Research, including studies presented at the conference in Istanbul,
is showing that organic agriculture can deliver reliably high yields
”and that organic fields thrive in the face of disaster and
duress, where chemical-reliant crops falter. Organic fields, for
example, fare significantly better than chemically managed ones in
the face of extreme weather, such as droughts or floods.
With GM crops come herbicides, which breed resistant weeds.
This has happened in about a decade for the worse mutants.
We can reverse the problem by reversing the spraying,
using plowing, cultivation, and crop rotation instead.
Jerry’s presentation will focus on blackberries, blueberries, figs
and muscadine grapes. He will explain and demonstrate practical, low
cost methods for trellising and pruning; soil and bed preparation;
weed suppression, irrigation, and harvesting.
We started out going to a weekly organic farmer’s market over in
Thomasville but transitioned to a CSA after 2 years. We will explain why
and show you how our gardens have taken shape over these past few years. We
are still a small operation after 4 years choosing to grow our business
slowly. However, we have learned a great deal during these growing years.
Plus we have gleaned much from other folks which we will be implementing
over the next few years. We are grooming the farm as a business venture for
our son, who does most of the labor.
How do we prove to customers that our products are free of
genetically modified ingredients? while many homesteaders choose to
be not certified or certified naturally grown, consumers are
becoming more concerned with GMOs. We will offer practical tips for
insuring consumers, as well as how to on certifications & non-GMO
Want better yields and the same or more profit?
Stop buying pesticides, rotate more crops over longer periods,
and mix in animals.
Yet another study confirms this.
Oh, and a hundred times less
in streams, and presumably also less pesticides in the food going to market.
The study was done on land owned by Iowa State University called the
Marsden Farm. On 22 acres of it, beginning in 2003, researchers set
up three plots: one replicated the typical Midwestern cycle of
planting corn one year and then soybeans the next, along with its
routine mix of chemicals. On another, they planted a three-year
cycle that included oats; the third plot added a four-year cycle and
alfalfa. The longer rotations also integrated the raising of
livestock, whose manure was used as fertilizer.
The paper’s Figure 3 (above)
illustrates that labor increased with crop rotation length,
but so did yield, and profit remained the same or better.
How can this be?
Continue reading →
Rodale Institute has been running a side-by-side comparison of organic
and chemical agriculture since 1981.
After an initial decline in yields during the first few years of
transition, the organic system soon rebounded to match or surpass the
conventional system. Over time, FST became a comparison between the long
term potential of the two systems.
And now comes evidence from the very heart of Big Ag: rural Iowa, where
Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture runs
the Long-Term Agroecological Research Experiment (LTAR), which began in
1998, which has just released its latest results.
At the LTAR fields in Adair County, the (LTAR) runs four fields: one
managed with the Midwest-standard two-year corn-soy rotation featuring
the full range of agrochemicals; and the other ones organically managed
with three different crop-rotation systems. The chart below records the
yield averages of all the systems, comparing them to the average yields
achieved by actual conventional growers in Adair County:
Norman Borlaug, instigator of the “green revolution”
of no-till and pesticides, when asked in 2000
whether organic agriculture could feed the world, said:
Continue reading →