An Open Letter About GMOs

December 8th, 2014
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An open letter to Europe and the world about GMOs in response to the ridiculous “Letter From America” about GMOs.   Of course, Europe and much of the world has been eating and benefiting from GMOs for some time. It’s a fallacy to equate GMOs with the United States.  However, it is true that the US agricultural sector has been one of the earliest and largest adopters of genetic engineering, and has benefited from it greatly.

Feel free to click the above link and read the “Letter From America” if you’d like a laugh or to be disgusted.

I’m also an American and I’ve been eating genetically modified foods since the mid 1990′s.  So I figured I’m just as qualified to set the record straight.  No, the sky is not falling.  And yes, I am perfectly healthy.

 

Dear People of the World,

I am writing you as an American citizen and resident of the United States to share the experience my countrymen and I have had with genetically modified crops.

Genetically modified organisms are common in American agriculture. They account for more than 90% of important crops such as soy, cotton and corn. The United States is also one of the earliest nations to deploy genetically modified crops in mass. Indeed, they’ve been a major component of our food supply since the mid 1990′s.

As an American, I cannot help but take some measure of pride in my country for being at the forefront of this innovation. However, I should also point out that, despite what is sometimes reported, genetically modified organisms are by no means uniquely American. The first GMOs appeared in the late 1970′s in the form of microbes that were programed to create important pharmaceutical components, such as human growth hormone and insulin. Today these organisms are used worldwide to produce such substances at a lower cost and higher purity than other sources. The first genetically engineered plants were developed in the 1980′s, and first deployed in France. China was another early player in the field of genetic engineering.

The US is the world’s largest producer of corn (Maize) and of soybeans. We’re one of the largest producers of wheat, cotton and many vegetables and fruit. Our agricultural base is one of the largest in the world and we are a huge net exporter of staple crops. Overall, the United States is the world’s largest single exporter of food and agricultural products. Naturally, in order to maintain such bounty, the American farmer has been quick to adopt the latest methods and technologies to enhance production. Genetic engineering is only one of the many developments the past century has brought to farming.

Health:

Despite what you may have heard, our health, in the United States, like most industrial countries, has never been better.  No, we are not all dying of cancer.  Actually, age adjusted cancer rates are declining.  Many other diseases are too.  Life expectancy has only gone up.

Some might point out that there are some conditions which appear to have risen over the past few years or decades.  Indeed, asthma, allergies and some other conditions have risen.  We’re not entirely sure why, although there are hypothesizes.  It has nothing to do with genetically modified organisms, of course.  These rates were rising long before GMOs came on the market and have not shown any acceleration in the diagnosis rates that would correspond with genetically engineered foods.

We’re also fatter than we’ve been in the past.  It’s not a uniquely American problem, of course.  Many industrial countries are getting fatter. There’s no mystery as to why this is happening.  We’re sitting around more and eating more calorie-dense foods.  It was happening long before genetically engineered foods were created.  It’s still happening.

The reality is that, nearly two decades in, no scientific data to show any negative health effects from genetically modified foods has been produced.  None.

Our farmers are not morons:

You have probably heard that genetically engineered seeds are doing a terrible disservice to farmers.  You may have been told that they do not increase but actually decrease yields or that they make farming more expensive, more risky or more difficult.  You’ve surely heard that they result in farmers being ruined by contracts that they are forced to sign. The only logical conclusion,  based on this, is that American farmers must be absolute bumbling idiots.  I’m sure you think “But these crops hurt farmers and are worse than non-GMO crops and the farmers continue to plant them?  They must be imbeciles.”   After all, anyone who has a brain in their head would know enough not to go out and buy seeds that give worse results.  Perhaps they would buy them once, but would surely wise up after discovering how horrible they are.

farmtitleI must therefore inform you that American farmers, contrary to what you have been told, are not stupid.  The farmers who manage the largest and most productive farms in the US tend to be extremely skilled in both the agricultural and business side of farming. Many have learned this from a lifetime of family farming.  Others have gone to college and obtained degrees in agricultural sciences.  They often do not work alone, but are assisted by accounts, consultants, contractors and others.  Indeed, American agriculture can be very sophisticated and well managed.

