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buy 'poisoned' ex-GMO corn field?  RSS feed

 
Charles Laferriere
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Hello!
I'm new here, so... Hi everyone
I've been introduced to a fair sized plot of land, about 15 acres, which is currently being rented dirt cheap to some guy who is growing GMO corn, with round up. And he seems like a complete wacko.
The owners of the farm are too old, but open to any suggestion that could give them a humf to get the guy out, and head towards a more sustainable approach.
I'm a young, aspiring organic farmer, very much attracted to the ideas and principles of permaculture. I currently have quite a bit of time on my hands and I'd like to know what would be the best way to turn that piece into a profitable land, using local resources.
Theres a lot of horse manure available in the area, as well as sawdust, coffee grinds.
Before meeting the guy, I was heading towards a SPIN model -but that piece of land is way too large, and due to its previous use with chem and gmo, I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience before.
I would definitely start with a soil profile test.
Thanks!
Charles
 
Adam Klaus
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This is just my humble opinion, as a young farmer that started on my land 8 years ago-

Farming is profoundly difficult to make viable for a young person starting out. You need everything in your favor to begin with. Good soil, good water, good local markets. You will be competing against a marketplace of other farmers who are not trying to farm poisoned ground. Rehabilitating the sterile soil biology, while attempting to produce marketable crops, is unrealistic in the near term.

Working a poisoned acreage, you will not be able to claim organic, and to gain the organic price premium that is critical to being viable. Honestly, even if the land was free for the farming, you arent going to be able to make enough money selling conventional produce to make it financially viable. The organic premium is not optional for being viable in the marketplace.


I would look for better land. You will find other opportunities. Dont invest your time, energy, and passion into a doomed business endeavor. We need more young farmers, and we need them to be successful so that they keep farming. You will find a better opportunity if you keep looking. good luck
 
Landon Sunrich
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On the other hand if you're in it for the long haul you could demonstrate just how much can be done. I will agree with Adam that there is virtually no possibility of making money off of non certified organic agg land unless you are selling directly to your neighbors and they have full faith in the project. I really hope we can start healing some of these soil. fungi and carbon pathways are necessary in my opinion. The world needs people brave enough to try or it'll just end up as wasteland or scrub grass right?
 
Dale Hodgins
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I think the larger question with any sort of deal is ownership. Will you own this land now or in the future? If it were mine and I was determined to keep it, I would put it to grazing or some other use with low input costs and run the clock out on the certification problem. This assumes that it is fenced. I would want to ensure that there were no payments expected until the soil tests are agreeable. If financial leakage can be avoided and you have other work to keep you busy, this might be worth it.

Sometimes farms have been neglected. A place that has been vacant and not farmed will often have pastures that are turning to forest or covered in goldenrod or whatever takes over abandoned land in your area. This neglected land may prove the better choice. All of the growth that is frowned upon by conventional poison farmers are exactly the guild of plants that nature uses to heal damaged land. The price is likely to be better than a similar acreage with bare, freshly poisoned soil.
 
John Elliott
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Dale I have to give you a thumbs up for

Dale Hodgins wrote: conventional poison farmers......with bare, freshly poisoned soil.


You have a way with words.
 
John Polk
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I would put it to grazing... and run the clock out on the certification problem.


That is excellent advice for anybody "waiting" until they can get certified.
With a good, diverse pasture, plus animals, you could be growing rich soils in the mean time.

When certification becomes possible, you would be starting with rich, forkable tilth.

 
Thekla McDaniels
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With the fallow land, or the poisoned land, it seems the best course is rotational grazing and soil building.

Land ownership is an important consideration, as is gleaning an income, because you do need to live, but many a farmer has started out with rented or leased land, and some kind of job, and used the money from the job to get his first livestock, which grazed the rented land. Breed the animals, which ever you decide on, the wonderful thing is they multiply . You begin to do herd improvement, upgrade from your starter animals... When you can afford it, you buy land of your own. In the meantime you've enriched the soil, and extracted CO2 from the atmosphere. Well worth the effort.

Also, in the meantime, you have had a chance to learn a lot about what ever aspect of farming you've chosen, you have made important contacts. With a few years to play with the puzzle, you might know more what you want when you DO go to buy land, more able to judge for yourself if a given piece of land is suitable for your plans, and you've provided a demonstration of what can be done.

