Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services Ltd (Cropnuts) is Africa’s leading independent laboratory for agricultural and environmental testing. The company provides soil fertility, water quality, food safety, pesticide residue, fertilizer quality, plant disease, and nematode laboratory analysis services for farmers and businesses across Africa.
Cropnuts is one of the few ISO/IEC 17025 KENAS accredited calibration laboratories in East Africa and is trusted by 75,000 smallholder farmers and over 12,000 corporates. To date the company has conducted 944 field trials to collect data on seed varieties, crop physiology, fertiliser performance, soil rejuvenation, plant protection and growth optimisation protocols.
Before using QuickTrials, trial data was captured primarily using Excel sheets. This approach worked for some time, but it resulted in trial data being collected with different structures and formats. It was sometimes difficult to find historical information or compare results between trials. Data was split across many different files and had to be manually transformed which was time consuming.
“ With QuickTrials you know people will collect data in the right way and the data will be consistent and well structured ”
“QuickTrials revolutionised how we do trials. The templates, structured data and photos have made many things much easier.”
With the switch to QuickTrials the trialling process has become a lot more streamlined. The global trait library and templates are used to set-up trials in a standardised way. Data is entered in the QuickTrials app which helps to validate the information before it is synchronised to the cloud. The trial data is now consistent, well-structured and easier to analyse.
Making changes to a trial was often a fiddly process in Excel as it could lead to referencing errors, multiple versions of files and mistakes. With QuickTrials it’s a lot simpler to change properties or timings for measurements and the updates are automatically reflected in the mobile apps. People continue to enter data in the field as directed by the app and there are no longer misunderstandings or mixed versions of files coming back.
“ Managing trials became a lot easier and less stressful, thanks to QuickTrials.”
Data available after trial completed
“ Capturing photos with QuickTrials has provided a major benefit for us. The images are also helping to improve our Advisory solution.”
QuickTrials provides a centralized solution which means all of the trial data is in one place and information is available whenever needed. New people can be given access whenever required and the trial collection and analysis process experiences fewer interruptions when people come and go between projects.
The ability to collect photos that are linked to structured data has proved to be a great asset for Cropnuts. The photos provide a qualitative improvement on the measurements being recorded and they help agronomists form a clearer picture of the crop’s progression. The photos and data also resulted in a secondary benefit by helping to improve other services offered by Cropnuts.
The comprehensive trial data collected with QuickTrials builds up a database asset for Cropnuts, which is then used for Agviza (the company’s digital advisory solution).
“ QuickTrials provides a useful management overview. We can see exactly what is happening at each of the sites and how the trials are progressing”
“ It’s great when everyone uses QuickTrials. Information is available whenever someone needs it and there’s no interruptions when people come and go.”
Agviza provides data-driven recommendations for optimum variety selection, fertilizer & foliar feed use, pest & disease control, and crop husbandry. Cropnuts is uniquely positioned to provide independent, localized, advice to farmers thanks to the data it accumulates through field trials and soil testing.
In the past, it would take about a month to consolidate the data from a trial. With QuickTrials the data is available immediately as soon as it’s been entered in the field. This means that results are available sooner and decisions can be taken earlier. This helps to speed up the process of designing trials and incorporating results into the company’s services.
“QuickTrials provides a cost-effective way to streamline operations, improve quality and build up our data assets”
The database asset created by QuickTrials is used for other services like AgViza.
Top 10 Benefits
1. Greater visibility on what is happening with all of the trials
2.Data is centralised and no longer buried in Excel sheets
3 Capturing photos has provided a great quality improvement
4. Able to onboard new people with little training required
5. Everyone collects data in the right way (consistent, validated, structured)
6. Changes to protocols or measurement practises are easier to propagate
7.Results are available immediately instead of one month later
8. The data asset generated, is used to power other services like AgViza
9.Cost effective way to streamline operations and raise data quality
10.More trials can be performed, in less time and with fewer resources
Data supported services
Cropnuts provides advisory services that are backed up by their independent trial data.