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Re: The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned [#permalink]
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MrSobe17 wrote:
C.)Some of the enzymes in the special mix multiply the growth of a bacteria that feeds on the young barley plants.

I haven't watched the video, but here is my explanation.

Argument: "Plan: In an effort to support these barley growers, two years ago, the NFA began a program of sending them, each autumn, a free special mix of fertilizer and enzymes designed to multiply barley yield, to be applied the following spring during first growth."

If there is a bacteria that feeds on the young barley plants and you give this bacteria enough time to grow in its size, then you have a problem. So by following the government advice and applying the special mix only the following spring, the bacteria is given enough time to grow and endanger the crop.



If C is the paradox, can some one explain why was barley experiment successful in lab.

To choose C as answer, we need to make strong assumption that - this so called bacteria don't grow in lab but only grow in farms - and i don't think we need to assume things for solving a paradox.

I dont agree with the OA. But i feel none of the options are relevant.
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Re: The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned [#permalink]
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C is definitely the right answer. We're looking for some new information that could explain why the plan didn't help. If the special mix has a negative effect aside from the positive one, that could explain the problem. This doesn't require us to assume anything. Clearly, if it worked well under laboratory conditions, either the harmful bacteria was not present (entirely plausible) or something else in the laboratory conditions kept it from being a problem. In a CR problem, we don't even need to get into all that, and we certainly don't want to question the plausibility of this happening. We simply accept the given premises (the mix worked in the lab, everyone used it, but no one is better off financially). Once we accept all that, we just look for some reason for the continued trouble--the right answer could have been any source of financial trouble: invaders from another galaxy ate all the barley, every single barley grower was robbed by a team of hackers . . . it really doesn't matter what it is. We just need to know why the plan didn't leave the growers better off.

A, B, and E all require tremendous assumptions on our part. Is it bad not to use other fertilizer, or to have the mix sit in a truck for days? Perhaps, but we don't know, so it's impossible to say if this information makes any difference. D expands on what we already know--the barley growers were in financial trouble--but it does nothing to help us understand why they are no better off now that the plan has been put into action.
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Re: The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned [#permalink]
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vards wrote:
The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned over the last decade with the struggles of barley growers.
Plan: In an effort to support these barley growers, two years ago, the NFA began a program of sending them, each autumn, a free special mix of fertilizer and enzymes designed to multiply barley yield, to be applied the following spring during first growth. This mix had been stunningly successful in multiplying the yield of barley in laboratory conditions.
Results: Most barley growers reported little change in their economic status over this two year period.
Further information: All barley growers received the shipments, and all used them. Weather conditions have been fair to optimal for barley growth over the past two years.

In light of the further information, which of the following, if true, does most to explain the result that followed the implementation of the plan?

A.)During these two years, most of the barley growers reported using no other fertilizer besides the special mix sent by the government.


B.)The trucks that drove the special mix from the depot in Wisconsin to the individual farms sometime took as much as 4 or 5 days.


C.)Some of the enzymes in the special mix multiply the growth of a bacteria that feeds on the young barley plants.


D.)This program was implemented at a time when more than half of barley growers nationwide were reported barely breaking even in their yearly expenses.


E.)This was the second such NFA program to aid barley growers; the first one, 14 years ago, was started with high hopes, but did little to change their situation.


ALL THE BEST EVRYONE..HOPE U ALL GET IT RIGHT...



Hi all,
Are there obfuscators in GMAT tutors?
are there those who deliberately try to teach the students by giving them wrong lessons?
I dont get how Magoosh or whatever could say that the question above has C as an answer.
the paradox was that an improved yield did not improve economic situation.
then an option that says that worms eat the plant when they are young becomes the right answer...was the question, "WHICH OPTION DESTROYS THE FURTHER INFORMATION PROVIDED?"
:( :?: :problem: :no :no
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Re: The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned [#permalink]
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DmitryFarber wrote:
C is definitely the right answer. We're looking for some new information that could explain why the plan didn't help. If the special mix has a negative effect aside from the positive one, that could explain the problem. This doesn't require us to assume anything. Clearly, if it worked well under laboratory conditions, either the harmful bacteria was not present (entirely plausible) or something else in the laboratory conditions kept it from being a problem. In a CR problem, we don't even need to get into all that, and we certainly don't want to question the plausibility of this happening. We simply accept the given premises (the mix worked in the lab, everyone used it, but no one is better off financially). Once we accept all that, we just look for some reason for the continued trouble--the right answer could have been any source of financial trouble: invaders from another galaxy ate all the barley, every single barley grower was robbed by a team of hackers . . . it really doesn't matter what it is. We just need to know why the plan didn't leave the growers better off.