Good luck, which ever path you choose

Thekla
 
Charles Laferriere
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Thank you everyone for your input and sharing your experience.

Much important advices shared here..

I'll have to speak with the owner, who is the pastor of the town and see how it goes..

Thanks!
 
Seth Wetmore
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Look to a different plot unless you are vastly wealthy and can wait for the land to break down the herbacides. Look up Mansanto and thier product line, look up glycophosphates (or how ever it is spelled) look for the break down rate if it is biodegradable, photodegradable or if it has to be chemically broken down. How long the process takes etc. look up the contamination rate of the surrounding environment. If you can wait for these things to take place or to pay to increase the speed at which they happen than you are far richer than most of the millionaires that I know. If you are that rich Hire me, allow me to select your site for you, pay me the money you are about to spend on this 15 acres and have a far supperior result. I will Gladdly help you if you have the money to make it happen. Good luck
 
Thekla McDaniels
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If no one rehabilitates land, we are on the short road to ruin. I have seen rehabilitated land, farmed the agro-chemical way for decades, now growing certified organic alfalfa, and pasturing boer goats in the rotational grazing system. The current owner began 6 years ago with his Alan Savory style organic practices. The fields are lush, he uses no fertilizer, the soil is increasing in carbon, the whole good story is playing out at his place. He grows organic alfalfa, which he has tested for GMO presence, which is less than one percent.

He is to the point now, that his farming neighbors hang over the fence or stop in the driveway to ask him what he did, how he has accomplished this feat, as his fields stand out from all the surrounding agro chemically farmed crops and pasture. There could be a lot of variables I am not aware of, but this miracle is playing out on alkaline clay parent material.

So, though what Seth says is true, about degradation of herbicides and such, somehow, once poisoned land can recover, and IMO we - humanity - must facilitate the recovery somehow. I just went back and re-read the beginning post of this thread, to see where we began, and what compounds are in question. GMO corn chemical fertilizers and round up. Round-up works by direct contact with the leaves. It's not wonderful to have it in the soil, not wonderful that it is leached into streams where it kills fish, but the round-up of yesteryear does not prevent plants from growing, nor the weeds. That's why they keep on using it. If you aren't growing corn, then GMO corn won't affect your crop.

I kind of like the idea of turning dead depleted post industrial farm land back into soil as a demonstration. It may be that not everyone shares that interest.

But as Seth says, there are some herbicides that last years and kill every plant, and nothing grows for years. Research is always a good idea. Especially before making an investment such as buying land.

Good luck to us all!

Thekla



 
S Bengi
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You will also find that you can make more money with a 1 acre spin farm vs 15 acres of corn.
So focus on just one acre, to bring in some income and then clean up the rest of the land.
 
pete samson
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Seth Wetmore wrote:Look up Mansanto and thier product line, look up glycophosphates (or how ever it is spelled) look for the break down rate if it is biodegradable, photodegradable or if it has to be chemically broken down. How long the process takes etc.


Technically, "22 years."

Taken from here: https://www.farmacyseeds.net/VB4/showthread.php?t=10

You will have to click through the 'security warning' as the Admin decided to self-issue the security certificate (security certificates can be expensive for websites when issued from one of the so-called Trusted website certificate providers, e.g. 'Microsoft', 'Verisign' etc)

Then you will find an excellent training course, with the four parts of audio of John Kempf. I am not sure where he talks about the decay rate; lots of good info... maybe it's in part 2.

 
Seth Wetmore
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I do agree with the idea of land rehabillitation. It just costs so much. I also think it would be good to restore the land in question. I am just wary of wasteing time. I am not for useing chemical hebicides, fungicides, or pesticides. Yet what land is truely clean of these toxins that is anywhere near civilization? So as with all things moderation. Keep moving forward. if your heart is set on this piece of land I am not one to stop you I actively encourage your success. Just know what you are getting into. Have a great day.
 
Kenny McBride
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Maybe I'm hopelessly naive, but isn't rehabilitating dead, poisoned soil half of what permaculture is about? I'm not saying it's economically viable for any one individual to spend years trying to bring badly damaged land back to full health, but what's the alternative in the long run? Isn't most of the farmland in the US riddled with Roundup? If everyone waits for the perfect plot of land to appear, we'll all be waiting a very long time. And besides, isn't part of the magic in taking a bit of land that ought to be unusable and turning it into something bountiful and beautiful?
 
