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3 steps to cost-effective PD trials

September 9, 2023
Chaïma C.
Agronomy engineer

3 steps to cost-effective PD trials

Multi-Environment PD Trials are the best way –if not the only – to forecast the performance of your varieties in the target area… as long as locations represent well the growing conditions of the market,and that’s not a piece of cake!

To ensure result accuracy, your field trial network must meet three cornerstones:

  • Representativity: Does your field trial network reflect well the diversity of environments in your target area?
  • Contrast: Among your target area,several conditions vary. Does your field trial network withhold the same variations?
  • Homogeneity: Do you ensure low field variability? This will reduce the plot effect and make your results more accurate.

Now you wonder how to save time and reduce testing costs? Let’s see in detail what can lead you in 3 steps to cost-efficient PD trials:

  • Spatial analysis to maximize the potential of every location
  • Choose your locations for cost- efficient PD trials
  • Valorize data and resources and make the most of your PD trials
field trial network cornerstones 3 steps to cost-effective PD
The 3 pillars of accurate PD trials

1.   Spatial analysis for cost- efficient PD trials

Major statistician of the XX’s century, collaborator of Fisher on population distribution, Snedecor has paved the way for ANOVA and experimental design. He used to say:

“Elaborate statistics are not substitute for meticulous experimentation.” G. W. Snedecor

Spatial analysis ensures reliable results of PD trials. When you know the growing conditions in every field, you make the most of each location.

1.1.  Record Field Trial Network characteristics

Environment characteristics, also known as experiment metadata, can be captured on every location by field operators, IoT devices, drones and imported from satellite image analysis:

  • Environmental parameters such as climate, soil, or topography.
  • Experimental design characteristics: plot surface, number of rows, orientation.
  • Sowing information; Technical itinerary and human responsibilities.

External data capture systems can be integrated to your system, such as GPS data, drone data or even weather station data. Good integration with a software as Bloomeo ensures information is standardized and available in real time.

1.2.  GxE: Where does your material yield best in your trial network?

Analysis of Variance, aka ANOVA, is commonly used to compare genotypes, varieties, treatments,and locations in your experiment. GxE gives insight on the results without environment and genetic bias, it tells you for instance if a material is sensible to environment variation, and in which location some material grows the best.

When integrated in your PD software, you learn more on your locations: In some fields you get more disease, drought, and some yield more. Calculation can be done over several years for higher accuracy. Then you select successful varieties among your most promising material throughout the whole trial network.

With Bloomeo you can visualize for instance histograms of all the locations sorted by environmental effect.

map of trial network bloomeo PD trials cost-efficient
Build up your PD trials with Bloomeo

1.3.  Optimize your trial network?

GXE studies give keys to qualify your trial network : identify locations with similar responses or some with very different characteristics. If the two first points highlighted above - location characteristics and GXE effects on our population studied -are finely tracked it is the good start to optimize your PD network and make match with market target.

Avoiding to make trials in locations where responses are the same will make you save costs. Give preference to more trials in more diverse places. It will give more information on the variety characteristics.

In that ambition, predictive tools can be an important support for PD teams. Predictions on locations where the variety has not been planted… it gives you ideas, right ? This is not a fantasy. Bloomeo respond to these ambitions.

2.   Choose your locations for cost- efficient PD trials

A good choice of fields and environments to evaluate your agricultural product is important to succeed in your testing objective. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision.

1.1.  Choose locations to get insightful MET results

To obtain reliable and representative results, it is important to test your product in a diverse range of fields that represent the variability you may encounter in the actual production environment (drainage, previous crop history…).

Choosing adequate locations reduces the cost of your testing program and ensures cost-efficient PD trials. For example, testing fields in remote areas may be more expensive to access than testing fields in more accessible areas. It is important to factor in the cost of transportation, labor, and other logistical expenses when choosing the location of your testing fields.

Analytical tools such as Bloomeo can help you indecision of locations to avoid some locations with similar responses and to maximize the diversity of environmental factors evaluated to measure the impact on material performances.

2.2.  Make sure locations match with your target

🎯 Species and agronomic zones

Plant species have specific preferences for temperature, sunlight, and other environmental factors. Consider the agronomic zones where plants will be grown and choose fields within those zones.

The agronomic zones must be representative of market segments or production areas to better address the target.To have a precise view on market segment, check How to secure the launch of your varieties. Then, we must stick on the criteria defined on the market segment, even if it may be frustrating for the teams. A product manager told you once that you can have the more beautiful tomato with a great yield, but if it’s caliber is not the one expected by the market, you would have no chance to succeed your variety launch.

🎯 Culture type target

Greenhouses provide a controlled environment whereas open fields expose your plants to the natural environment. Depending on your goals and the characteristics of your product, you may choose to test in one or both settings.

🎯 Soil testing

Soil testing provides valuable information about soil fertility, pH levels, nutrient content, and potential limitations or imbalances. This helps you choose your fields, soil amendments and management practices.

🎯 Distribution network

Partnering with local contractors and agri-testers reveals the performance of your portfolio in the very conditions of production. Distribution network is a must-have to ensure the success of your varieties in specific regions or countries!

