Originally published in the Chat 'n Chew Café( 5 Jul 1998). Also published in the Purdue Pest Management & Crop Production Newsletter (10 July 1998)

All I Want For Christmas Is…….

R.L. (Bob) Nielsen , Agronomy Department , Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150
Internet address: rnielsen@purdue.edu

With only about 200 days left before Christmas, some of the guys down at the Chat 'n Chew Café figure it is high time to begin working on their Christmas wishlists relative to growing corn. Given the extremes in the 1998 growing season to date, plus the fact that such weather extremes appear to be the norm these days, plus the fact that farmers do not have any control over the weather, many of those gathered around the corner table are thinking that maybe Kris Kringle should relay their desires for genetic improvement on to the plant breeders and genetic engineers who spend countless time and money in developing improved hybrids of corn.

I have assembled a few of their requests and reproduce them here with their permission (with some minor editorial changes). If the biotechnology giants of this world would concentrate on fulfilling a few of their appeals, variability in corn yields from year to year would be greatly curtailed and farmers' incomes would be much less influenced by the vagaries of Mother Nature.

Christmas Requests From the Chat 'n Chew Café


Editorial Comment

I am not sure how early Santa's elves begin delivering his mail, but hopefully some of these farmers' requests for what would be truly dramatic genetic improvements over today's corn hybrids will be heard and acted upon by seed companies and public research institutions. All of the new and coming specialty grain traits may be great and wonderful, but it seems to me that all too often the farmers' bottom lines are more influenced by the susceptibility of corn to the various weather, pest, soil and nutrient problems identified in the Christmas letters above.

Merry Christmas!

Corn Growers Guidebook

For other information about corn, take a look at the Corn Growers Guidebook on the World Wide Web at http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/

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