Mike Neaverson: Ask for crop data during sales pitches


As each an agronomist and farmer, I’m typically accosted at this peak time of yr by the producers and distributors of varied laxly regulated “various” merchandise, attempting to promote their wares for software to completely different crops.

You know the kind of factor – often a plant extract of some sort, or a biostimulant and micronutrient soup. 

Often the advantages are claimed to be a yield improve of maybe a number of single-digit share factors. 

See additionally: Mike Neaverson – collaboration is vital to rising OSR

About the writer

Mike Neaverson

Farmlife opinion author

Mike is a potato farmer and unbiased agronomist from Lincolnshire. A former scholar columnist for Farmers Weekly, he has had a yr farming in New Zealand, a few stints in Antarctica and 5 years working in administration for an enormous farming corporations. He got here again to South Lincs and arrange his personal firm in 2017 and has began his  potato operation from scratch, working solely on rented cropping licence land. His father is a 200ha tenant arable farmer and he’s concerned virtually in that enterprise, too.

These merchandise should not often of insignificant value, and are sometimes peddled with the sort of vigour and tenacity that befits an individual on a considerable sales-related fee.

Look at discipline trial outcomes

For readability, I’ve little question that a few of these merchandise do have benefit, and I’m positive in sure conditions present a margin far in extra of their value. But I think loads of them don’t, and you’ll quickly weed them out by asking for one easy factor: good data. 

Commissioning replicated discipline trials isn’t a very costly operation within the context of accelerating product sales. If all you needed to show is that your product will increase yield by X quantity, you might ask one of many unbiased triallists to do that for little greater than the price of a 10-year-old hatchback. 

So, for my part, if certainly one of these merchandise has been in the marketplace for plenty of seasons and the distributor isn’t capable of present a small portfolio of unbiased trial outcomes, there’s two possible eventualities.

Either the producers have really trialled the product and proved it to not work, which in itself isn’t a terrific sales pitch. Or they’ve not had the boldness in their very own product to even trial it to start with. 

I’ve typically questioned what would occur if I utilized all of those merchandise in a single go. My logical extension is that the small yield will increase from every can be compounded; my wheat would have the bushel weight of sand, the protein degree of steak, and the gross margin of a North Sea oil rig.

Perhaps I ought to give it a go. 


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