Farmers choose to use GMO seeds (and yes, they choose it, nobody holds a gun to their heads) because they have done their homework or have experience in using such seeds and understand that doing so benefits them.  For example, if farmers use “Roundup Ready” crops, they will be able to use glyphosate-based herbicides on their fields, as a means of weed control. This turns out to be a much cheaper and easier method of controlling weeds than what would have to otherwise be done. Similarly, if they plant corn or cotton that is insect-resistant, they will be able to save time and money on the application of chemical insecticides.

Farmers have many choices when it comes to the seeds they purchase and the crops they grow. There are numerous seed companies out there and they can provide specialized breeds of crops, hybridized varieties and also seeds that include genetically engineered features. The GMO seeds do tend to cost slightly more than the non-GMO varieties. But again, farmers are not stupid. They know how to do math and they would not buy the seeds if the additional cost were not outweighed bu the savings or increased production.

It should be mentioned that the claims that farmers are somehow ruined or controlled by not being allowed to replant seeds from one harvest to another are based on a complete lack of understanding of how modern agriculture works. Farmers DO NOT generally keep seeds or harvest their own seeds from their production crops to replant their fields. They haven’t done this in some time. They buy seeds, each year, from seed companies. Yes, it costs something, but it assures they have a product that is consistent and not the result of unknown pollination. The seeds they get have the desired characteristics and they are assured to be fertile and germinate. They would also lose any hybridization traits if they didn’t purchase new seeds. The cost is more than worth the benefit.

You may have also heard that companies like Monsanto like to sue farmers who accidentally end up with some GMO pollen falling in their fields and fertilizing their crops. This is patently false. The only lawsuits that have been filed by genetic engineering companies have been against those who very clearly tried to obtain GMO seeds for planting by some backdoor means, like buying feed corn which they knew would be GMO in origin and planting it. We can debate whether this should be an issue that can be protected by patent, but lets not resort to making up lies.

No, A Single Corporation Does Not Control The Food Supply:

As mentioned above, farmers do not have to use genetically modified seeds and they do so because they find that the small additional cost is very much worth the savings or increased production they receive in return.  Farmers could grow non-gmo crops keep their own seeds and use them generation to generation, if they wanted to, never using seed suppliers.  But, as mentioned above, that would be a stupid thing to do, because they would lose the consistency and desired traits in their seeds.  They can also buy seeds from suppliers that provide non-gmo seeds and many do.

The Monsanto company was one of the first to heavily invest in the commercialization of genetically modified organisms for agriculture. Their gamble turned out to be a good one.  Their products have been wildly successful and they’ve reaped the rewards.  Yet they still are limited in what they can charge.  If the cost of their seeds were so high that it was higher than the additional revenue or savings that farmers got from them, the economics would be poor and n0body would buy their seeds.  Additionally, if the fees for GMO seeds were exorbitant, other companies would have even more motive to create their own GMO varieties and undercut Monsanto.

That said, there are other companies that have developed and marketed genetically engineered crops and are competing with Monsanto and with other non-GMO crops.  These include BASF, Bayer, Dow and Dupont.  These companies and others have produced genetically engineered crops that are becoming increasingly popular and are challenging Monsanto’s dominance.  None the less, there’s no debate that Monsanto does produce some of the most popular and profitable genetically modified crops.

The dominance of Monsanto is likely to be reduced further in coming years.  Genetic engineering once required the resources of an enormous corporation, but gene sequencing and genetic modification is becoming easier and cheaper, as the technology rapidly evolves.  Smaller companies and start-ups are more capable than ever of creating genetically modified organisms.  The biggest hurdle will likely be whether regulations will make it difficult or impossible for such small entities to successfully get genetically modified organisms approved.

There are also a number of genetic engineering projects underway which are not based on for-profit corporations and closed, patented products.  These include research by universities, government agencies, private foundations and even “open source” genetic engineering.  Golden Rice is a good example of genetic modification which is not aimed at commercialization, but rather at humanitarian goals.

It is also important to note that genetically modified crops are controlled by companies through the use of patents and patents do expire.  Because the technology is relatively new, most of the crops are still under patent.  One of the most popular engineered traits in GMO seeds is found in soy beans that are marketed by Monsanto as “Roundup Ready” and are tolerant of glyphosate herbicides.  The patent on that genetic modification is set to expire in 2015.  At that point, Monsanto will no longer maintain exclusive control of Roundup Ready soybean seeds and other companies will be free to sell seeds with this trait incorporated.

