Author Topic: Organic farming BETTER and JUST AS PROFITABLE  (Read 603 times)

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Offline Matthew

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Organic farming BETTER and JUST AS PROFITABLE
« on: October 22, 2012, 11:23:41 PM »
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  • Less Boneheaded Farming

    October 22nd, 2012
    Via: New York Times:
    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 it’s a high-stakes game; according to the Environmental Protection Agency, about five billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the United States.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/a-simple-fix-for-food/
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    Offline Maria Elizabeth

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    Organic farming BETTER and JUST AS PROFITABLE
    « Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 12:44:52 AM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew

    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 it’s a high-stakes game; according to the Environmental Protection Agency, about five billion pounds of pesticides are used each year in the United States.

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/a-simple-fix-for-food/


    Iowa State is known for its rigorous statistical studies.

    The chemical companies are probably groaning, "How can we torpedo these results?"  

    Hopefully, they won't be able to.





    Offline s2srea

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    Organic farming BETTER and JUST AS PROFITABLE
    « Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 06:21:17 PM »
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  • Just as profitable, but still more expensive, right?

    Offline Matthew

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    Organic farming BETTER and JUST AS PROFITABLE
    « Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 08:23:56 PM »
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  • Quote from: s2srea
    Just as profitable, but still more expensive, right?


    No, re-read this part:

    Quote
    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.


    So you either go organic, and spend more on people (helps the economy, right?) or spend it on pesticides/poisons. But your profits will be the same.

    Which is a better way to spend the "overhead" of growing crops? And isn't the result of organic farming far-and-above better than the alternative? After all, people have to EAT that food once it's grown. So once you factor in the moral implications, there's no comparison.
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    Offline s2srea

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    Organic farming BETTER and JUST AS PROFITABLE
    « Reply #4 on: October 24, 2012, 05:19:40 AM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    Quote from: s2srea
    Just as profitable, but still more expensive, right?


    No, re-read this part:

    Quote
    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.


    So you either go organic, and spend more on people (helps the economy, right?) or spend it on pesticides/poisons. But your profits will be the same.

    Which is a better way to spend the "overhead" of growing crops? And isn't the result of organic farming far-and-above better than the alternative? After all, people have to EAT that food once it's grown. So once you factor in the moral implications, there's no comparison.


    Hmm... I understand what you're saying, and certainly agree, but the point is that you're speaking to this from the view point of the business owners/ farmers. (right?) We certainly see it differently at the grocery store. If its truly the case and comes down to cost of work vs. pesticides, why is it still so much more expensive? Am I missing something?


     

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