Category agricultural science

Making crosses

After a long day in the sun, testing one’s fortitude in the hope of making something meaningful I retire to rest so that tomorrow we might try again. At work we are making crosses. Nope, not religious icons. We are crossing different strains of soybean. Beginning the process of developing new and better varieties for […]

To Kill a Monarch

Not exactly a Harper Lee title, nor is this a story about the run up to the first World War (Archduke Franz Ferdinand was, strictly speaking, not yet a Monarch… human or butterfly). And as we shall soon see, no monarchs were actually killed in this episode, tough some habitat was deliberately destroyed. Specialists, are […]

Weather or not

Com in, she said I’ll give ya shelter from the storm

Clem claims Climate Clever Clovers courageous – not clueless

Back in October I posted a piece on cow guts.  In it I mentioned two avenues to remediation of methane evolution from ruminant guts, the methane affecting atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and global warming (a hot topic). Due credit was given to research to modify the cows through breeding, and to changing cow rations through […]

Last call for 2018

There seems to be value in reflection; where we’ve been, what we’ve done. Positive memories bring a nostalgia and warming of the heart. Negative memories call forth a resolve to learn from mistakes or guide us toward paths which avoid repeats. The turn of the year seems as good a place as any to take […]

Cows – a gut check… and the future of beer?

The North American soybean harvest of 2018 is not yet in the books. It consumes this writer and many others as perhaps it should. It may interest many that for much of the eastern parts of the North American bread basket the harvest thus far has gone fairly well, and yields have been quite good. […]

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 […]