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Probability of Obtaining Expected Results

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Posted Aug. 31, 2008

When purchasing an agricultural production input or implementing some other management practice, how often do you ask about the probability of obtaining the expected response? As Dan Childs, Noble Research Institute Agricultural Economist, spoke at the recent Texoma Pasture Conference, he showed potential economic returns from two different management practices, and he included a "percent probability of obtaining expected results" statement.

Dan's presentation started me thinking about some soil fertility research the Ag Division staff conducted during the 1970s. Total annual yields from selected treatments are shown in Table 1.

Although average yield responses to fertilizer, primarily nitrogen, were reasonable, the yield variation between years was large. If we just looked at 1972 and 1973 yields, what would we expect the yield to be in 1974? Also look at the annual variation from the four-year average. I believe this data supports the need to consider the probability of obtaining expected results from production inputs and the need for long-term research.

Agricultural Division Staff Changes
I wanted to use the remaining space to mention Agricultural Division staff changes during 2008. Jeff Ball, Matt Mattox and Evan Whitley left to pursue other opportunities. James Rogers, Ph.D., Pasture and Range Consultant on the NF-4 team, transferred to the NF-3 team as Team Manager and Pasture and Range Consultant.

Those who began employment in the Ag Division between Jan. 1 and Aug. 1 include Chance Tynes, Ag Research Assistant; Ron Clampet, Ag Technician; Dustin Oswald, Ag Economics Consultant; Barbara Harbeson, Ag Services & Resources Assistant; Maru Kering, Postdoctoral Fellow; Kevin Lynch, Ag Research Assistant; and Billi Geary, Ag Research Technician. Biographical information is available at www.noble.org/Ag.

At least two more new staff members will join us during September and they will be listed in a future article.

Soon after this edition of Ag News and Views is released, the Noble Research Institute Ag Division will experience another personnel change. After 32 years of dedicated, committed and exceptional service, Becky Kittrell, the Agricultural Division Executive Assistant, is retiring. She will certainly be missed and we wish her the best during this next stage of life.