A, B, and E all require tremendous assumptions on our part. Is it bad not to use other fertilizer, or to have the mix sit in a truck for days? Perhaps, but we don't know, so it's impossible to say if this information makes any difference. D expands on what we already know--the barley growers were in financial trouble--but it does nothing to help us understand why they are no better off now that the plan has been put into action.


YOUR EXPLANATIONS ARE GREAT. C destroys the conclusion that the yield got improved in real life. now there are many questions like this in gmat that lets us make some assumptions. why is this one different all of a sudden?
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Re: The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned [#permalink]
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Nez, it's true that GMAT questions can vary slightly in the amount of real-world knowledge or common sense we have to apply to them. However, incorrect answers will usually require us to add something that simply isn't known, or to construct a whole elaborate narrative that may or may not be true. When in doubt, eliminate the most outrageous answers and then take another look at the remaining choices. If one answer seems to work but has one element that you don't feel 100% about, that should be the right choice.

Then, when you review, take the time to verify why each choice is right or wrong. If you find that you missed a problem, accept that there is something you overlooked. Don't give in to your initial instinct to say "The world has gone crazy! Everyone else is wrong!" (I know all about that.) Rather, take extra care to understand the reasoning behind the correct choice as well as the reasons to eliminate the answer you chose.
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Re: The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned [#permalink]
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DmitryFarber wrote:
Nez, it's true that GMAT questions can vary slightly in the amount of real-world knowledge or common sense we have to apply to them. However, incorrect answers will usually require us to add something that simply isn't known, or to construct a whole elaborate narrative that may or may not be true. When in doubt, eliminate the most outrageous answers and then take another look at the remaining choices. If one answer seems to work but has one element that you don't feel 100% about, that should be the right choice.

Then, when you review, take the time to verify why each choice is right or wrong. If you find that you missed a problem, accept that there is something you overlooked. Don't give in to your initial instinct to say "The world has gone crazy! Everyone else is wrong!" (I know all about that.) Rather, take extra care to understand the reasoning behind the correct choice as well as the reasons to eliminate the answer you chose.


Thanks Mr Farber
It's a shame I missed something.. a word (laboratory)
I saw it in the afternoon after your comment.
But was too embarrassed to acknowledge.
The miss was a blessing in disguise.
I learnt something deep.
And it's in my error log.
"the lab effect" which limits the variables affecting the phenomenon under test.
Thanks again, DmitryFarber. Awesome name that.
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Re: The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned [#permalink]
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If the material added to the barley fields included an enzyme that multiplied the growth of a bacteria that fed on the barley, that would explain how something involved in the plan itself had the counteractive effect of inhibiting the success of the barley plants, which in turn would explain why the barley didn't grow and why the barley growers were no better off as a result of this plan.

Hence C
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Re: The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned [#permalink]
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Official Explanation


The scenario presents us with a paradox. Both the plan and the further information seem to suggest reasons that the barley crop would have taken off, giving tremendous economic benefit to the barley growers, but the "results" section tells us this didn't happen. We need some further piece of information that would explain why, despite all the apparently favorable conditions, the barley didn't grow.

(C) is the credited answer. If the material added to the barley fields included an enzyme that multiplied the growth of a bacteria that fed on the barley, that would explain how something involved in the plan itself had the counteractive effect of inhibiting the success of the barley plants, which in turn would explain why the barley didn't grow and why the barley growers were no better off as a result of this plan.

(A) if anything would make us expect that the plan would have been a success, so it certainly doesn't explain why it wasn't successful.

(B) is irrelevant: the fertilizer & enzyme mix is sent in autumn to be used in the spring. That's a delay of 4-5 months, so the extra 4-5 days the truck takes will make no difference.

(D) underscores the nature of the problem the NFA was trying to solve --- yes, it was a big problem. Unfortunately, this doesn't at all explain why the plan didn't work. The mix sent to the farmers was free, so there were no additional expenses for the farmers associated with this plan. Therefore, the economic standing of the farmers has no bearing on whether the barley would grow.

