Recently, I thought a good reality TV show would be following a group of farmers or ranchers around with a camera. They wouldn't need to dream up any stunts because everyday life for a farmer or rancher is dramatic enough.
But there is another TV show that needs a farm emphasis. I see there are lots of CSI shows on TV, such as Miami CSI and New York CSI.
How about a Grain Producer CSI? Instead of Crime Scene Investigation, it would stand for Corn and Soybean Investigation. A version for the southern growing area would be Cotton and Sorghum Investigation.
Our detectives would use their flashlights to go through corn and soybean fields looking for worms, beetles, and aphids. They would go back to the lab to determine is it a corn flea beetle or Southern corn leaf beetle? Their computer database would be used to compare orange bean leaf beetles against yellow bean leaf beetles. Every week we would check the progress of the wily soybean aphid and the dastardly black cutworm. The episode concludes with the application of the right insecticide at the proper rate. They could show off how high tech they are in their protective clothing.
Another episode would have our team of investigators digging up root systems of corn and soybeans. The drama unfolds as villainous corn rootworms and soybean cyst nematodes are exposed as the evildoers doing their damage on plant development.
Then there is the Corn Suitability Investigation. Week after week our young fresh faced team of investigators armed with their recent degrees in agronomy would check out field after field determining is it a clay loam or a sandy clay loam? Is the soil derived from loess or glacial till? Each episode ends with a soil map and a CSR (Corn Suitability Rating) number for that field.
We could have Bin CSI about the Crop Storage Inspectors. They would shine their flashlights looking for foreign material and fines. Suspense and drama would occur weekly in their search for spoiled grain and hot spots in bins. The show would end with another successful fumigation for grain weevils.
Or how about Crop Stand Investigation? Every week our heroes would go out and count stands of growing plants in soybean, corn, wheat, cotton, and any other crop. The tension builds as a corn field was planted at 32,000 seeds per acre and the final stand is 27,000. What happened to those missing 5000 seeds? Was it a germination problem? How much was lost in those heavy rains? Does the neighbor seem to a few more plants than he did a week ago? Crop rustlers!
We can't forget the livestock producer. There could be a Livestock CSI. It would stand for Cows and Sows Investigation. Our investigators, dressed in tight clothing and looking like models, would realize that there was supposed to be 11 pigs in a litter instead of the 9 that were farrowed. They would have to go through the afterbirth in search of those two missing pigs. There's the blood and gore these shows all seem to enjoy.