• Agronomic Insights

Introducing the Answer Plot Innovation Farm

Field of sunflowers against a blue sky.
Farmers who plant diversified crops or would like to implement them into their production plan will soon have even more research-backed insights from WinField® United to support decision-making. The Answer Plot® Innovation Farm is our newest research location and includes 162 acres near Wilton, North Dakota, that will support studies in hard red spring and winter wheat, spring and winter canola, field peas and sunflowers. We’ll also have several satellite sites across North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Kansas and Minnesota to support replicated research trials across various environments. The Answer Plot Innovation Farm research aims to provide growers and retailers with data and insights to increase the profitability potential of diversified crops.

Why is WinField United investing in diversified crop research?

Plenty of research supports the benefits of crop diversity in a farm’s production plan. From an agronomic perspective, diversified crops can help improve soil health, break pest life cycles, maintain soil nutrients and increase water infiltration. Diversified crops are also beneficial from a business management standpoint. They open new markets for farmers, including carbon programs, and crop diversification can help mitigate risk.
WinField United recognizes that farmers want more options to diversify but may not have the knowledge or information they need to make profitable decisions. We’ve invested in the Answer Plot Innovation Farm to generate critical diversified crop management data and recommendations unavailable to farmers today. We hope to bring growers into a new production age that supports sustainable management practices, increases profitability potential, improves market access and reduces risk. 

What kind of research is planned at the farm?

As an industry leader in agricultural research and innovation, we’re using our experience in Answer Plot research in soybeans, corn and wheat to drive our diversified crop research. Here are some initial trials we’re planning at our main farm location in North Dakota. In addition to these trials, we’ll also have a demo area that will serve as an in-field educational experience for retailers and growers. 
Response-to research
We’ve been generating response-to fungicide, nitrogen and population scores for wheat for several years and plan to expand that research across our main farm and satellite sites. We’ll also be adding response-to trials for sunflowers and canola to understand how these variables impact crop quality and yield.  
Ultra-early sunflower research
We will be conducting early and late planting trials with ultra-early maturing sunflower varieties to understand how these crops may fit into double-crop production systems.
Shatter data in canola
Most of the shatter data in canola generated today comes from Canada, where environmental conditions are much different than in the United States’ growing regions. We plan to conduct shatter testing on commercial and pre-commercial canola products, so farmers will have more relevant information to make seed decisions.  
Field pea variety trials
As alternative proteins gain popularity, field peas become more relevant as an agronomic crop. We’ll study various field pea varieties to understand how different genetics perform across environments.

How do satellite locations support research efforts?

Sound scientific research must be repeatable and replicated. We’ll use our satellite locations as an extension of the studies we’re conducting at the Answer Plot Innovation Farm in North Dakota. Most of our variety performance trials will be replicated across these sites to generate data across different environments. We’ll also include response-to trials at many of our satellite locations. While these locations aren’t permanent and may change over time, they will always provide us with the critical data needed to manage seed varieties across environments.    

How does this data benefit you?

The data generated from the Answer Plot Innovation Farm and satellite locations may provide management recommendations you’ve never had access to before. You’ll get crop-specific information and insights about individual seed hybrids and varieties to fine-tune management practices relevant to your operation. For example, you’ll know precisely what population to plant your canola hybrid at to optimize performance. With data-backed recommendations, you’ll be able to make more confident decisions and adopt new genetics and management practices faster than you have in the past. You’ll know what works and what doesn’t before you do any planting. Most of our initial research will be focused on our broad portfolio of CROPLAN® seed products to help you make more informed management decisions.
The WinField United team is excited to partner with our retail and grower network to deliver industry-leading diversified crop data. We hope to see you at our groundbreaking event to celebrate the next generation of modern agriculture. Contact your local WinField United retailer for more information.
All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.

© 2022 WinField United. Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years and to be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results. Answer Plot and WinField are trademarks of WinField United. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.