Category agricultural science

Linus and Lucy?

George and Martha? Bill and Hillary? Mark Antony and Cleopatra? Well, none really. But if you had to pick one of these couples, A, B, C, or D – which makes the most sense? A – Linus and Lucy; brother and sister and supposedly full sibs. The seedlings shown here are hybrid corn seedlings. Single […]

God save the crown

Not a monarchist myself. So a Shakespearean quote like: “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” doesn’t do much but set me off to scratching mine. But there is another sort of crown that I can get my head around.  This would be the crown of a plant.  And now that we stand in […]

How much is enough?

The world of global industrial agriculture is a commercial effort on a grand scale. While tempting, it really is too big a boast to suggest industrial ag might feed us all.  Clearly there are billions who feed themselves without a significant contribution from industrial ag interests.  But whether such a grandiose boast is tenable or […]

Water on my mind

No, hydrocephalus (water on the brain) isn’t where I want to go, though it too is an important subject.  Rather, let’s have a look at some environmental water issues. Too much or too little – neither case is much fun. In Louisiana for the last couple weeks now the needle has been tipped hard in […]

This and That…

The summer grinds along, and a hot one at that. Soybean breeding in central Ohio moves with the season, and for now is keeping us quite busy.  No news of note on that front. Lemuel and I are hoping the news from England is not too dire. The Small Farm Future blog has gone missing […]

One year in the mirror

This blog started out a year ago today. It has surprised and embarrassed, teased and brazened me.  I hope it hasn’t caused anyone to wonder if they’d wasted their time in stopping by. Rather than spend any further effort gazing at a navel I thought I’d revisit a story from last spring concerning cover crops.  […]

Pleasant Valley Wednesday – or Malabar in Winter

In the middle of last week I was on the road to a conference in Wooster, OH. This is not a long road trip for me, but starting with a quarter tank of gas I ended up needing more before getting there.  As I pulled off the freeway the first sign I see points off […]

If that’s leading, not sure I want to follow

Yes, very quiet on this front.  Sorry. Very quickly now – news just across the radar this morning shows Monsanto reporting less income in 2015 vs. 2014 and then in the same story their plan to cut 2,600 jobs in the coming months.  Agriculture is a tough business.  There are ups and downs.  Monsanto’s corn seed […]

Delayed gratification and the evolution of altruism

Well, as I actually don’t have any data at hand to suggest altruism may have arisen in human populations prone to accepting their gratification at some downstream point in their struggle, I’d better not lead off with that one. And my personal brand of science – plant science – really doesn’t prepare me to wax […]

Weekend follies, RNA-seq, Photosystem I, or the fate of ill-founded optimism at the hands of natural selection.

Please vote for one of the four topics listed in the title, the winner being our subject for the moment.  Well, we’re waiting… Ok, the tally please… Oh my – this is special.  It seems we have a four-way tie.  Fine then, I will endeavor to weave a piece incorporating all four subjects. Last week […]