Case Study

Field Trial Company

Skipping steps costs growing seasons and hundreds of thousands of dollars

Company Type


Development Stage

Field Trials

Company Name

The Startup - Name Changed for Anonymity

“Agrobionics can develop protocols to answer the important questions in product development like does this microbial really work? Does this product do what it says it’s going to do and what data shows that?”

- Barry Knight, Indigo

The Startup created agriculture technology that proved successful in the lab. What’s more, the company was developing a solution for a major problem that growers wanted to solve. The question was, how to proceed. Should they conduct greenhouse trials or small plot field tests? If yes, what type of trials? How many? Where? What targets? What environments? Very importantly, how much will this cost vs. what is your budget?

For most companies, this is exactly the time you need outside help. This startup had an internal team member with training and limited experience. We suggested hiring a consultant with both training and experience. In almost every successful agriculture innovation launch, pre-testing allows the startup to understand what variables they need to look at in extensive field trials. In this situation, we advised to conduct greenhouse and small plot testing.

Unfortunately, this ag technology startup proceeded with complex and costly field trials over a two-year period in one cropping system, and a single greenhouse trial in a different crop. Results from the first crop were highly variable and disappointing, and repeatability was not demonstrated in the second crop. Collectively, this left lots of questions and few, if any, answers. Regrettably, the experimental design of the program did not allow one to understand if and where the product worked.

As a result, the startup company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and cruised through a two-year period that did not yield answers or insights. Most startups cannot afford to lose money with no ROI, and worse, losing time is a start-up’s greatest enemy.

Experienced Guidance Helps you Avoid Costly Innovation Mistakes

“You have to keep reviewing the data to figure out where it’s working, where it’s not, what the conditions were that increased the likelihood of working, and figuring out why the product didn’t work in specific scenarios. What were the contributing factors, so we don’t continue to put the product in situations where it doesn’t work well. Ned and team are maybe the best I’ve ever seen at being able to sort through all the data and identify the trends both good and bad.” - Rick Rice, AMVAC


The Agriculture Innovation Bottom Line

Developing the right testing program is like assembling the pieces to a puzzle. Pieces can include the following:

  • creating an appropriate experimental design,
  • sourcing reliable field researchers, and
  • understanding how to work through data.

Having the right pieces in place makes a tremendous difference in the quality and veracity of data collected.

Agriculture innovation experts testing soil

Why Does Good Data Matter

to walk confidently into agriculture commercial success?

Collecting the right data from your program allows you to...

Make Informed Decisions About Product Performance, Consistency, and Next Steps

Support Product Commercialization

Have Data-Driven Sales & Marketing

Implementing a weak program will cost you time and money plus leave you empty-handed when you have decisions to make.

Don't Loseand derail your innovation in agriculture

With the right plan, you can avoid the most costly mistakes on the road to agriculture innovation success. And we can help you get there.

You can confidently launch your innovation, knowing it will reach the growers who need it.