Ecological Impacts, or Lack There of:

First, let me take this opportunity to calm some of the most persistent fears of genetically modified orgasms:  the genes inserted or modified in GMO organisms have never and will never suddenly jump into some other species.  The genes that have been inserted into corn or soy are not going to end up growing in wild plants.  Corn, for one, doesn’t generally grow very well when it is not intentionally cultivated.  This is actually true of most agricultural plants.  They have been bred to have characteristics that are different from their wild relatives and normally this ends up meaning they need to be provided with artificial growing environments.

The genes won’t get transferred to other species of plants because genes don’t do that.  They certainly won’t affect the genes of animals who consume them or any animals at all.  Horizontal gene transfer does exist, mostly in microbes and with viruses, and GM-opponents often use the existence of horizontal gene transfer to justify their claims of dangers of artificially-modified genes somehow entering the biosphere and being incorporated into other organisms.  This just plain can’t happen.

There is some concern that insects might evolve resistance to some of the compounds that pest-resistant genetically modified crops produce.  This is not unique to GMO-based methods of pest control.  All methods of pest control have to contend with the prospect of resistance.  It can happen with any conventional or even “organically certified” pesticide.  It can also happen with mechanical or behavioral controls.  Insects can, for example, evolve behaviors to avoid these, just as they can evolve chemical resistance.

papayaThe solution to this is to manage resistance by using multiple pest control methods and to use insecticide and pest control rotation.  It can also help to omit certain pest control methods for periods of time, reducing the constant evolutionary pressure applied by one method of pest control.  If anything, GMOs improve this by giving farmers another tool to provide diverse and varied pest control.

Similarly, you have probably heard of “Superweeds,” which are supposedly the result of glyphosate-resistant crops.  These “superweeds” are really just weeds that have evolved some level of resistance to glyphosate.  There’s nothing “super” about them, besides that.  They don’t grow bigger or faster or spread any more than the weeds that are not resistant to glyphosate.  In fact, they seem to be less hearty and fast growing than the weeds they evolved from.  This is exactly what you would expect.  If you keep applying the same herbicide to fields, then some of the weeds are likely to eventually evolve resistance.

However, like other kinds of pesticide resistance, it can be managed.  For one thing, these weeds are likely to die off or become less prevalent if glyphosate is withheld for a period of time.  It’s possible to manage the problem by removing these weeds by other means or by using combinations of weed-control measures.  Already, there are genetically-modified crops under development which resist other classes of herbicides.  By using these traits, multiple methods of weed control can easily be combined, thus reducing the problem of resistance.

The worst case scenario for “superweeds” is that they would get us back to where we started, before glyphosate-resistant crops were developed.  It’s unlikely that it will get that bad, but if it does, it’s hardly an ecological disaster.

You may have also heard that GMOs result in more pesticide being applied or that GMOs and pesticides go hand-in-hand.  This is not true.  Actually, the opposite is true.  While glyphosate-resistent crops may have resulted in an increase in the amount of glyphosate applied to fields (although it was popular even without these crops), they have certainly reduced the use of insecticides, especially in crops like corn and cotton.  If you consider herbicides to be “pesticides” then you could make the case that pesticide use is increased, at least in that narrow circumstance.  But, when it comes to insecticide use, it has been reduced, quite dramatically.

Some have tried to conflate the issue by claiming that GMO crops increase pesticide use because they produce their own pesticides.  It is true that some GMO crops do control pests by producing bt toxin, a compound produced by bacteria that is toxic to insects.  But it is hardly a traditional “chemical insecticide.”  It is a natural compound that has been intentionally used for insect control for decades and unintentionally since the dawn of agriculture.  It’s a biological control method that is even certified for use with “organic” crops and is well established to be harmless to humans.  It’s in the soil of all farms.  It’s cultivated for its anti-insect properties.

Despite this constant grasping for straws and general dishonesty, the balance of ecological impacts from genetically engineered crops appears to be quite favorable.  In addition to the reduction of insecticide uses, their use has increased crop yields per-acre, thus reducing the area necessary for agriculture.  They have also reduced the energy output necessary to produce a given quantity of product.

 

Genetically-Modified Organisms and The Promise of Genetic Engineering In Areas Other than Agriculture:

As noted earlier, genetically modified organisms and genetic engineering, though often demonized and opposed in all circumstances, represent a large and beneficial area of science and technology.  Genetically modified bacteria and other microbes are used to create important compounds for medical use, such as human growth hormone and insulin.  They are also used to produce industrial chemicals and food ingredients, such as citric acid.  They do so efficiently and safely.

