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Crop Science Abstract - Crop Breeding & Genetics—Note

Field Book: An Open-Source Application for Field Data Collection on Android


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 54 No. 4, p. 1624-1627
    Received: Aug 30, 2013
    Published: April 28, 2015

    * Corresponding author(s): trife@ksu.edu
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  1. Trevor W. Rife *a and
  2. Jesse A. Poland *b
  1. a Interdepartmental Genetics, Kansas State Univ., 4024 Throckmorton Hall, Manhattan KS, 66506
    b Dep. of Plant Pathology and Dep. of Agronomy, Kansas State Univ., 4008 Throckmorton Hall, Manhattan KS, 66506


Plant breeding and genetics research is an inherently data-driven enterprise. Typical experiments and breeding nurseries can contain thousands of unique entries and programs will often evaluate tens of thousands of plots each year. To function efficiently on this scale, electronic data management becomes essential. Many research programs, however, continue to operate by scribing and transcribing massive amounts of data on paper field books. While effective, this form of data management places heavy burdens on human resources, decreases data integrity, and greatly limits future utilization of data and the ability to expand the breeding program. To help address these constraints, we have developed an open-source application for electronic data capture that runs on consumer-grade Android tablets. By focusing on a simple, stand-alone application with an intuitive and customized interface, we attempt to decrease both the technological and cost barriers that hinder adoption of electronic data management in breeding programs. The simplicity of Field Book allows adoption of the technology without a steep learning curve. With low-cost, accessible solutions, the vision of one handheld per breeder can become a reality for breeding programs around the world. Transformational capacity in electronic data collection and management will be essential to realizing a contemporary green revolution.

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