Pacific Northwest Conservation
Tillage Handbook Series No. 18
Chapter 10 - New Technology Access, Adaptation and Economics, February
New Internet-Based Statistical
Analysis Software for Analyzing On-Farm Test Results
Here for the New Software!
Roger Veseth, WSU / UI Extension Conservation Tillage Specialist; and
Russ Karow, OSU Extension Agronomist and Head of OSU Crop and Soil Sciences
Growers and grower-advisers
now have Internet access to an easy-to-use, Window’s-based software
for statistical analysis of the results of simple on-farm field experiments.
The new software, called AGSTATS02, is available through the on-farm testing
of a larger Website titled: PNW Conservation Tillage Systems Information
The software was recently completed
through a grant from the Pacific Northwest STEEP (Solutions To Environmental
and Economic Problems) research and educational program on new technologies
for conservation farming systems. It was developed by a group of undergraduate
students at the Oregon State University Department of Computer Science,
in collaboration with a number of Extension specialists at OSU, Washington
State University, and University of Idaho.
While many statistical analysis programs exist, most require significant
knowledge about statistics and are not applicable for most growers and
growers advisers. The new AGSTATS02 software was developed to replace
the simple DOS-based AGSTATS program released in 1990 by PNW Extension
specialist involved in a STEEP regional on-farm testing project. Over
450 copies of this earlier software version have been distributed around
the world since the program was released. The new software was initiated
as a result of a growing interest in expanding the program to a Windows-based
environment with more user options in the statistical analysis and data
The AGSTATS02 program allows the choice of either completely randomized
or randomized complete block designs of field experiments. These are the
most common and practical designs for field trials, particularly with
field-scale equipment. The program can handle up to 16 treatments and
16 replications and allows choice of significance levels (1, 5, 10 or
20% probability) rather than the fixed 5% level used in the earlier AGSTATS
program. It uses a spreadsheet-like data entry format, and allows storage,
retrieval and printing of data files. Data is analyzed using a standard
ANOVA analysis of variance procedure. Least significant difference values
are calculated along with probability and coefficient of variation values.
The program is currently designed
primarily as a web-based software. Although an option is available to
download the program for stand-alone use, it is NOT RECOMMENDED --- except
for highly experienced computer users, since some systems configuration
files on the download computer can be changed during the AGSTATS02 software
downloading process, causing problems with running some other software
loaded on the computer. Considerable time and effort was spent trying
to create a stand-alone program that could be easily downloaded. However,
due to the great diversity of computer operating systems, Internet browsers,
and software interfaces that exist in today’s world, this was deemed
a futile effort given the limited budget and timeframe for this project.
So to be on the safe side, we recommend running AGSTATS02 on the Internet.
The program is currently
housed on a computer server at OSU and is linked to the PNW Website (http://pnwsteep.wsu.edu/onfarmtesting).
The current plan is to allow users to store data files within the program
database, since file sizes are very small and millions of files could
be stored with little space used. But, the level of use will dictate if
this is a viable long-term strategy for data management.
AGSTATS02 is still in an evolutionary
phase. Changes are being made as the glitches are discovered, but as noted
earlier, because of the great diversity in computer hardware and operating
systems in today’s world, the program will never be foolproof. The
old DOS version of this program (AGSTATS) can be downloaded from the Website.
Go to the main page toolbar and click on “Download.” Then
chose to download the MS-DOS program. This download does not change your
computer configuration, as does downloading AGSTATS02, and so is safe
to do. Two files must be transferred to your computer and must be co-located
in the same directory for the program to function. The old program is
far more restrictive than AGSTATS02 but still quite useful.
The ATSTATS02 program can be accessed at the URL address listed above.
You are encouraged to first click on “On-Farm Testing” on
the middle blue bar of the screen for a basic review of the principles
behind designing scientifically-valid, on-farm field trials. This reference,
“On-Farm Testing -- A Scientific Approach to Grower Evaluation of
New Technologies,” is a PNW Extension Conservation Tillage Handbook
Series publication that is linked from the main Website. This publication
helps to provide an overview of some of the terminology and options utilized
in the AGSTATS02 program.
A second reference section
to review before getting starting with the software can be accessed by
clicking on “Program Documentation” on the end of the middle
blue bar on the screen on the AGSTATS02 Website. Then, under the category
“General User Documentation”, review “Introduction”
and “Using AGSTATS02.”
To run the AGSTATS02 program
on the Internet, click on “RUN IT” on the blue bar. You will
be prompted for a login name and password. If you have not used the software,
click on “New to AGSTATS02? Register Now!” You will receive
an automated e-mail notification with your registration information. Save
the e-mail copy for future reference on your “Login” name
and “Password” to use AGSTATS02 in the future. If you have
problems getting past this dialog box, you may need to download a newer
version of your Internet browser. Once in the software program, you can
simply follow the directions provided.
We hope the AGSTATS02 software
will facilitate new opportunities to develop on-farm trials and more accurately
analyze the results.
Conservation Tillage Handbook Series publications are jointly produced
by University of Idaho Cooperative Extension System, Oregon State University
Extension Service and Washington State University Cooperative Extension.
Similar crops, climate, and topography create a natural geographic unit
that crosses state lines in this region. Joint writing, editing, and
production prevent duplication of effort, broaden the availability of
faculty, and substantially reduce costs for the participating states.
The Pacific Northwest Conservation Tillage Handbook is a large, three-ring
binder handbook that is updated with new and revised Handbook Series
publications. It was initiated in 1989 as a PNW Extension publication
in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Updates to the Handbook are provided
when the updating card is returned. By May of 2002, 58 new PNW Conservation
Tillage Handbook Series have been added to the original 98. Copies of
the complete Handbook are available for $20 through county extension
offices in the Northwest or ordered directly by calling state extension
publication offices: Idaho -- (208) 885-7982; Oregon -- (541)-737-2513;
Washington -- (509) 335-2999 (some shipping and handling charges and
sales tax may apply).
It's now accessible on the Internet! All of the PNW Conservation Tillage
Handbook and Handbook Series are on the Internet home page (http://pnwsteep.wsu.edu)
Pacific Northwest STEEP III Conservation Tillage Systems Information
Source. The home page also contains recent issues of the PNW STEEP III
Extension Conservation Tillage Update, listings of other conservation
tillage information resources, coming events and much more. For more
information on the Handbook or other Web site information, contact Roger
Veseth, WSU/UI Conservation Tillage Specialist, Plant Soil and Entomological
Sciences Department, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-2339, phone
208-885-6386, FAX 208-885-7760, e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
programs and policies comply with federal and state laws and regulations
on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, gender, national origin,
religion, age, disability, and sexual orientation. The University of
Idaho Cooperative Extension System, Oregon State University Extension
Service and Washington State University Cooperative Extension are Equal