Improve Your Plant Study: 3 Types of Environmental Data You May Be Missing

You may be missing key insights about the true environment of your plant study.  Application expert Holly Lane teaches how to better understand the environment your plants are growing in and the stresses they're exposed to.


What data are you missing?

As a plant researcher, you need to effectively assess crop performance, whether it’s yield or disease resistance. But if you’re only measuring weather data, you might be missing key performance indicators in your variety trials. Understanding the full picture of the environment will make it easier to select the right varieties to advance—and avoid wasting resources on advancing bad selections.

To accurately assess plant stress tolerance, you must first characterize all environmental stressors. For example, drought studies are notoriously difficult to replicate because of high weather variability. Precipitation data is not enough to assess drought. You need a tool to quantify drought at the soil level.

Get better, more accurate conclusions

It’s important for your environmental data to accurately represent the environment of your site. That means not only capturing the right parameters but choosing the right tools to capture them. In this 30-minute webinar, application expert Holly Lane discusses how to improve your current data and what data you may not be collecting that will optimize and improve the quality of your plant study. Find out:

  • How to know if you’re asking the right questions
  • Are you using the right atmospheric measurements? And are you measuring weather in the right location?
  • Which type of soil moisture data is right for the goals of your research or variety trial
  • How to improve your drought study, why precipitation data is not enough, and why you don’t need to be a soil scientist to leverage soil data
  • How to use soil water potential
  • How accurate your equipment should be for good estimates
  • Key concepts to keep in mind when designing a plant study in the field
  • What ancillary data you should be collecting to achieve your goals

Next steps


Our scientists have decades of experience helping researchers and growers measure the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. 


  • Lane, Holly M., and Seth C. Murray. "High Throughput can produce better decisions than high accuracy when phenotyping plant populations." Crop Science. (Article link)


Holly Lane has a BS in agricultural biotechnology from Washington State University and an MS in plant breeding from Texas A&M, where she focused on phenomics work in maize. She has a broad range of experience with both fundamental and applied research in agriculture and worked in both the public and private sectors on sustainability and science advocacy projects. Through the tri-societies, she advocated for agricultural research funding in DC. Currently, Holly is an application expert and inside sales consultant with METER Environment.

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