Category Research

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 […]

Some people

In the previous post I mentioned traveling to northern Ohio locations to check on soybean research plots.  If you are not excited by a vast expanse of flat earth festooned with soybean field and corn field followed closely by another soybean field which is in turn followed by another corn field for mile after mile and […]

Judging Science

The Ohio State Science Day (science fair) was yesterday.  This was the 68th edition.  Not such a long time in the grander scheme of things.  But it is becoming a fine tradition. The Ohio Soybean Council has been participating several years now as an award sponsor.  I have had the pleasure of assisting OSC as a […]

Playin’ hooky

Gorgeous day out there. A bit cool this morning, but appropriate for the date.  At work we’re getting ready to get out from under the roof.  It will still be a bit before planting gets underway in a serious manner.  Still, longer days, bright sunshine, greening grass, blooming forsythia… visions of sugarplums er, I mean […]

All under a roof

Finally. The harvest of 2015 is in. And it really wasn’t a weather hampered season (for the most part). Thanksgiving with it’s attendant traveling has come and gone. Life may quiet down a bit. Well, not really. A wedding, a conference, a pile of reports to write, samples to ship, other’s results to review… Did […]

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 […]

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 […]

I AM THE GRASS

Grass                 By Carl Sandburg in Cornhuskers, 1918 Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo. Shovel them under and let me work— I am the grass; I cover all And pile them high at Gettysburg And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun. Shovel them under and let me work. Two years, ten years, and […]

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 […]

Who moved my heritability, and why should you care?

If I may be allowed to riff on Spencer Johnson’s very interesting title: ‘Who Moved My Cheese?’  let’s have a go at teasing apart a phenomenon gathering some serious interest among geneticists, and others concerned with heritability and why it so often seems to have gone missing. Missing heritability has stormed to the front of […]