A Simple Fix for Farming – NYTimes.com

A simple fix for farming - Image Credit: Rosie Gainsborough

Image Credit: Rosie Gainsborough

IT’S becoming clear that we can grow all the food we need, and profitably, with far fewer chemicals. And I’m not talking about imposing some utopian vision of small organic farms on the world. Conventional agriculture can shed much of its chemical use — if it wants to.

This was hammered home once again in what may be the most important agricultural study this year, although it has been largely ignored by the media, two of the leading science journals and even one of the study’s sponsors, the often hapless Department of Agriculture.

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 results were stunning: The longer rotations produced better yields of both corn and soy, reduced the need for nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides by up to 88 percent, reduced the amounts of toxins in groundwater 200-fold and didn’t reduce profits by a single cent.

In short, there was only upside — and no downside at all — associated with the longer rotations. There was an increase in labor costs, but remember that profits were stable. So this is a matter of paying people for their knowledge and smart work instead of paying chemical companies for poisons.

And though critics of this path can be predictably counted on to say it’s moving backward, the increased yields, markedly decreased input of chemicals, reduced energy costs and stable profits tell another story, one of serious progress.

via A Simple Fix for Farming – NYTimes.com.

Advertisements

About straykatstrut

I eat, I sleep, I waste massive amounts of time online. Occasionally I take photos of things that catch my eye and post them. I like to Google myself and others. I think too much and move too little. I am geeky. I am weird. I am straykatstrut.

Posted on October 23, 2012, in blogging, education, environmental, food, Health, life, nature, people, personal, picture, science, sharing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

simple Ula

I want to be rich. Rich in love, rich in health, rich in laughter, rich in adventure and rich in knowledge. You?

hotfox63

IN MEMORY EVERYTHING SEEMS TO HAPPEN TO MUSIC -Tennessee Williams

MakeItUltra™

Psychology to Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

Charliecountryboy's Blog

My reflections of life in general.

Be Inspired..!!

Listen to your inner self..it has all the answers..

James Harrington's Blog of Geek and Writing

All Things Writing and Geek, in one neat little blog!

M T McGuire Authorholic

Humorous fantasy fiction author... the books are quite funny too... seeking an agent, a publisher and my fortune.

Frank Solanki

If you want to be a hero well just follow me

After the Numinous

Travel | Photography | Life

518-songofmypeople

A town everyone hates, yet no one leaves...

Jnana's Red Barn

Come see the world from my loft

Mugilan Raju

Prime my subconscious, one hint at a time

Invisible Mikey

philosophic topics and the arts

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

O at the Edges

Musings on poetry, language, perception, numbers, food, and anything else that slips through the cracks.

30-day Positivity Challenge

Capturing moments of happiness every day...

Sara's Humble Blog

Posting things that matter........... to me.

The Seeds 4 Life

Seeds of Inspiration, Wisdom, and Positivity

Ophelia's

Speaking Out on the Unspeakable

The Classic Feminine Woman

Sophisticated, Intelligent, Classic Femininity

Sincerely Reine

A Lifestyle & Beauty Blog

Three Hour Brunch Friend

Recipes, brunches and travels

Thomas M. Watt

Dream your Reality.

unbolt me

the literary asylum

Ana Spoke, author

It's time to get hella serious about writing!

Problems With Infinity

Confessions of a Delusional Maniac

SevenFlorins

Casual Reviews

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

Writings By Ender

The Writer's Adventure

onslaught of war

Writing the universe of Onslaught

Kite Dreams

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” Anais Nin

Throw The Book At Me

A blog by author S. A. Healey ~ For readers, writers, and notorious romantics

Eric Schlehlein, Author

(re)Living History, with occasional attempts at humor and the rare pot-luck subject. Sorry, it's BYOB. All I have is Hamm's.

Q's Book Blog

Book Reviews. Discover Good Books to Read.

A Munchkin's Word World

Snapshots of a Wordaholic

Kansas To Barrow, Alaska

Six weeks in the Arctic Circle

On Writing Dragons

Musings of a speculative fiction writer

Elan Mudrow

The Ridges of Intertextuallity

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

I am a Honey Bee

All about my adventures with cooking, crafts, and travel

Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.

What Inspires Your Writing?

A blog dedicated to writers...and the people, places, and things that spark their creativity

The Renegade Press

Tales from the mouth of a wolf

SoraNews24

Bringing you yesterday's news from Japan and Asia, today.

%d bloggers like this: