.
As the AgTech industry evolves, platforms like Agmatix can ensure the journey is not only data-driven but also sustainable and productive. For every stakeholder, from growers to researchers and strategic partners, this convergence of technology and agriculture heralds an abundant future. Our proven Trial Management Saas platform is available now. Learn more at agmatix.com.