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COLUMBIA - Harvest season is drawing to a close and MU Extension is offering a research opportunity for farmers.

The 2017 Strip Trial Program gives farmers the chance to test nitrogen application timing, cover crops, phosphorus and ILeVO seed treatments.

The program lets farmers perform trials on their own land or on a research farm. Farmers also can also choose what kind of trial to run and how large it should be.

Christine Tew, the communications director for Missouri Soybean, said the trial gives farms a chance to really “invest in their soil.”

“Soil health is an incredibly important conversation among farmers,” she said. “When you visit with growers, most of them tell you the health of the soil on their farm depends on their success in raising a crop each year.” 

In addition to MU Extension, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council are sponsoring the program. The groups offer crop consultants to help farmers make the best choices for seed and fertilizer during the trials. 

MU Extension said farmers use their own seed and equipment to complete the free trial. 

When it ends, MU Extension’s program will give personalized results that help the farmer choose what’s best for his or her soil.

Tew said the results are the most helpful part of the trial because trial and error is expensive. 

“Our farmers invest a great deal of their check-off dollars into research each year. We know that soil health is important to farmer success and the Strip Trial Program shows us not only soil health, but also how that relates to the crops they grow in a really nice side-by-side comparison way."

MU Extension’s website has more information on the program.