Before you say, “Holy cow, Kelly’s losing it,” I have to say, someone actually said that to me the other day. I was talking about how they’d finished the bean plot. One of the girls in our little group then turned to me and said that ingenius line. Apparently, farmers are also cinematic experts who write movies about beans.
I then went on to try to explain the reasoning for plots. What is a plot? Why do you use plots? Well, the basic idea is that you plant small sections (I believe 8 to 16 rows, although I’m sure it varies with every plot) of different varieties of corn next to each other to compare the results. Plots are a common topic of conversation this time of year because planting them is quite a task.
(I’d also like to note that the one other country girl in the group knew exactly what I was talking about, but the other three girls had to be told about varieties, as well. I also find it funny that the other country girl is also a Kelly and we often talk about boots, Carhartt vs. Walls, etc. We have way too much in common.)
Anyways, plots. I was talking about plots.
Plots are valuable because they not only give a sample of yield comparisons, but also strength against natural adversities. A plot can show which types of corn prosper during the dryer parts of the year, and which corn will roll its leaves up and try to protect itself from drought. Different varieties react to different soils. Plots show side-by-side comparisons of which soils are most compatible to which varieties of corn.
Harvesting plots can be quite an adventure, too. Depending on how many rows are planted vs. the amount of rows your combine head is, it can often be a long, drawn-out process. There’s also the fact that agronomists need to be there, with various equipment and machinery and doo-dads.
See, it’s interesting to look at just how active farmers can be in research. This field that I’ve stood in, worked in, driven a tractor in, (and taken naps in,) is a real and living part of the research being done to help feed the world. If that doesn’t make you feeling you’re part of something bigger than yourself, I don’t know what does.