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FBN opens 2022 applications for on-farm R&D trials

Unique real-world testing program includes myriad crop innovations.

Farmers Business Network (FBN) has begun taking 2022 applications for the FBN On-Farm R&D Trial Program, a unique testing program for sustainable agriculture and innovative technologies that connects developers of agricultural technology solutions – from biologicals to robots and sensors – directly with farmers and large-scale, on-farm, real-world testing environments. 

This program facilitates necessary testing and real-world experience to accelerate the commercialization of innovative technology that benefits farmers, manufacturers, and the environment.

This is the second year for the program. Slots in 2021 sold out quickly, so the company has nearly doubled its effort for 2022 to 200 trials on thousands of acres operated by FBN farmer-members, says Matt Meisner, vice president of research and development at FBN.

“Our goal is to partner with the emerging world of crop protection 2.0, with a special emphasis on bio-based innovators and robotics companies,” says Amol Deshpande, CEO & cofounder of FBN. “The FBN On-Farm R&D Network creates a win-win for farmers and innovators alike, offering a vast, real-world testing ground for ag tech developers and tangible, sustainable incentives for our farmer members.”

Applications for innovators to test products can be submitted on FBN’s website and applicants are encouraged to apply by September 1, 2021, to guarantee consideration for 2022 trials.   

The FBN On-Farm R&D program will connect innovators with a large and ever-growing pool of farmers to test, refine, and demonstrate the efficacy of their products, leveraging real-world farms to generate critical data on how products perform at scale, in realistic production settings, rather than simply research settings. Participating farmers will have access to leading technologies, incentives to participate, and transparent information on ROI. The best products and services will win on their value and performance.

The FBN On-Farm R&D Network will deliver a path to commercialization by providing ag tech developers with:

  • Large-scale testing on real-world farms across diverse geographies and production environments, including variable soil types, management practices, and weather patterns
  • High-quality, unbiased, real-world performance data 
  • Rigorous data science analysis, and customized analyses
  • Potential access to the FBN industry-leading e-commerce platform, which directly links manufacturers with farmers

Through its member-based farmer network of 27,000 farmers spanning 70 million acres in the U.S. Canada, and Australia, FBN will connect ag tech developers directly with farmers through the FBN On-Farm R&D Network so that large-scale trials can optimize input programs to deliver the best return on investment for the farmer. With the aid of FBN’s data science, participating biological manufacturers will also be able to collect valuable insights on product efficacy and performance by environment.

For the 2022 trials, FBN will also introduce a new trial dashboard, enabling participants to track the status of their trials in real time and access detailed agronomic, weather, and performance data. Manufacturers will also now be able to test products for any crop across the U.S., Canada, and Australia agriculture markets.

“We’re looking forward to providing FBN members, and developers, with cutting-edge analysis that identifies the precise agronomic and environmental conditions under which certain products perform well, all based on unbiased, real-world data from realistic production environments,” Meisner says.

Meisner added that this year he hopes to trial numerous biological products including biostimulants, biofertilizers, and biopesticides as well as robotic weeding systems, drone-based application systems, and sensors that improve in-field precision management.

*The only data shared with manufacturers will be data from farmers who opt-in to participate in the On-Farm R&D Network and explicitly consent to provide their data for this purpose.  

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