The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension website describes on-farm research as:

  • Conducted on a working farm or ranch.
  • Conducted on a small part of the farm but uses plots large enough to allow for the use of standard field equipment and practical data collection.
  • A partnership between between you, or you and a group of farmers, and agricultural agricultural service providers, including Extension, consultants, seed dealers, etc.
  • Professional researchers may lead or assist, but you are directly involved in the design and management of the project.

Experimental Design:

  • A process that uses clearly defined methods of experimental design with replications and statistical analysis (described later in this bulletin).
  • These techniques allow you to identify and isolate the effects of natural variation so that the true effects of changing practices are more clearly detectable. Statistical analysis helps you conclude whether the differences you observe are due to the different treatments (practices) or are merely a result of chance, within certain levels of probability.
  • Additional Resources: A Field Guide to Experimental Designs
A pie chart is a statistical method that allows you to summarize categories, like food, CBD or textiles. In this case, it shows the different dollar amounts generated from different hemp products.

Statistics:

  • Statistics are all about probability and sampling.
  • Statistical analysis helps you conclude whether the differences you observe based upon your sampling are due to the different treatments (practices) or are merely a result of chance, within certain levels of probability.
  • Additional Resources: Understanding Statistics

SARE has put together an excellent publication on conducting on-farm research that is available for download.

How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch.pdf