After months of anticipation, Ohio State PLOTS is available for download for both Apple and Android devices. This app provides an all-in-one tool that can be used to enhance farm management decisions.
Ohio State PLOTS was created with funding from Field to Faucet, an OSU initiative dedicated to research, education and outreach activities designed to deliver end-to-end solutions to harmful algal blooms and other water quality issues. The initiative began after the numerous algal blooms that occurred in Lake Erie, causing hundreds of thousands of residents to be without safe drinking water. Field to Faucet aims to keep farmers productive and profitable, while helping to ensure clean drinking water remains available and plentiful.
With Ohio State PLOTS, users can create on-farm trials that compare hybrids, fertilizer rates, stand counts, and more. Available to producers, OSU Extension educators, agronomist and consultants, this intuitive application provides meaningful interpretations of individual trials.
One advantageous feature of Ohio State PLOTS is the user’s ability to design basic plot layouts which can be saved and/or shared. Included in the app is a random number generator, which removes human error when developing plot layouts. In addition to the ability to generate a plot, users can log-in through the app and begin defining an experiment that compares and analyzes various response parameters (yield, hybrids, seed depth, etc.). A key component of Ohio State PLOTS is how the application statistically analyzes these parameters. Without having to be a statistician, users can review their comparison means within the Summary Report and make decisions that best fit their farm management strategy. The Summary Report contains any detailed information the user has entered regarding a specific trial, notes and photos they’ve taken throughout the growing season and all of the statistically analyzed results. Ohio State PLOTS then allows data to be shared in a Summary Report format to individuals trusted by the user such as a crop consultant, agronomists, or other producers.
By choosing the sharing functionality within the app, the summary report can be used to discuss management decisions based on the analyses of various forms of crop data. If a producer chooses not to share their trial information, the data can be stored in the cloud or exported as a .CSV file to be used in programs like Excel or Access.
As with any farm data, there is always a concern as to how the data is managed and obtained. A safety feature of Ohio State PLOTS is the log-in access. All data entered into the app while logged-in is stored and protected in the cloud through Amazon Web Service. Information can only make its way to agronomists, Extension educators or other producers if a user specifically shares that information.
We hope that when planning 2017’s crop trials growers will utilize Ohio State PLOTS to compare various treatments within their fields. Being able to compare treatments allows for growers to take a hard look at what they are actually putting on or growing in their fields. Reviewing different treatments gives the grower the ability to make meaningful and thoughtful on-farm management decisions. Ohio State PLOTS is available in the App Store and on Google Play. The app is free and is a great way to help ensure your farm remains productive and profitable, as well as aiding in making smarter choices for cleaner water. For more information on Ohio State PLOTS, please check out Ohio State Precision Ag’s website at http://fabe.osu.edu/programs/precision-ag/other. We also welcome comments and suggestions about Ohio State PLOTS to OhioStatePLOTS@gmail.com.