ON THE FARM: Progress hops along

Glenn Ells
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Since last I wrote, the soil moisture situation has greatly improved. The air temperature has also improved and all the plants are smiling.

During the past week, a few of our hop vines have continued their climb up the baler twine strings and have reached the cable which I about 15 feet above the ground. It will be interesting to see where they go next. They could go along the cable or follow the string over the top and down the other side to meet the other vine coming up. They don’t seem to be interested in the downward direction and are still moving upwards into the air, where there is nothing to wrap around. I’m betting on a cable crawl, while could make harvesting interesting, because we thought that it would be simple to just cut the twine and everything would fall to the ground. We should have suspected the harvest would be more complicated than that. “Live and learn” will apply, as it does with everything in farming – and life, too.

There is so much more to learn and understand now than when I was a college student. I remember the excitement at McGill University when DNA was discovered and our professors were trying to understand what this would mean and how quickly it would benefit our industry and mankind. I suppose that was three generation ago, since my grandchildren are now graduating from university.

Meanwhile, the thousands of genes in the DNA of people, plants and animals have been “mapped” and we are just getting used to what that can mean as we continue research to overcome problems and improve life for all living things. This is not the time to curtail research, as some shortsighted politicians seem to think.

In the agricultural industry, it is fairly easy to obtain partnerships with business interests to carry on vital research and hopefully this will continue. There will always be debate as to where the benefits of agricultural research go – to the producer, the consumer or the various businesses in between.

I’ve always been optimistic enough to hope that some benefit accrues to all three.

Organizations: McGill University

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