It’s easy to credit a great harvest to the weather or the next miracle product on the market, but how do you really know what made the difference? And more importantly, how can you replicate it each year? Cubed Labs believes on-site diagnostics for pathogens, nutrients and soil health are the key. Together these tests can provide farms and the supply chain with new insights into the factors that drive yields and input costs. Below are 3 ways that on-site testing can help growers achieve their desired results year after year.
Plant health and metabolism testing can save input costs and improve yields. Soil tests and tissue samples are a great starting point to know what’s happening with your crop but there are some great new in-field solutions reaching the market.
Testing and tracking plant health gives you the information to correct imbalances and ensure your plant’s nutrition is in the desired range regardless of the environmental factors. This means plants have all the nutrients they need to grow and there is minimal over-application of inputs. Additionally, when your sugar, protein and lipid levels are high, the taste and shelf life is improved. Just remember, regular testing is important to track trends and catch new issues before they appear visually.
Regular scouting for signs of disease is necessary for any farm or greenhouse. Adding on-site testing unlocks the ability to not only track disease pressure but to precisely apply treatments and track their effectiveness. Chemical resistance has become a challenge for many farms and is compounded by rising treatment costs. If you aren’t regularly testing and scouting post treatment, it is difficult to know if your money and efforts are working.
As a farmer, pests and pathogens can be nightmarish but with regular testing and scouting, you can know well before things get out of hand and ensure that treatments are effective.
We recommend you keep records of anything you can actively manage on your type of farm. With more testing and scouting data, you will better understand what works best and what is costing you unnecessary time and money. You will get the best results if you track this data consistently and over a long enough period to find trends or recurring issues.
Creating a system of testing and record-keeping is one of the best ways to reduce input and labor costs, maximize yield and set yourself apart from the competition.
In summary, regular testing and scouting produces the data needed to make pro-active decisions. Between labs and on-site tools there are more ways than ever to easily track this data yourself. And then use it to make pro-active decisions to drive yields and exact inputs. Perhaps most important, it makes us better farmers with a foundation to consistently improve our growing practices.