Genetically modified crops can go far beyond just creating better growing crops.  They can be fortified with things like vitamins, as in the case of golden rice.  Plants can potentially be modified to produce eatable vaccines or important and useful compounds.  Genetic modification holds the promise of everything from hypoallergenic peanuts to wheat that can be eaten by those with celiac disease.

Genetically modified humans may be the next logical step.  There are millions of humans who are living with genetic diseases.  Genetic engineering and gene therapy has the potential to relieve such conditions by modifying the defective genes.  Gene therapies have already shown some success in experimental applications. Two years ago, Alipogene tiparvovec (marketed as Glybera) became the first gene therapy to be approved by major national medical authorities. It is extremely expensive and only a limited number of individuals can benefit from it. However, it is only the first of what is likely to become an entirely new class of medicine.

As with any new and powerful technology, there is always a need for caution and new genetically modified organisms do need to be tested, which they are.  But we certainly should not shun or fear this area of science.  It’s natural that we would, of course.  People feared and crusaded against electricity, aircraft and automobiles when they were introduced.

Regards,

Steve Packard

 


This entry was posted on Monday, December 8th, 2014 at 10:27 pm and is filed under Agriculture, Bad Science, Culture, Good Science, media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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66 Responses to “An Open Letter About GMOs”

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  1. 51
    Anon Says:

            Grass farmer said:

    Again like I ended how many acres do you FARM? What degrees do you hold? I hold a phd in farmer

    LOL.

    It couldn’t be more obvious you’re making s*** up even if you were trying to make it obvious.

            Grass farmer said:

    If you do not have have any blood and sweat In the game you will not learn that there is a way with out crutches like GMO’s and still bring the bounty.

    Yeah, by selling to idiot hippies who don’t understand science and are willing to overpay for inferior quality food.


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  2. 52
    DV82XL Says:

    Yet another fifteen year old sitting in his parent’s basement that thinks he can successfully pretend to be an adult. Listen kid, you haven’t been anywhere near a farm, let alone worked on one. The idea that you own one is risible. Your name says it all, Grass Farmer: the closest you have come to agriculture is mowing a lawn.


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  3. 53
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Grass farmer said:

    If you do not have have any blood and sweat In the game you will not learn that there is a way with out crutches like GMO’s and still bring the bounty.

    That’s fine with me. Nobody should force a farmer to use GMO’s or any brand of seed over another.

    Please, go use whatever seeds you want. GMO or non-GMO, hybridized, non-hybridized, mutation-bread or anything else.

    If you can get a good yield then do what works for you and more power to you.

    Just out of curiosity, what do you grow? Do you run a sod farm


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  4. 54
    Grass farmer Says:

    Like I earlier I mob graze 60 head of brood cows on 300 owned and leased acres. Looking to stop feeding hay and graze year round. I have 16 different free choice minerals in front of the cows including sea kelp and redmond salt mix health problems have went to about none. The cows know what they need by what they crave. Meaning the grass or hay is missing those trace elements from the periodic table to make them health and the soil need those element to thrive what the cows do not absorb goes right back on the soil that needs it.


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  5. 55
    Grass farmer Says:

    Hey DV82XL, there is a very interesting fellow from up your way in Saskatchewan, Neil Dennis he mob grazes cattle and is very innovative and also the other two farmers featured are no slouches themselves. Want to watch something very informative about food production look up soil carbon cowboys. Just twelve minutes to get an eye opening look at what can be done without corporations and what they fear a total literal grassroots effort. By the way you probably have a more through study of nuclear power but thorium is a power source that makes a lot more sense to me over uranium. You all are probably going to cut me down but does not matter I am going to just keep grazing.


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  6. 56
    DV82XL Says:

            Grass farmer said:

    You all are probably going to cut me down but does not matter I am going to just keep grazing.

    Actually I was going to leave you be but as you seem to be begging for it …. I still think you are lying, but even if you were not consider that they type of operation you are describing couldn’t possibly meet even current markets for dairy or beef, never mind the fact that the demand in the rest of the world is going to skyrocket, especially for the latter in China.

