[Market-farming] Soil and production costs

Tradingpost tradingpost at lobo.net
Mon Feb 5 14:35:23 EST 2007


It's public knowledge, but they won't tell you on RFD TV. Not with all
their advertising revenue depending on Monsanto, John Deere, ADM, etc.
It's well known that the virgin soils of this country were incredibly
productive when they first broke sod, like the grassland prairies of the
midwest. It's also well known that the use of chemicals has greatly
increased since WW II, and they're still increasing while productivity is
not. Anyone have figures to the contrary? Actually the U.S. turned into a
net IMporter of food a year or two ago. 

paul tradingpost at lobo.net

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 2/5/2007 at 2:18 PM Brigette Leach wrote:

>Paul,
>What are you basing this statement upon?
>
>and industrial farming has seen
>yields decline over several decades in spite of increasing use of fossil
>fuel-based pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
>
>Brigette
>Avalon Farms Homegrown
>www.avalonfarmshomegrown.com
>
>TradingPostPaul wrote:
>
>>It's common knowledge that most soil has to be cultivated one way or
>>another to grow field crops. I say most soil because most soil has been
>>degraded too much to produce without tillage and chemicals. But that's
>>precisely the problem. It's common knowledge that most farms have lost a
>>lot of topsoil depth and organic matter, and industrial farming has seen
>>yields decline over several decades in spite of increasing use of fossil
>>fuel-based pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. On the plus side
>recent
>>research has resulted in more widespread reduced tillage methods, though
>>it's well established that any tillage degrades soil organic matter to
>some
>>extent. Cover crops have become standard practice since the Dust Bowl
>days.
>>But we're still losing topsoil, irrigating more, and using ever
increasing
>>amounts of chemicals that get more expensive as oil and gas prices keep
>>rising. Large and small farmers are getting squeezed more between input
>>costs and market prices. These are all challenges that call for
>>hard-headed, realistic, innovative approaches. Building soil that doesn't
>>need regular tilling can cut labor and machinery costs in the long run.
>>There are other methods of weed suppression that cut costs below chemical
>>or mechanical methods. Better methods of pest  and disease control are
>>being explored. The one thing we can't afford is "well, we've always done
>>it this way". If we farm the next fifty years the way we have the last
>>fifty, we won't have any topsoil left to till anyway. 
>>
>>paul tradingpost at lobo.net
>>
>>
>>
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>>
>>  
>>
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