4 Crop management

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Farm demonstrations

Demonstration trials comparing existing farmer practices, improved practices and scientifically tested practices provide some of the most useful training for Aceh farmers, especially when new practices or amendments are being introduced. Demonstration trials that actively involve farmers provide evidence of change, but may not be scientifically valid.

Scientifically designed field trials (Figure 12) are set up with a number of replicates to determine statistical differences between treatments. They require the input of trained researchers, and are therefore only possible if resources are available to employ researchers.

Experimental rice trials, separated by an irrigation channel, are used to evaluate the effect of water and fertiliser management. Rice variety trials on the west coast. Peanut trials are used to evaluate the effect of nutrient and rhizobium management. Bare-rooted peanut plants show the effects of soil and fertiliser management. Rows of young vegetable plants grow on acidic peat soil.

Photos: New South Wales Department of Primary Industries

Figure 12 Experimental trials established in Aceh (rice top row, peanuts and vegetables middle and bottom row) to determine the causes of crop problems

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