(E) is an argument by analogy. Fourteen years ago, the NFA had a plan that didn't work, so that's why this plan didn't work. This is a very weak attempt at explanation. There is absolutely no guarantee that whatever caused the failure of the plan 14 years ago had any influence on the implementation of the current plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I chose answer choice D, and I don't understand why C is the best option. Can you explain a bit more?

A: We are told that this special mix "had been stunningly
successful in multiplying the yield of barley in laboratory
conditions." Therefore, it is reasonable for us to assume that the mix
should increase the yield of barley in the field, unless we are
told other information that would contradict it. It would therefore be
unreasonable for us to assume that the special mix would not increase
the yield at all, again unless we are told some other piece of information.

The reason C is the best answer choice here is somewhat subtle, but the reason D is incorrect is pretty straightforward, so let's start with D and then return to C.

So in this question, we're being asked which answer choice best
explains the paradox we're given. The paradox is that, even though the
barley farmers all received and used the fertilizer given to them by the
NFA, and even though that fertilizer was very successful in multiplying
barley yields in the lab, for some reason "most barley growers reported little change in their economic status over this two year period."

In other words, we are being asked to select the answer choice that best explains why the barley growers' economic situation didn't improve. So, that's the criteria we need to use when evaluating each of the answer choices we're given.

So let's look at D:

"This program was implemented at a time when more than
half of barley growers nationwide were reported barely breaking even in their yearly expenses."

This might sound like it a possible reason because it might seem like the fertilizer could have played some role in causing this economic hardship among the barley growers.

However, the "Results" have already told us that there was little change in the farmers' economic status during this time period:

"Most barley growers reported little change in their economic status over this two year period."

And because the economic status did not significantly change
during this period, we can therefore confidently rule out D.

So now let's look at why C is correct. Here's C:

"Some of the enzymes in the special mix multiply the growth of a bacteria that feeds on the young barley plants."

Here we are given some new information to work with.
And the new information we're given is that some enzymes in the
fertilizer cause a bacteria to multiply that likes to eat barley plants. This could certainly be the reason that explains the paradox.

In other words, we are told in the passage only that the fertilizer is successful in the lab in multiplying the barley yield. But we are NOT told whether the fertilizer also multiplies something else. But in choice C, we ARE told that the fertilizer multiples something else. And that something else is a bacteria that would directly counteract the fertilizer's benefits, therefore producing a more neutral overall (or net) effect on the barley yield for the farmers.

Q: If the answer is C, then how-come the lab testing gave stunning result? Shouldn't this show up on the lab test?

A: The key here is thinking about the difference between laboratory conditions and real world conditions. In a laboratory, everything is likely clean, sterile, and controlled. Therefore, there is a good chance that a bacteria that is common on actual farms is not in the laboratory. Therefore, there is actually a good chance that results will differ between a laboratory and the real world! Just because a certain outcome occurs in one environment, does not mean that the same outcome will occur in all environments: we cannot guarantee the same growth conditions.
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Re: The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned [#permalink]
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I dont understand why the correct answer is C. It doesnt talk about the expenses. Plus , laboratory test showed that the mix gave extra yield, so if the components of the mix havenot changed until the sowing time, how come there will be enzymes that cause bacteria.

Furthermore, what about yield is low but price is high. It definitely compensates the expenses.

I dont still understand , how the mix proven to be high yield in laboratory can contain enzymes that cause bacteria in fields, but not in laboratory conditions

Please experts, :please: :please: :please: help me out!!!
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Re: The National Farm Administration (NFA) has been concerned [#permalink]
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Xolmuhammad wrote:
I dont understand why the correct answer is C. It doesnt talk about the expenses. Plus , laboratory test showed that the mix gave extra yield, so if the components of the mix havenot changed until the sowing time, how come there will be enzymes that cause bacteria.

Furthermore, what about yield is low but price is high. It definitely compensates the expenses.

I dont still understand , how the mix proven to be high yield in laboratory can contain enzymes that cause bacteria in fields, but not in laboratory conditions

Please experts, :please: :please: :please: help me out!!!


Hi Muhammad

It is not necessary to factor in expenses here. The paradox is that despite using the fertilizer-enzyme mix designed to multiply yield, farmers did not report any change in their economic status. Expenses can be one explanation but not the only one possible.

Working in laboratory conditions and out in the open are very different things. Crops in the open are exposed to a variety of environmental and biological factors (such as pests, climate etc.) which may not be a factor in the labs. Any of these may fester growth in bacteria that feed on the barley plants. The key is in identifying that laboratory results are not always replicable in the open.

Hope this helps.
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