Research Designed For Agriculture
1 - 22
A Message From All Of Us At RD4AG
What an amazing business we are in and what an honor to have this opportunity.
Around the globe people are striving to grow food: some just to survive, some looking for cleaner or more efficient ways, and some seeking impressively elegant, sustainable solutions.
Each of us brings our unique skills along with the will to make a contribution to bettering how food and fiber are grown.
We join arms and hearts with all of you who contribute to this noble profession of agriculture. We at RD4AG wish you all these things:
May your soil be rich,
May your seeds germ with all the potential you have given them,
May the sun shine brightly,
May the rain fall softly and at just the right time
May you harvest the yields of your hard work.
May we all do this with the same sense of wonder as the earliest agrarian peoples who first strove to grow a better crop than the year before.
And if you need help – be aware that we are here and ready. Click here to see the services we provide.
Success In Biostimulant Trials
As agriculture evolves, our understanding of how to make plants produce more, their interactions with environment, and where they live, evolves. The new frontier is to better stimulate plants to grow and produce more efficiently. The promise of such products, whether they are microbial, fertilizer, PGR or any of the multitude of technologies which can have a positive impact on plant growth, is beginning to come true.
As our understanding of these products advances, so do our methods to test them. Most of these products perform best in conditions of moderate stress, be that salt, moisture, heat, cold, fertility, etc. They seldom are able to show their potential in the high fertility, well irrigated situation of production agriculture. This is especially true in the specialty crops, where no effort is intentionally spared to get maximum production. Testing these products effectively is as much art as science.
Our team has been at the forefront of this type of testing for decades, and Steve West was one of the Keynote Speakers at the 44th Annual meeting of the Plant Growth Regulation Society of America, discussing this challenging topic.. Our blog also has a current discussion on the objectives and nuances of drought trials.
See our blog post on running successful drought trials by clicking here
and our Biostimulants fact sheet here
New Techniques To Resolve Old Problems
Here at RD4 AG we are always looking to improve our evaluation techniques to meet the growing demands for more objective and repeatable methodologies.
The traditional methods of standing at the edge of a plot and estimating vigor or trying to determine the percent of a leaf covered with a disease are not accurate nor repeatable enough for reliability as more subtle differences between treatments need to be teased out. And Let’s face it, anyone who has done muck of this knows that the evaluations Monday morning are not the same as Friday Afternoon.
We are aggressively developing and implementing methods and programs with a continuous investment in technology. The areas we are focusing on at this point are imagery for a range of evaluations, NDVI for greenness and infrared radiometry for canopy temperature and water stress. We soon expect to use a sonar type device for plant heights.
Surveys of research methods suggest that up to 75% or methods used for objective evaluations are based on images. The ability to provide an automated and consistent evaluation of images can yield more accurate results and a significant saving in time.