With sky-high fertilizer costs impacting farmers across the country, many are wondering how to get the most out of every pound, and if biological or synthetic additives will do what marketing companies claim they’ll do.

The folks at Progressive Farmer suggest researching these four questions to safely navigate the emerging world of new fertilizer products:

1. What specifically does this product do? Look beyond the advertising and study the ingredients, their purpose and any third-party, replicated data regarding the ingredients.

2. Is this needed on my farm? After confidently knowing what the product does, ask yourself if this is actually needed on your fields. The answer to which often comes down to a tried-and-true soil test.

3. What is the measurable goal? Are you looking to increase yields? Are you already implementing production practices that promote healthy soil? If the answer is no, adding another fertilizer product isn’t going to provide long-lasting results.

4. How will you measure that goal? Experiment on test plots and record the data. Replicate it the following year and see what happens.

Read more on experimenting with fertilizer additives here.