Few Useful Tips For CropStat or IRRISTAT Program

There are several programs (software), free or paid, available for analysis of data generated from agricultural field and laboratory experiments.

Each program has its merits and demerits. International Rice Research Institute's Biometric Division developed a DOS based program called "IRRISTAT" during nineties that was simple and easy to use and also very efficient in analyzing the data. However, it has few limitations like more time requirement for data management and need of floppy drive for storage of data. It had problems in storing data in drive C.

Developers of dos based IRRISTAT released Windows based IRRISTAT that was very useful and faster than DOS based program. After sometime, IRRI developed program for analysis of data in collaboration with CIMMYT and named it 'CropStat'.

It resembled IRRISTAT in functionality and use. Experts believe that CropStat is advanced version of IRRISTAT. It may be downloaded from the 'Downloads' section of IRRI website or clicking "Download CropStat". Its a virus free zip file and a warning may be displayed that file can not be scanned due to large size. It may be scanned for further verification after downloading to download folder.

A brief description of the program and its different modules would help users decide whether program may serve their specific purpose or not.

Different modules of the program include modules related to data management, randomization and layout, descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, G X E interactions, quantitative trait loci analysis, pattern, regression and correlation analysis etc.

IRRISTAT or CropStat program worked well with old versions of Windows. Problems in installation and use of CropStat cropped up after release of Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Data Editor did not work well with WIndows Vista or later Windows Versions. Data Editor is a utility of the CropStat that helps in data management. Data may be directly fed using it or imported from an existing EXCEL file using 'Data Editor'.

However, this program fails to open properly even after installation of "CropStat " program correctly. This problem may be overcome following the instructions shown below.

CropStat 7.2 is the latest version that may be downloaded from IRRI website. It is available freely and size of the program is 19.1 MB. Tutorial may also be downloaded for reference in future. Click the zip file after completion of download and install it following the instructions of the installer.

As said earlier, "Data Editor" module of the program may show error when one tries to open it and program is installed on systems running Windows Vista or Windows 7. After CropStat is installed, it will create a directory named "CropStat" in the Program Files. Look for CropStat in the "CropStat 7.2" directory under 'Program Files'.

Address or path of the CropStat will be similar to: C:\Program Files\CropStat7.2.\CropStat. After finding "CropStat", right click on the file and choose Run as administrator and select 'Allow'. After this, 'Data Editor' will run on any version of the Windows (32 bits).

Data Editor is capable of importing MS Excel data. This is the most convenient way to manage data for analysis using CropStat 7.2.

To import data from an Excel sheet using 'Data Editor' module, create a sheet with raw data arranged in a particular manner. Assign string variables in first 2-3 columns followed by numeric variables.

String variables are variables that are described using text. Variable names are assigned in first row called header row. Always use symbol $ after variable name like "METHOD$", otherwise Data Editor won't be able to import your data from Excel worksheet.

Earlier versions of program used to import sheet 1 as default but CropStat asks the users to select sheet from the workbook. Hence, data may be arranged on any sheet of the workbook.

Once data is imported it will be automatically saved by the 'Data Editor' module that may be used for further analysis. Readers must consult "Tutorial" provided as pdf file.

If tutorial is not available with the download, it may be separately downloaded. After accomplishing tasks described above, CropStat program may be conveniently used by authors.

One more common problem is encountered by users in creation of 'gfc' file using "Analysis" minu. As per the steps involved, one has to save an imported MS Excel file as'.sys' file. Let us assume that a file is saved as data.sys file by "Data Editor" module of the CropStat. After saving sys file, it has to be analysed using analysis. For analysis to do, a '.gfc' file has to be created based on the data stored in 'sys'file.

To accomplish this task, one has to click on "Analysis" minu and select "Balanced ANOVA Analysis". It will prompt to create new gfc file. One has to exercise care in this step and provide a name other than the sys file created earlier by "Data Editor".

When a new file name is provided, it will save it and ask the name of sys file immediately after saving the 'gfc' file. If same name (name of sys file) is provided instead of giving a different name for gfc file, it will select the name of sys file as gfc file. It may create problem and show error message like "HI-not a valid integar" etc. and create problems.

One can not move further if a correct "gfc" file is not created. Hence, one should provide a different name for gfc file than the sys file to carry out the data analysis.

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