C. Letellier
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The real point is ownership. Can you afford risking this where you don't own the land. If you go ahead get your long term stuff started now. The trees can be growing while the land clears. Start building you carbon in localized areas and with the rest cut your losses as best you can for the 5 to 10 years it takes for things to clean up.
 
Chris Kott
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I agree with the basic sentiment that land rehabilitation is part of what we're here to do. Having said that, especially on the small farm scale, there are projects you simply don't tackle right out of the gate unless you have the financial wherewithal to do so.

The reason most new farmers start with small plots and small livestock is usually because of the smaller required capital investment. It is my considered opinion that, due to the time and resources involved, rehabilitation of farmland isn't a first-step to food or financial independence.

So yes, we should clean up environmental messes where possible, but it is an undertaking of those with the money and resources to do so. If you wreck yourself financially because fixing the land is the "right" thing to do, how many more good things do you think you will be able to accomplish?

-CK
 
Carl Moore
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Post Monday, December 02, 2013 4:52:08 AM Subject: buy 'poisoned' ex-GMO corn field?

Seth Wetmore wrote:Look up Mansanto and thier product line, look up glycophosphates (or how ever it is spelled) look for the break down rate if it is biodegradable, photodegradable or if it has to be chemically broken down. How long the process takes etc.



Technically, "22 years."

Taken from here: https://www.farmacyseeds.net/VB4/showthread.php?t=10

You will have to click through the 'security warning' as the Admin decided to self-issue the security certificate (security certificates can be expensive for websites when issued from one of the so-called Trusted website certificate providers, e.g. 'Microsoft', 'Verisign' etc)

Then you will find an excellent training course, with the four parts of audio of John Kempf. I am not sure where he talks about the decay rate; lots of good info... maybe it's in part 2.


Hi guys!!! I'm Rebootag from FSN (The Farmacy Seeds Network) I came across this on y google searches and just HAD to contribute... especially when i discovered thelink want working..

There is a TON of info on glyphosphate..

the John Kempf (of AEA) info (part b) the first 30 minutes or so is on that alone primarly...

and then on our youtube channel... is Dr. Stephanie Seneff a researcher at MIT..





and... actually... glyphospphate (Roundup) has a half life of 22 years... meaning..

6 ounces on this acre today... 22 years later... theres still 3 ounces..

22 years later... 1.5 ounces... and so on... it is a VERY long residual time... which is why its ridiculous to give organic certification after 3 years... and remember... this is supposedd to be the SAFEST pesticide in use today..


We ave TONS more info on our forums.. its all free... our aim is to reboot agriculture in the US and worldwide... We LOVE what permies stands for! Cheers!!!

Rebootag - https://farmacyseeds.net

ps - the SSL certificate is a verified and signed one now, so no worries on security and privacy when you visit our site.
use gly.png
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Brice Moss
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While the roundup has a long lifetime in soil, its also pretty mobile, the three year organic certification clock is based mostly on transport downstream and is pretty safe in most enviroments.

Your best bet for soild rehab would be to plant it in forage mixes and run a grass fed free range cattle or sheep and pig operation forthe first few years, slowly shifting to more veggies this also lets pastured poultry is also an option.

one big consideration as to weather this feild can become productive is the neigouhbors though, if its a 15 acre strip with cornfeilds on either side overspray and seed contimination will always be an issue and you'll never get non roundup ready broadleafs to grow well. if it's a small patch isiolated by woodlands it could become a great site in a few years and be self supporting in meat critter almost from the start.
 
Carl Moore
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While the roundup has a long lifetime in soil, its also pretty mobile, the three year organic certification clock is based mostly on transport downstream and is pretty safe in most enviroments.


I would emphatically disagree with this statement, but I'll leave people to follow the info provided above if they desire.
 
S Haze
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After skimming through this thread I think I'm with the camp that says "do it!" but with one condition: It is critically important that you have a solid plan going into it because if it fails it makes us all look bad and is a setback for the permaculture cause.

There are lots of resources for how to set up a plan including at the end of the excellent book I'm reading by Julius Ruechel, Grass Fed Cattle. The methods described don't just apply to beef enterprises.

It is vitally important that permaculture methods are brought to more land and on a scale that causes conventional farmers to take notice and see that there is a viable alternative. I remember reading the words "path to ruin" or something like that above.

A couple years back I went to a hazelnut field day (badgersett research farm) and was surprised to hear the owner say that the system they are developing isn't for marginal land which too often is the default choice for any alternative to agriculture. They want their system (which would be totally compatible to permaculture by the way) not to be just another 3rd crop or side project but to compete with and replace an annual crop-tillage-pesticide regime.

One more idea I'm going to suggest may get me kicked off this forum but here goes: Pick out half or a third of this field and for at least the next several years keep it corn or beans or whatever is grown where you are. Make sure that it's some of the best land for this and section it off in a way that fits whatever machinery is being used. Enlist the help of a local organic or at least more ecologically knowledgeable farmer to cut back on the pesticides, grow conventionally bred crops instead of GMO, and use the least harmful fertilizers.

I don't know if this suggestion will help for sure in your area but here growing commodity crops has been very profitable for the last decade or so and this will be in much needed income to develop the rest of the property and eventually the entire property.
 
Carl Moore
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A couple years back I went to a hazelnut field day (badgersett research farm) and was surprised to hear the owner say that the system they are developing isn't for marginal land which too often is the default choice for any alternative to agriculture. They want their system (which would be totally compatible to permaculture by the way) not to be just another 3rd crop or side project but to compete with and replace an annual crop-tillage-pesticide regime.


yes.. totally agree... and also agree rehab is a great idea... but yo must understand the drawbacks and complications fully up front... so you don't get down the path and then discover a miscalculation. I think ultimately, we all just want to see you be as successful as you can be with said project.


One more idea I'm going to suggest may get me kicked off this forum but here goes: Pick out half or a third of this field and for at least the next several years keep it corn or beans or whatever is grown where you are. Make sure that it's some of the best land for this and section it off in a way that fits whatever machinery is being used. Enlist the help of a local organic or at least more ecologically knowledgeable farmer to cut back on the pesticides, grow conventionally bred crops instead of GMO, and use the least harmful fertilizers.


yes corn and beans a other crops definitely have major soil building potential, especially combined with proper foliar feeds and even more so at the proper critical points of influence fo the crop you're working with. There are many other great soil building crops as well. And MOST important is proper biology and trace mineral nutrition..

I'm watching and in for this one..
cheers!

 
Brice Moss
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Carl Moore wrote:
While the roundup has a long lifetime in soil, its also pretty mobile, the three year organic certification clock is based mostly on transport downstream and is pretty safe in most enviroments.


I would emphatically disagree with this statement, but I'll leave people to follow the info provided above if they desire.


if it were that persistent in the root zone there would be no need of a new application on each new years crop, I'm not trying to detract from the dangers of this stuff circulating around but giving up on every patch f soil thats been sprayed with roundup for the next century ain't gonna work.
 
Carl Moore
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if it were that persistent in the root zone there would be no need of a new application on each new years crop,


I'm sorry but it sounds like you really don't understand how it works.. or its actual toxicity.

That said, I agree.. remediation of that soil with good biology and healthy organism is the QUICKEST and best way to rejuvenate the soil. My major concern is that any animals and people that consume food from these sources will experience DIRE negative biological affects. It has so many negative pathways it will blow your mind. For instance, it locks up manganese and zinc from the cells in plants.. and in human bones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxylapatite) which is what human bones are primarily composed of.

I encourage you to listen to the info we have available.. it will really change how you look at biological systems in general, and especially as it relates to toxins.

Did you know antibiotics and pesticides work basically the same way? They BOTH lock up or Chelate trace elements. All enzymes and consequently all protein blocks and consequently all animals and humans rely on trace minerals. Enzymes are actually crystal covered trace elements.

cheers! I like our ongoing dialogue.

 
Chris Kott
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Any argument you reduce to its most ridiculous extreme will naturally seem foolish.

The reason for the need for reapplication is more likely to be progressive resistance to what's being sprayed. If even just the most susceptible individuals are the ones being culled before they go to seed, you are still effectively forcing the selection of more resistant ones. In this case, it's more likely that the ones replenishing the seed bank are the most resistant ones.

