By: Tom Spears
Published: Ottawa Citizen, April 1, 2014
0401corn_webOTTAWA — Even if you never go near a farm, you benefit from pencil-and-paper math done by a young Ontario crop scientist exactly 50 years ago.
Murray Brown produced the first detailed map of exactly how much heat the sun delivers to each farming area in Ontario.
He didn’t know he was planting the seeds of a quiet revolution. He knows it now.
His map of “corn heat units” removed much of the guesswork from raising corn, and later soybeans, helping to make them giants of Ontario’s economy. Today they are worth $1.3 billion and $1.09 billion, respectively.
It’s an example, says one scientific activist, of research free from political direction that government scientists are too often forbidden to do today.
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