Sunday, 18 September 2016

The amazing science of agriculture

Maybe I’ve never mentioned it before—probably because I’m always talking about books, and writing, and running—but in my list of school subjects that I really like, science is near the top. 

You already know I love busting myths, even the ones that science can’t explain, but did you know that it’s actually the science that fascinates me?

The thing is, I realized this week that I’ve always had a very narrow view on science—it’s more than dissecting frogs in biology class (do they still do that? I hope so!) or stirring together coloured liquids in a test tube! In fact, unlike some things (like algebra * groan *), science is used in everyday life. Even in agriculture.

And I don’t just mean in the traditional sense either. For instance, I asked my grandpa about when he knows that it’s time to harvest his canola crop, and you know what he said? “There’s a real science behind it, son. You have to consider many factors.”

Like the weather. Some parts of the province got snow last week! Frost is bad for crops, but did you know that you shouldn’t harvest in weather that is too hot either? Wind direction and speed is important too.

Farmers also need to watch for colour changes in their crop. Grandpa says you want the seeds to go from light green to light yellow, reddish brown, or brown. (Obviously I’m going to check that out when I visit my grandparents this weekend.) When the crop has mostly changed, it’s time to harvest!

Fascinating, right?

Okay, so maybe it’s not the kind of science you’re thinking of…but by one online definition, “science” is “a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.” Which I guess makes my grandpa a scientist on crop harvesting! So, I have to ask, what are YOU a scientist of?

Gotta jet!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

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