    Year-round grazing is not an option outside of a very narrow climate band, and then only in places with adequate rainfall. Given the amount of food that can be grown on this type of land if it can be cultivated relative to the amount that can be produce by grazing ruminants, even if the claims of equal or better results compared to using the same land to grow silage are true it is still not supportable in the long term. Grazing is a way of converting the vegetation on marginal land, doing it on land that could be used for growing food crops is neither ‘green’ or ‘organic’ as those two terms are currently misused in relation to agriculture.

    Furthermore, I have spent the morning reviewing the legitimate scientific research that has been done on managed intensive rotational grazing, (so-called mob grazing) as it relates to cattle and I’m not horribly impressed. The real benefits, when they appear at all, look small, and it also looks like comparisons between, very poorly managed feedlot operations, and very intensely managed MIRG ones, this factor, and the fog of confounding variables that are not controlled for in these studies lead me to question the conclusions that are being made.

    As for the many testimonial sites one can find on this subject, I first find it suspect that the claims that are being made on these pages are so much greater than what has been shown by the peer-reviewed studies out there, and second I am struck at how these websites have the same look and feel are much like those of the other woo based subjects one finds on the net, particularly in that they are selling ‘educational’ material that is heavily copyrighted.

    Look, feeding a hungry world in the face of climate change is not going to be easy, but it is not going to be possible by going backwards with practices that were abandoned long ago because of low yields/high land use. Moreover, to the extent that the critics of modern industrial agriculture have a point to make, they are almost universal in their condemnation of the use of animal husbandry to convert plant material into protein, for the valid reason that it can never be efficient. In that light it is hard to see how ‘holistic grazing’ in any of its various forms is any more than an attempt to greenwash.

    As for thorium vs. uranium, the technical differences are marginal as are the perceived benefits of the former over the latter except in cases where local supply of one or the other tips the economic scale in its favor (as is the case in the U.S.)


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  7. 57
    Grass farmer Says:

    I am sorry but the research you have wasted your time doing is most probably paid for by fertilizer and bioag companies. Also like I have stated before you better have an agriculture background to understand the all the imformation. The most informative free information i have repeatedly found is all in videos I SAID IN THE ViDEOS, like on vimeo, soil carbon cowboys and youtube also soil carbon cowboys, same name but it features Allen Williams phd of animal science from the short film with alot of very deep information about his experinces from growing up on a family farm and seeing the problems that modern conventional ag has propergated and solving those problems that are throughout cattle feedlots and it continues into all sectors of animal agriculture. This is a great place to start to catch up if you want to take the time. The rest is all if you know what names to search for like Ian Innes Mitchell very informative smart individual I have had the pleasure of meeting and learning from him in person. Also Allen Savory, Greg Judy, Mark Bader, Gabe Brown, David Brandt, and Neil Dennis to start with. These that I named are all FARMERS the scientists and peer reveiws are way behind in there understanding of what us farmers are doing building SOIL. Gabe Brown and David Brandt are crop farmers that use cover crops they are seeing the need and using grazing animals to get to the next step of plentiful sustainable agriculture with little to absolutely none of outside inputs eccept new non GMO seed.

    Excerpt from “the soil will save us”a book authored by Kristin Ohlson, after listening to a Greg Judy presentation about holistic managed grazing Ms. Ohlson spotted a individual that had a name tag that said he was animal scientist Rob Rutherford from California Polytechnic State University. She ask him eagerly wanting to learn more about studies of this way of farming ” “I guess you and the other scientists here do a lot of studies about this kind of stuff,”I said, waving toward Greg Judy”. He answered to her suprise “We do almost nothing,” he said. “The farmers and ranchers are way ahead of the Scientists on this,”.

    I am guessing you will probably say I am lying still, all I know is that you as an individual have alot to learn about agriculture. Grazing even though herds of ruminates have been doing it for centuries it is very foreign to big ag because it effectively decimmates alot of ther market share and rebuilds the soil there products very effectively destroy the SOIL and turns the farmer using it into a drug addict needing to spend more to survive or use unneeded crop subsidy and insurance to stay ahead. Plainly put all animals of all farmed species should grazed and all crop land of any kind needs to be cover cropped and animals need to be grazed on that land to make it produce top yeilds. Chipolte does not sell grazed meat at most locations but in the future they will have a growing access to multi species grazed meat on there menu. Get studying you have alot to learn. I do to I never stop but my studying is in real life practice.


