Before you apply a new product on a plant, you want to make sure it is safe and effective. Because of this, it is important to run a trial before incorporating a new product into your operation.
The first thing to do when designing a trial is to set up your objectives and decide what results you want to see. They could be either a statistical analysis, a practical or a visual result, or a comparison between different products. These expected results must be recorded to conclude if the trial was a success or not.
Technical experts from Kemin have compiled a five-step guide designed to help you measure the stated benefits of a new product you want to incorporate into your operation.
1. Select an area
Select an area that is representative of standard conditions that are subject to the pest you are trying to control. The area should also be where workers are not frequently doing tasks (such as pruning, shipping, cleaning etc.) that could affect the trial.
2. Take pictures
Take pictures of the area. Record the presence of the pest being evaluated and any other pests or factors that may influence the trial. Some common factors include light, temperature, water/moisture, and crop density.
3. Prepare area for treatment
It is important that all areas receive the same amount of care prior to application. Higher levels of the pest will influence final results if they are not at a level relatively equal to the other areas. When applying products to plants, ensure they are equally healthy or representative of the crop.
4. Apply treatment
Even and equal application of the desired rate is essential for the trial to be representative of the product being tested. Leaving a small strip between the product trials untreated will give a better perspective on how each product is working compared to the others, and lower the risk of cross contamination with other products.
5) Evaluate results
It is important that whomever records the results follows written guidelines on how to evaluate the product being tested. This will help ensure an equal and accurate evaluation. Take pictures. Place before and after pictures from the data collected on tables, side by side, and compare what you see to what was written down.