Trial and Error: Navigating Agricultural Trials with Biologicals 

Field trials play a crucial role for both farmers and research companies in the realm of agriculture. These trials are essential for evaluating the effectiveness and safety of new agricultural products, such as pesticides and genetically modified crops. For research companies, field trials provide valuable data and insights that help in the development and registration of new products.

By managing field trials, researchers can assess the effectiveness and environmental impact of their products, determine their efficacy in real-world conditions, and identify any potential risks associated with their use. This information is vital for ensuring the sustainability and responsible deployment of agricultural technologies.

Field trials help farmers make informed decisions about new agricultural practices and products. By participating in or accessing results, farmers can optimize production, increase yields, reduce environmental impact, and improve economic viability.

Field trials serve as a bridge between research companies and farmers, offering vital information for the development of new agricultural products and aiding farmers in making informed decisions. These trials ensure the responsible use of technologies, promote sustainable farming practices and contribute to the overall advancement of agriculture. 

When it comes to field trials for biologicals specifically, research companies and growers both can see significant benefits from deeply understanding product efficacy and innovations moving faster to market. 

Ag Biologicals and Field Trials

Typical agricultural field trials include key steps such as planning, trial management, and data collection and analysis. 

The first step in conducting field trials is careful planning. This involves defining the objectives of the trial, selecting appropriate trial sites that represent the target conditions, identifying the specific treatments or inputs to be tested, and determining the agronomic field trial design strategy. Factors such as sample size, randomization, and replication are considered during the planning phase to ensure statistical rigor.

Once the trial is planned, management includes activities such as preparing the trial site, implementing the treatments according to the experimental design, and maintaining appropriate control plots. Trial management also involves monitoring and managing factors that can influence the trial outcomes, such as irrigation, pest control, and weather conditions. Regular observations and documentation of any deviations from the planned protocols are important for maintaining the integrity of the trial.

Accurate and systematic data collection is a critical step in agricultural field trials. It involves gathering relevant information on various parameters, such as crop growth, yield, pest incidence, and environmental conditions. Data collection methods may include measurements, observations, surveys, or sample collection. Once the data is collected, it needs to be organized, validated and analyzed using appropriate statistical techniques. Data analysis helps in determining the significance of treatment effects, identifying patterns or trends, and drawing conclusions or making recommendations based on the trial results.

Biocontrol Trials 

Testing biological controls in a field setting is a critical step in a company’s journey to bring new innovations to market. Synthetic molecules alone can be very challenging to innovate with – but including ag biologicals in the product, roadmap can reduce the cost of bringing a plant protection product to market. The right practices for demonstrating efficacy and showing value for both farmers but also potential investors are critical for moving their products forward. 

These naturally occurring bio-pesticide, bio-stimulants, and bio-fertilizers are often applied alongside a synthetic fertilizer to make nutrients more available to the plant. Biostimulants and biofertilizers that support nitrogen fixing and nitrogen availability. 

The agriculture biologicals market is becoming increasingly competitive. It’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.7% between 2023 and 2028. Eventually, the market will reach an estimated value of 27.9 USD, driven by consumer focus on environmental safety and an ideal regulatory environment. 

Key players in the plant protection and agriculture biologicals market are leveraging new product launches, expansions, and agreements to drive the business forward at a rapid pace. Differentiation continues to be critical for success in the ag biologicals space. 

However, there is a natural skepticism around biologicals and their efficacy. A recent university study underscored this skepticism after working through 60 years of data and concluding that farmers should be diligent in researching the claims companies make regarding the performance of biostimulants. 

Farmers may be concerned specifically with increasing yields or the protection of plant yield while reducing synthetic fertilizer application rates. All of these factors will help them determine a return on the investment in ag biologicals as part of their strategy to manage their crops. 

Farmer sentiment in regard to biostimulants as a tool to manage crops varies. Around 39% of farmers have a positive attitude about biologicals, but nearly the same amount – nearly 31% – have negative feelings towards biostimulants. Only 23% of those used a biostimulant in 2022 – so there is ground to gain in market growth and farmer opinion of the products. This further underscores the importance of field trials in demonstrating localized product efficacy. 

Another opportunity in the ag biostimulant market is the increasing merger and acquisition activity. Well-established crop protection and nutrient companies are investing in biopesticide companies to enter the market in a substantial way. These deals are aligned with increased research and development dollars and subsequent product launches that are expected to match growing demand and eventually lead to increased prices. 

Agmatix and Field Trials for Biologicals 

Agmatix is an agro-informatics technology company focused on helping farmers farm more sustainably through data-informed decision-making. Agmatix’s industry-exclusive approach to data harmonization is the backbone of the Agronomic Trial Management platform. 

The Agronomic Trial Management platform is an important tool in biocontrol trials. Testing biological controls requires an effective trial strategy, management, and data management. By following the key steps of agronomic trials noted above and using an ag technology platform to manage the trial efficiently and effectively, companies can increase their speed to market and demonstrate product efficacy to a skeptical audience. This is a key competitive advantage. 

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Trials

Agronomic Trial Management 

This ag technology platform is designed specifically to increase the efficiency of agronomic trials and enhance the quality of field trial data. It’s an end-to-end solution that allows field trial coordinators and research scientists to cover all steps of a field trial in one place – from planning to operating and eventually managing and analyzing trial data. 

The user-friendly platform enhances collaboration while also providing full control of the trial’s status. The system provides trial layout options and customizable treatment combinations that work hand-in-hand with flexible data collection. 

The Agronomic Trial Management platform even allows users to view data results in near real-time. This level of monitoring reduces the risk of human error and even data loss. Data integrity is ensured when field trial operators can monitor for outliers and validate the trial in the course of trial operations. 

The Biocontrols Trials Opportunity with Agronomic Trial Management

The Agronomic Trial Management product is an excellent resource for companies navigating a changing regulatory environment and looking to position themselves for purchase. 

The regulatory environment for biologicals is fluid and expected to continue to change. Agronomic Trial Management is an excellent tool for capturing and storing trial data today, and future additional features will only make navigating the regulatory environment more efficient and streamlined. 

Niche biopesticide companies can leverage the power of high-quality agronomic data to prove the value of their company and the efficacy of their products. In a competitive market filled with startups and niche products, bringing high-integrity data to the negotiation table can be a huge difference-maker. Agronomic Trial Management provides an easy and efficient way to manage trials and capture accurate data. It also allows companies to ingest other datasets and compare legacy data sources to create comprehensive and cohesive analyses to support the valuation of their businesses. 

As Ag biological companies expand globally, they don’t just have to worry about differing regulatory environments; they also have to consider the best ways to prove efficacy as they expand into different growing environments. Testing biocontrols in a way that provides localized data at scale can increase speed to market and even support product launches in multiple markets simultaneously. 

This testing is key for overcoming challenges related to farmer sentiment. Agronomic Trial Management is designed to support global field trials and large teams while enabling efficient collaboration and easy data sharing. This streamlined approach supports companies in meeting local regulatory requirements and demonstrating localized value to farmers all over the globe. 

Agronomic Trial Management is an excellent tool to support the work of companies that are navigating the ag biologicals market. In this ever-changing and competitive market, a sound foundation of high-quality data and efficient field trial management can make all the difference in positioning a product or company for success.