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  8. 58
    DV82XL Says:

            Grass farmer said:

    I am sorry but the research you have wasted your time doing is most probably paid for by fertilizer and bioag companies. Also like I have stated before you better have an agriculture background to understand the all the imformation. The most informative free information i have repeatedly found is all in videos I SAID IN THE ViDEOS,

    Ah, well what is peer-reviewed research done by major institutions like Iowa State University, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, and Michigan State University published in high-impact scientific publications like Journal of Animal Science, Journal of Soil Use and Management, and Journal of Dairy Science, compared to VIDIOS you found on the internet….

    I don’t know how anyone can think we are stupid enough to take them seriously when they come up with arguments like this.


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  9. 59
    Grass farmer Says:

    I personally attend one of those, Ohio State University Ag the education was not worth the paper it is written on. Your is not either i gather. Case in point Emeritus professor of animal science David Zartman of the Ohio State University quoted saying “There is no one to pay for this kind of research” Grazing and soil science. “a fertilizer company is not going to do it. A pesticide company is not going to do it. The money dictates the direction of the research, not the other way around.” Those peer reviews are not worth the time you are foolish enough to give them. You are a metallurgist correct how do you straighten a engine crankshaft correctly? Lets see if you know any thing from your life experience. See if you can even get close a very intelligent retiree taught me this like all the rest.


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  10. 60
    DV82XL Says:

            Grass farmer said:

    “There is no one to pay for this kind of research” Grazing and soil science.

    Then how come there are whole departments at agricultural colleges, and major journals devoted to this very topic?

            Grass farmer said:

    You are a metallurgist correct how do you straighten a engine crankshaft correctly? Lets see if you know any thing from your life experience. See if you can even get close a very intelligent retiree taught me this like all the rest.

    Yes my background is in chemistry and metallurgy, but that doesn’t mean I can’t read and vet scientific finding in other fields especially in cases like this where several modalities are being compared on the basis of performance. Doing so it is clear that converting cultivated acreage from rotational silage crops, or timothy to mixed herbaceous pasture is beneficial to the soil, so what? Letting the land lie fallow and under natural succession will also improve the topsoil over time. This is meaningless if these actions also reduce the carrying capacity sharply and considerably. And this is what the results of ‘holistic grazing’ are: less production per acre and that’s the issue. Current demand cannot be met by widespread use of these techniques which is why no matter how many claimed benefits on the Green side of the ledger, they will never be widely adopted.

    It’s the same with the rest of the ‘organic’ produce nonsense out there – you cannot replace current commercial production with these types of products and meet demand. Sure there will be a market that is willing to pay a premium to think they are getting a superior item, there is a market for Kobe beef at $100 for 12 oz steak too, but that isn’t going to put meat on everyones table.

    So spare me the usual whining about biased research, because its numbers that everyone agrees on that are at the foundation of the previous observation. This is the same type of short sighted thinking that drives the low energy crowd who claim that we can reduce energy consumption to a fraction of current usage and back this contention up with isolated examples, blind to what the greater implications of what wide spread adoption of this would be.

    This is not to imply that there aren’t serious issues concerning the state of topsoil resources around the world, but as I wrote above a retreat to the past with a reduction of carrying capacity is not the answer.

    By the way your personal claims are still suspect for the simple reason that it it is highly unlikely that a legitimate farmer would bother to argue this topic in forum like this. Even the two ‘organic’ truck farmers that operate old family farms near my cottage are hardboiled small businessmen that don’t buy into the blather of that market. If urban nitwits want to pay them twice as much for their produce because they think its something special, they are all for it, because its the only way they can compete with stuff trucked in from Mexico. Your forced hayseed posturing stands in stark contrast to the way they talk and behave.


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  11. 61
    Grass farmer Says:

    Top soil improve with land laying fallow? That would take about a million years at one inch every one hundred thousand. Fallow? You need to watch the video and do some real reading. Properly mob grazed and interseeded annual, biennial, perennials, all rolled to together poly culture takes about ten year or less to produce feet of topsoil guaranteed. What did the bison, elk, bear, wolves, mountain lions, and migratory birds do in the Oak Savannah’s of the Great Plains with no management. You have a lot to learn I am sorry.


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  12. 62
    DV82XL Says:

            Grass farmer said:

    What did the bison, elk, bear, wolves, mountain lions, and migratory birds do in the Oak Savannah’s of the Great Plains with no management. You have a lot to learn I am sorry.

