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Farming Smarter features Commercial Innovation Program

Posted on March 14, 2024 by admin

By Heather Cameron
Westwind Weekly News

The 2024 Farming Smarter Conference was held recently at the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge and included a presentation from Trevor Deering, Commercial Innovation Manager at Farming Smarter, about the Commercial Innovation Program that Farming Smarter offers.

“What is the process of commercial innovation?” Deering asked. “What does that look like? When I was thinking about this, it really does go back and it starts at a company that has an idea for a product or they have a product already in the works. They’ve done lab experiments, and now they want to get that product tested. They want to do applied research in the field, usually starting with small plot research, then they can do a whole bunch of tests all at once, as it is a lot more cost effective. The next step would be that company needs to find someone like Farming Smarter to contract with and do that research.”

The third-party, unbiased research, Deering said, is super important for not only companies, but just product development in general. Deering said that Farming Smarter will conduct the small plot research, collect a bunch of data, will help analyze that data, and will send the data right back to the company, so they can do some analyzing of their own and most of the time, they’re going back right into the research stream with their work until they are confident that that product actually meets the objectives of what the need is. 

Deering then showed a graph of the industry trials that companies have contracted Farming Smarter to do work with them on and the growth involved in them, stating that there has been pretty steady growth in terms of work with companies over the years. Deering stated that Farming Smarter is involved in several types of trials including pesticide trials, variety trials, nutrients, spinal stimulants and agronomy trials, and that pesticides take up a majority of the trials, as pesticide trials are quite easy  to implement. Herbicide trials are even easier to implement, Deering said, as finding weeds and putting weeds can actually be a lot more reliable than trying to find a disease or have an insect come in, and so Farming Smarter has been able to really grow their expertise in the herbicide research niche and pesticides in general, but herbicides as well. 

“There’s a whole ton of research going on. because they need to get their products registered and proven and improve their efficacy to get them to market,” said Deering. “They have to go through all the safety, environmental, and health regulations, so there’s a real need and they can’t do all that research in-house. If we are reporting back to the client saying this product is working, they can rest assured that product is actually working the way they want it to or not.”

Deering also briefly spoke about the partnerships Farming Smarter has with other companies like Veris in Calgary, NuFarm, and Oxbow.

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