Friday, October 5, 2012
Role of agronomy and plant breeding in society
Here are two really cool articles. The first is about the role plant breeding has played, for better or for worse, in the economic development of rural areas in the US. It seems to me to be a well-reasoned, non-dogmatic treatment, that signals the future importance of meeting the plant breeding needs of smaller, non-industrial farmers. The second article is a review by the American Society of Agronomy about the past and the future of agriculture and agronomy in the world. It is also fairly objective and comprehensive, though the author at times evinces a suspicion of environmentalists and an unquestioning admiration of new technologies. In particular, the last part of the article looks at a number of gee-whiz, pie-in-the-sky ideas that might influence agriculture, though the author doesn't consider the impact of these technologies on actual human wellbeing. At any rate, both articles are worth a read.