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.
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 →
West African farmers have succeeded in cutting the use of toxic
pesticides, increasing yields and incomes and diversifying farming systems
as a result of an international project promoting sustainable farming
Ever wonder why all the trees and shrubs die under the power lines? Company workers spray toxic chemicals on them.
Driving on GA 122 between Pavo and Barney and saw some electric company spraying going on. This fellow didn’t seem happy I was recording:
Note that this worker is unprotected from this poison. No eye covering, no mask. Spraying is a shame in many ways.
Monsanto’s stock price is down almost $4, or more than 7% today.
ST. LOUIS, May 27, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON – News) today announced it is repositioning its Roundup® business in the face of fundamental structural changes that have caused upheaval in the glyphosate industry. Focusing its glyphosate products on supporting the core seeds-and-traits business, the company plans to drastically narrow its Roundup® brand portfolio to offer farmers a simple, quality product that meets their needs at a price closer to generics.
“By reducing the uncertainty associated with Roundup, we free Monsanto to grow on its fundamentals,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant said. “What matters to our long-term growth is our seeds-and-traits business, which is on track.”
I think that’s CEO-speak for demand is down, competition is up, and Monsanto is retrenching in hopes of saving its core glysophate business.
Nor does any of this have to adversely affect the Georgia lumber industry.
It’s well established that the currently popular method of clearcutting
isn’t the only way. Pine forests can be managed profitably
via selective logging;
more about that.
That permits the forest to remain a forest, with native vegetation,
wildlife, hunting, recreation, flood control, etc., all for more
forests than we have now.
Plus carbon sequestration credits.
Cotton farmers might like growing trees better under such economic conditions.
All this is shovel-ready for stimulus. There’s no new technolgy
to develop for forest planting or management. Just implement
carbon-sequestration credits for ongoing sustainability, and perhaps
use stimulus funding to speed planting trees.