25 October 2012

Crop Report

There is a good stand of Mexican corn.

Today I will give a brief report on the state of the crops in the part of Mexico where I live. I know there are at least a couple of regular visitors to this blog who will be interested. The vast majority of visitors will not be interested. I reveal up front what is coming in this entry so that they can move on to something else on the internet that interests them more.

Every regular visitor to this blog must know by now that every Thursday I am evicted from my own apartment by Laura so that she can clean it. I am not allowed to be under foot while she works. Today, I hopped in the pickup truck and drove out into the country to take a look at the crops.

As I have said no less than thirty times here previously, it was a good rainy season this year. The rainy season ended not too long ago. The corn is mature, and most of it looks good.

Of course not every grower is blessed equally when it comes to his soil. That is a story as old as agriculture itself. Even here, however, the grower is going to be able to take out a crop of some sort.

Good looking patches of corn were the rule out there today, not the exception.

Take a look at this vegetable field. Broccoli, I think it is, but I am not sure.

And this vineyard that is taking hold.

And this flower crop.

Next, we will go to the Ukraine to look at those crops . . . . wait a minute. No, we will not. The crops in the Ukraine have already been harvested. Next year we will go to the Ukraine to look at the crops there.

High Today:  28.9° C. (84° F.)
Low:  6.2° C. (43.2° F.)

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I cannot post an entry relating to agriculture without mentioning Norman Borlaug because of his Mexican connection. Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, was a man of Norwegian descent from the state of Iowa in the United States of America who obtained his education at the University of Minnesota. He was an agronomist and is famous for his work in Mexico with wheat, which is not grown in great quantity where I live here.

Borlaug first came to Mexico in 1944 to work with Mexican scientists and Mexican farmers on a variety of wheat that would thrive in the face of the two great problems for wheat here in Mexico, poor soil and the disease known as rust. The result of his work was a new variety of semi-dwarf, disease-resistant wheat that ultimately was used as seed for 95% of the wheat planted in Mexico. In 1963 the Mexican wheat harvest was six times what it had been when he first arrived in 1944. Mexico became fully self-sufficient in wheat production and actually became a net exporter of wheat.

Borlaug moved on to work on crops in Southeast Asia, Pakistan, and India. It is estimated that his work saved a billion people from starvation worldwide. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet, the nature of his methods has proven extremely controversial. Environmentalists have been particularly critical of his methods in terms of the side effects on the environment. Borlaug's response to these criticisms was always the same--that his critics had never themselves experienced hunger. It is a controversy that is still with us in a more heated way than ever.

Nobody has ever contended, however, that Norman Borlaug's heart was in the wrong place. There were good men in his generation of American men. Norman Borlaug died in 2009 at the age of 95.

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