By Robert Mullen, Ohio State University Extension
Now that crop harvest is winding down, many companies that conduct field experimentation will be getting out and sharing their success stories, so how can you weed through the information to find the truth?
The first thing I often say as it relates to fertilizer products (but this likely extends to other agronomic products/practices) is “if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.” The first thing to look for when evaluating yield data from field trials is to look for some information regarding how field experimentation was done. This does not require you to have a statistical background. Simple questions like – “Was the study replicated?”, “How many locations were utilized?”, “Were there any locations that did not respond positively (environmental interactions)?” To my knowledge, no agronomic practice (within reason) results in a yield increase every time it is evaluated. So if someone states, “we conducted field research on 50 fields, and we saw a yield increase every time,” be suspicious.… Continue readingRead More »