Category Plant breeding

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 […]

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 […]

Globalizing home sweet home

Globalization. Heady stuff. Not for the faint of heart.  But there is much all around us to challenge the faint of heart.  So let’s not be too quickly put off by the challenges of globalization. Here’s a different aspect – is globalization just a spot on a continuum? First Homo sapiens settled parts of Africa.  […]

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 […]

Am I stupid?

Let’s dispense with pretense. I am stupid. Stupid is as stupid does; life IS a box of chocolates. Now let’s move on. There are quite a few of us huddled together on this planet these days. Projections are there will likely be quite a few more in due course. Some people have suggested this is […]

Perennially using annuals

If one takes a peak at the Blogroll here they find the very first blog mentioned belongs to Chris Smaje who writes Small Farm Future.  Chris is a recovering academic working a small farm in Somerset, UK with his family.  I think the world is a better place for what Chris and team have accomplished […]

Allocating resourcefully

“So what do you do in the winter?”  This question typically comes up in a discussion of what my job entails.  Agricultural research, and more specifically plant science, is not too difficult to describe over a cup of coffee.  Though I will admit the conversation has changed over the course of my career as fewer […]

Strawberry Fields Forever

John Lennon wrote: “Nothing is real/And nothing to get hung about” John was from England.  Apparently some folks in California didn’t share his philosophy.  Indeed their discord had risen to a point where they ended up in court.  The University of California, Davis got into it with the California Strawberry Commission (CSC).  At least no one […]