Category agricultural science

An Ooops, or Gonzo Marketing?

Crop production is big business.  Whether you farm several thousand acres, or keep a kitchen garden, your effort to produce plants places you in the enviable cause of helping to feed the 7 billion.  Right in line behind the folks in the fields there is a support industry manufacturing everything from equipment, fertilizers, pesticides, seeds, […]

Five gallons of death

That sounds pretty yucky.  And it should.  Hidden within this bucket are almost five full gallons of dead Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica).  These insects are serious herbivores and in significant numbers can render serious harm. In the face of an outbreak of these fiendish little coleopterans one might choose to spray chemicals, deploy pheromone traps, […]

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 […]