Doriane supports you in all phases of PD trials management from planning to executionand analysis.
For more information, read how to
Select the best varieties with bloomeo.
How to succeed cost-efficient PD trials
Steps for cost- efficient PD trials

2.3.  From fields to profit: Reach ROI with cost-efficient PD trials

        ==> Optimize the number of testing fields

The number of testing fields should be determined based on your budget, resources,specific goals, but it is also correlated with the concentration of agri-testers in that region. Striking a balance between the number of fields and the cost will help ensure an optimal return on investment (ROI) for your testing efforts.

Here are  few tips to ensure a good return on investment (ROI):

  • Use a sound testing protocol: A well-designed testing protocol will help you to get the most of your field trials. The protocol should clearly define the objectives of the trials, the methodology to be used, and the data that will be collected. Field mapping is also key for analyzing and interpreting the data.
  • Monitor your results: Identify any potential problems early on and adjust your testing protocol as needed. Get the most out of your investment in field trials. Bloomeo allows you to get and monitor on-time data, meaning you can have a view every day on the data collected on field by your partner or by your teams.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of getting a good ROI when choosing testing fields for your agricultural product.

return on investment product development trials
Investment index ensures cost-efficient PD trials

Bloomeo integrates dashboards for data monitoring which will help PD managers in optimizing their PD network answering the questions :

  • Does any data captured is valorized?
  • Am I sure I don’t have trials which gives too much similar responses ?
  • Am I sure to retrieve results from every locations planned ?

3.   Maximize the use of resources for cost-efficient PD trials

We will now detail the optimization of human resources with time saving and comfort of work and the optimization of data captured which represent an important asset to valorize.

3.1.  Structure team work for cost- efficient PD trials

Coordinating the efforts of field operators, technicians, and managers across multiple locations and trials can be a daunting task.

The PD team faces many challenges to get the full operations on track:

  • Do they have a trial network enough sized or does it represent a too large geographic area?
  • Should they outsource more trials by third party contractors or partners to decrease the operational work of the team and the fixed costs?
  • Can the team spend enough time dedicated to each trial?

Bloomeo dynamic Gantt and Kanban dashboards provide at-a-glance insights into trial timelines and task statuses. dashboarding on the operations made by the team and the partners.

Gantt charts help to visualize the sequential flow of activities and identify bottlenecks to make informed adjustments. This clear vision on task dependencies and timelines enables you to pinpoint cost-reduction opportunities:Potential delays, resource mis-allocations… and keep your project on budget.

On the other hand, Kanban boards provide a more agile view of tasks, allowing teams to manage their work in a fluid, visual manner. Make the most of your resources by dynamically reallocating them to areas that need immediate attention. This agility translates into significant cost savings as you reduce the risk of overspending or resource wastage.

3.2.  Maximize the potential of every data collected

Gathering data represents a substantial investment in resources and time. Not in vain: when every data point gets centralized and validated (identification of outliers),  data becomes an asset ensuring informed decision-making:

  • Standardized trait data from the PD testing fields allow you to evaluate materials
  • Metadataon locations, weather, etc. enhance the accuracy of variety comparisons
  • KeyPerformance Indicators (KPIs) from task dashboards help organize teamwork
  • PD Activity KPIs give insight on optimizations that might impact cost-efficiency

Data arises from every process of your product development activity. With Bloomeo you get the opportunity to valorize it. For instance, automatic identification of outliers guarantees trustful results.

3.3.  Centralize, standardize, optimize resources and costs

At Sollio Agriculture, the greatest agriculture cooperative in Canada, the agronomy department is equipped with RnDExp™ plant breeding software from Doriane. Mrs Roxanne Henrie, researcher, acknowledges the benefits of a central standardized IT system:

« We have realized it especially when tele-work became necessary during the sanitary crisis. The process vision enables to automate and manage every step, every task of a program. And since all the data is in the same database, we always know the advancement of the tasks, and we can react very fast if necessary. For instance, if a technician is sick, or when some program requires more work for seedlings. Standardized tools also facilitate training since all the teams use the same tools and the same database.»

With Bloomeo, your team's efforts are not just efficient; they are cost-efficient,ultimately contributing to a higher return on investment. In today's competitive landscape, making the most of your data is not just a strategic advantage - it's a financial imperative.


In the ever-evolving landscape of seed product development, success hinges on making informed decisions and optimizing resources. At Doriane, we understand the complexities of seed variety testing,and that's why we've developed Bloomeo.

By focusing on spatial analysis, strategic location selection, and data standardization, Bloomeo helps you achieve cost- efficient PD trials.

We've explored the three essential steps to cost- efficient PD trials, with Bloomeo as your invaluable ally. Our journey began by emphasizing the significance of multi-environment PD trials and the role of spatial analysis, location selection, and data standardization.

Bloomeo goes further, optimizing human resources, ensuring every effort contributes to a higher ROI. Bloomeo simplifies this complexity. It allows you to strategically allocate tasks, remove bottlenecks, and streamline workflows, all with cost-efficiency in mind.

Harness the power of Bloomeo to streamline your product development process.

With Bloomeo, you're not just managing data;you're shaping the future of your seed products.

Join hands with our experienced team and embark on a journey towards smarter, more profitable product development. Connect with our experts today, learn how bloomeo can transform your product development and increase the success rate of your variety launches 🌱🚀

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