Statistics

The phrase "Lies, damn lies, and statistics" is a reference to inaccuracies in the news media. Mathematically, the term is entirely respectable and it provides a technique for determining the accuracy of quantitatively variable data. In this sense, it is widely used in field trials for comparing many different factors, such as choice of cultivar, fertiliser use, plant spacing, and time of sowing. However, the use of statistically controlled field trials in entomology and plant pathology has led to major errors in the past because of parasite interference. Statistical analysis used to be the bane of agricultural students and agronomists, but it is now quite easy with modern computer software. Amateur breeders working with horizontal resistance will not normally need to use statistics. Stem

The part of the plant that carries the leaves and flowers. It is usually vertical, and it may be branched. An underground stem is called a rhizome.

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