Les métiers de l'expérimentation chez Terres Inovia - Institutionnel
Experimental technicians perform trials on all sorts of oil and protein crops (mostly rapeseed, sunflower and soybean) in conventional and organic agriculture conditions, in all production areas, thereby making a major contribution to the collection of reference data and development of the recommendations of the institute. These trials, all the data from which are capitalized in an information system, are often performed in partnership with other technical institutes, INRA, cooperatives and chambers of agriculture, for example.
The trials performed deal with many different subjects:
- Agronomic field trials on technical innovations extending from implantation and tillage techniques to tests of rotations and of innovative cropping systems (link to the Syppre project).
- New tools and techniques for weed control to replace chemical weeding techniques based on the use of glyphosate in particular.
- New fertilization strategies, tests on new fertilizer products, nitrogen-providing methods and biostimulants.
- The evaluation of fungicide, herbicide and insecticide products, whether resulting from chemical synthesis or biocontrol, to provide an independent opinion concerning their efficacy and to propose the best strategies for optimizing efficacy, minimizing environmental impacts and guaranteeing a long duration of efficacy by limiting the emergence of resistance.
- Territorial monitoring of pests, insects and diseases, but also of invasive weeds, such as broomrape, through the sampling and observation of producers’ plots.
- Alternatives to insecticides for combating pests.
- Through its trials, Terres Inovia contributes to the registration of varieties in the official catalog of the CTPS (comité technique permanent de la sélection des plantes cultivées; the permanent technical committee for the selection of cultivated plants ). The institute then pursues the evaluation of varieties, according to a larger number of criteria, including, in particular, agronomic characteristics and resistance to parasites. This evaluation, which accounts for half the trials performed on varieties and involves a large number of partners, is used for the development of recommendations of varieties adapted to particular constraints and objectives as a function of their pedoclimate, outlets and production objectives.
Experimentation involves five different activities and skills:
+ Head of the experimentation department, responsible for directing all experimental activities nationwide.
+ Technical and administrative assistant, responsible for providing the department with support concerning quality (BPE/ GEP Good Experimental Practices) and the administrative management of trials.
+ Experimentation agronomists providing not only support for the entire experimentation department, but also transverse support, with other professionals from Terres Inovia, for innovation in experimental methods and techniques.
+ Station managers, each of whom supervises the team of technicians at a particular station
+ Experimental technicians and experimental network leaders, who are responsible for trial programs.
The experimentation department works hand-in-hand with farmers. When informed of a particular problem that must be dealt with, it works on this situation by meeting farmers in the field and signing conventions with producers to set up trials. These trials provide a means of addressing diverse problems. The results of these trials are recorded in a common database and are synthetized by a researcher.
The field data are transmitted via mobile tools used in the field, but also by innovative sensors and drones.