An ag retailer in southern Saskatchewan has established the Ultimate Yield Management Institute as a way of test-driving the performance of agricultural inputs so farmers can see the results.
“The reason we started is that there’s a lot of frustration from customers who have nutrition questions and there’s just not a lot of good nutrition and fertility research available in Western Canada,” says Dennis Bulani, owner of Rack Petroleum Ltd., a fertilizer and chemical retail business in Biggar, Saskatchewan. “This is our fourth year of trials and as a result, our agronomists are more knowledgeable because they have good, solid, replicated research.”
Bulani conducts field-scale research to investigate which combination of factors will produce higher crop yields. He describes it as “a performance review on the farm management system.” For example, in its third year of research trials, a canola study included 24 different fertility management systems that were replicated three times.
Bulani has teamed up with AGRI-TREND, a division of Trimble that provides agricultural coaching services to farmers, to share his research results with the coach network, who can in turn use it to provide recommendations to farmer customers.
Rob Saik, AGRI-TRENDís founder, says the formal partnership provides coaches with validated field research showing what farm input products and technologies can do to improve yields.
“Most of the agronomic information we rely on is very much out of date,” says Saik. “I looked at what Dennis was doing and thought, more people should be benefitting from this research. I wanted access for the AGRI-TREND coach network.”
The network has access to all research results from the past two years of field trials conducted by the UYMI. Saik says he was convinced after driving across canola trials and noticing the radical differences seen in the crop that received three different treatments.
“This is the kind of information our coaches need,” he says. “These compendiums have information in them that would benefit coaches and their customers. The products are available, we just need to know how to use them for the best results.”