To streamline my point, the fact that last year's application of poison doesn't work the next year doesn't mean that it's gone, or that it's any safer to grow on.

Also, there are many other permacultural uses that will help to cleanse the land without poisoning people. What about a fibre and fuel savannah? You could grow diverse tree species for lumber, firewood, and paper, fibre crops for paper and cloth, even corn for the purpose of ethanol production (for fuel).

Let's drop the sophistry, shall we? You can have your cake, so long as you do anything but eat it.

-CK
 
Carl Moore
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Glyphosate's mode of action is to inhibit an enzyme involved in the synthesis of the aromatic amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylalanine. It is absorbed through foliage and translocated to growing points. Because of this mode of action, it is only effective on actively growing plants; it is not effective as a pre-emergence herbicide.


from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate

a little more:
Biochemistry

Glyphosate kills plants by interfering with the synthesis of the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. It does this by inhibiting the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), which catalyzes the reaction of shikimate-3-phosphate (S3P) and phosphoenolpyruvate to form 5-enolpyruvyl-shikimate-3-phosphate (ESP).[11]

EPSPreactionII.tif

ESP is subsequently dephosphorylated to chorismate, an essential precursor for the amino acids mentioned above.[12] These amino acids are used in protein synthesis and to produce secondary metabolites such as folates, ubiquinones and naphthoquinone.


that would be why it doesnt kill plants the next year or even crop rotation cycle.

glyphosphate mode of a.jpg
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Chris Kott
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That's lovely, and very interesting. But does it invalidate my observations on the unintended consequences that result in glyphosphate - resistant plants?

Also, does any of that mean that food grown on previously sprayed land is any safer to eat?

-CK
 
Carl Moore
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Not at all Chris... quite the contrary... it backs up your arguement.

see pubmed for new info:
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/glyphosate-commercial-formulation-causes-cytotoxicity-oxidative-effects-and

and I can go on all day... but I'll just throw a few charts at you...

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Chris Kott
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Sorry, just needed some clarification there. Sometimes lots of information can obfuscate the issue.

-CK
 
Carl Moore
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Oh no need to apologize, I'm more than happy to clarify... and I agree.. facts can confuse sometimes... thats what a lot of big companies rely on... I'm here to cut through the garbage.. grin

hope these infographics help
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glyphos bio effects 12-21-2013 7-09-18 PM.png
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Colin Dunphy
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good thread. wide spectrum of input.

any updates?
 
Charles Laferriere
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Ah! Well indeed it's a good thread..

The OP here.

Bought a piece last fall. 4 acres, 1 acre of forest and 3 acres "cultivable". The land was raped with corn and soy alternance of crops. It's funny how it was a neighbour who was "taking care" of the land and "not charging the ex-owners any money" and that "I should thank them" for maintaining the land. Holy fuckballs.

Anyhow.

I'm setting up a 7 years plan to regenerate the land here, and was about to make a new thread for recommendations.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Thank you for coming back with updates! I've got a small portion of my property where I used (sadly) a small amount of round-up to kill some bind weed last year. I'm very interested in seeing how your restoration goes and wish you much success!

Here's his new thread, for those also interested: http://www.permies.com/t/54153/small-farm/Small-farm-acres
 
Charles Laferriere
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Hi Nicole!
Yes well for now the plan is quite messy because it's still messy in my head But there's a direction. I'd love to be able to set up a proper website with journal soon enough. Those journals helped me a LOT on the way.. it almost feels like cheating.
 
Thomas warren
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I'm somewhat of an optimist, but I think everything is redeemable.
Chemicals break down over time, proper treatment of soil can nurse it back to health. I wouldnt want to try to farm anything the first year or years, but you could do a mixed cover crop with nitrogen fixers, dump wood chips from local tree trimmers, etc.
Once the soil gets closer to a natural state the natural soil biology can go to work, and a lot of fungi breakdown man made chemicals, and many man made chemicals will break down themselves as they were not meant to be.
In that time I don't think it dangerous content to plant trees and bushes and maybe they will start cropping when the annuals do.
But I am an optimist.
The way I look at it, we're going to have to take poisoned farmland and rehabilitate it everywhere if we are going to fix things. How practical it is for you is a decision you'll have to make, but it is one we'll have to make as a society very shortly.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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