On-farm Research

Four students examining plant roots below the soil. (Copyright ARS)Learn fundamental techniques, guidelines and tips to conduct research experiments and trials at the farm level.

Purdue University.

Purdue University identified on-farm research programs, presentations, references and useful Web sites to help researchers plan and work with on-farm research trials.

University of California - Davis. College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

The University of California's Century Experiment (formerly known as LTRAS-Long Term Research on Agricultural Sustainability) is a 100-year study in which researchers "measure the long-term impacts of crop rotation, farming systems (conventional, organic and mixed) and inputs of water, nitrogen, carbon and other elements on agricultural sustainability."

Oregon State University. Cooperative Extension Service.

Defines whole farm case studies, details how to design and conduct studies, and presents the pros and cons of this research approach.

International Society of Organic Agriculture Research.

Presents the results of twelve experiments about the "characteristics of Organic Agriculture regarding key parameters of soil fertility, crop yield and quality."

Organic Farming Research Foundation.

This document "tracks and reports organic programs and activity in the U.S. land grant university system. The specific details on organic research, education, and extension of each of the 72 land grant institutions investigated for this report are a rich source of information."

USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

"This Agricultural Research Service (ARS) national program, Integrated Agricultural Systems (IAS), is designed to facilitate the synthesis, evaluation, and transfer of information to all types of agricultural operations using a 'systems approach.'"

On-Farm Research Guidebook  ( pdf | 473 KB )

University of Illinois. College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Department of Agricultural Economics.

Explains fundamental research principles. Provides guidelines to assist farmers conduct participatory on-farm research when transitioning to sustainable agricultural practices.

USDA. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education. 2nd edition. 2017

Learn how to conduct research at the farm level using these tips for crop and livestock producers, resources lists and real-life examples.

On-Farm Research Guide  ( pdf | 93 kb )

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF).

Presents an extensive overview of on-farm research.