    Free range grazing and ‘holistic grazing’ are two different things and the fact that you are confounding them is more an indication that you do not know what you are talking about than me. In my last two posts I have underlined the fact that these latter methods reduce carrying capacity and you refuse to address this, harping instead on soil improvement. Even if this was the only issue, the fact is that comparing MIRG, which itself is an intensely managed model with common practice is not valid because there are several other extended crop rotation schemes that can do the same thing but also require intensive management. But this is not the only issue. The major issue is can we feed six billion mouths with agricultural practices that were largely abandoned over a century ago because of low yields. The fact that you, like the rest of the whole damned ‘organic’ movement stonewalls that single question demonstrates just how ethically suspect it is.

    You are not a farmer. A real farmer would be telling us his own experiences in the field, not holding up bloody videos from frauds wanting to sell fantasy to some ‘back-to-the-land’ deamer toiling away in the city in a dead end job. Please stop insulting my intelligence by this silly posturing. If you have an argument to make, and you can show that these techniques can meet demand without the use of chemicals or GMO I will consider it. If you insist on standing on transparent lie that you are right because you know more than I do, without tabling proper references along with numbers and other verifiable data, you are wasting my time and this exchange is over.


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  13. 63
    Grass farmer Says:

    Ok my life experience all I can remember as a kid on my fathers farm when he let the number of cattle grow is constant brush hoging what I was taught was weeds that grew every where. Any forages that grew that the cows felt were worth eating were repeatly grazed to the ground literally looks just like a putting green. Cows then would be constantly reaching through the barbwire and Electric fence to get a better bite of grass. The animal not caring if it gets bit just to eat lead to havering to get the animals back in what a pain in the butt always me having to keep the cows in when dad felt there was still feed in the pasture. Also we had to learn the hard way that are ground held spores that kill a calf it is known as black leg when a young calf starts grazeing very low to the ground like a putting greens remember. One or more picks it up why’ll grazing and next thing you know is you have dead and ill calves everywhere. I had want it stay farming when I graduated but alway the constant reminder from mom and dad that money cannot be made on the farm. So off to agriculture college I went, did not learn anything but you either work for a big establish farm or go into so much debt that all you would be doing is working to pay the bank not yourself. Like Earl Butts said “get big or get out” to farmers in the 1970′s. Ag school is going nowhere fast and I still had wanted to farm but only for myself and family. Until I found a better way to farm like many other these days.


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  14. 64
    DV82XL Says:

    This patter by Grass farmer is starting to look very much like the ‘testimonials’ that turn up in another thread extolling the benefits of hash oil for the treatment of cancer. I suspect that the instant he is given a chance he will start posting links to some of the sites (or videos pointing to those sites) that will be selling material pushing these ideas. Too bad I have already run into these while looking into this topic.

    These are the same as many of the heath woo sites – the same drivel about special knowledge, how the big guys try to suppress the truth, hagiographies of the imbatered prophet, and of course endless testimonials of near miraculous results by those that followed the True Path. Naturally they will be happy to sell you the details of how you can do it too in an impressive list of books they are making available at $30+ a pop.

    Let’s see if the other shoe drops.


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  15. 65
    Grass farmer Says:

    Well have been busy working on my 4G GMAW weld test. Need to get it done now so it does not get In the way this spring grazing start. Cows are being fed bales for now this season not enough stock piled grass I need to work on the Soil Biology.


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  16. 66
    Grass farmer Says:

    It is an interesting fact that bales of hay fed during the winter if unrolled if round bales or just spread out squares a fertility and seed packets each one and also the left over hay turns to bedding in the field along with getting the animal to drop dung on the ground I the area to bring more fertility all to feed the ecology. Little things in agriculture are not even considered liked dv82xl p-sses on because his all knowing peer reviewed studies are done buy sit on there ass!s college professors. Until you do this for a income all the reviews are useless. All the farmers and ranches and videos that topic of managed grazing and ruminates are all the best free deep information on this topic unless you have the time to visit all there farms. Like I quoted earlier by the animal science professor the farmers and ranchers are way ahead of the universities on this kind of topic. But all of dv82xl audience knows he is not full of himself all I do is lie with no proof but what proof can I give you but persistents. Also the topic of feeding six billion people is not my problem I am just one person trying to find a way to keep the costs as constant as possible and grow the soil biology that in its self is an example on the way the rest of the world can feed it self sustainably.


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