Waves of grain

My car packed with too many clothes, an extremely terrified cat and a live Kombucha culture, I headed west to my summer field site. Oddly enough, my summer field site is also where I grew up. The endless waves of grain remind me of my labor-intensive childhood detasseling corn,1 walking beans2 and bucking bales.3  I …

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Why GMOs matter

[Andy writes…] There’s a debate raging in some corners of the internet regarding how we should view genetic modification of plants in our world. We can all agree that a healthy food supply and a clean environment are top priorities, but how GMOs fit in is not always clear. Earlier this week I was in the …

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Remembering 9/11

I’m going to take a “time out” from the usual September theme today to remember what I was doing 15 years ago on September 11. I had gone into my office at Purdue University a little earlier than usual, and I was busily working on something that dealt with a front page story in the …

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What I actually do

So if you remember from previous blogs, my research project is attempting to find differences is in the soil-microbial community between corn, rice (grasses) and soy (a legume). Global soybean trade, specifically soybeans from Brazil and the USA, are being imported by China; these imports are cheaper than domestically produced soybeans, thus driving out China’s …

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2014 MSU Weed Tour Review

Yesterday’s 2014 MSU Weed Tour was yet another successful event, with over 230 people in attendance. Thank you to all of you whom attended and to the many people in front and behind the scenes who made it all possible. Please enjoy a few photos of the event below. The plot signs will probably remain …

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Among the World-Feeders

I spent a couple of days last week amongst folks who are diligently at work developing new crops. They are after new varieties that do well in the dry conditions farmers may experience during climate change, and they’re working on varieties that resist disease, too. And then there are the longstanding enemies: weeds and insect …

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Wes Jackson

I could go on for quite a while about Wes Jackson. Wes runs The Land Institute in Salina, KS. He has fathered and promoted a number of ideas for improving food and farming over his career. Take the “sunshine farm” as a for-instance. The driving idea is that a farm gets an energy boost from …

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