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No-till gardening is not organic?  RSS feed

 
David Lam
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I've been looking at threefarmers oil products and they claim that because they use a no-till farming technique is renders them non-organic. I thought organic was purely to do with spraying chemicals is this true?


"We take a direct seeding approach to all of our crops. This means we do not till our land. Tillage has been shown to be counterproductive to healthy soils. It destroys the habitat of microorganisms, destroys organic matter, and causes soil erosion which destroys the fertility of soils. For this reason, we are not organic. It is not because we believe in the unnecessary application of chemicals to crops but rather because of our focus on healthy soils for the purpose of building healthy plants."
 
John Wolfram
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There are organic apples/grapes, and vineyards/orchards typically don't get tilled. So, tillage is not required for something to be organic.

That being said, a lot of no-till farmers apply a herbicide to kill the weeds in lieu of tilling. Reading through their page, I would guess before seeding they douse their fields in Roundup. In terms of marketing, their page is pretty clever in the selective disclosure of information.
 
Jan White
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This really bugs me. Yes, so much that I finally registered to the forum to actually post something and express how bugged I am. I sent threefarmers an email telling them their marketing bullshit sucks and makes them look sleazy despite any cool stuff they might be doing. That'll show em.
 
jimmy gallop
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organic has became a legal term that don't apply as you know it any more.
It don't apply to you unless you are trying to get organically certified by the powers to be.
I know stinks doesn't it.
thank corporate America for this.
 
John Polk
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their page is pretty clever in the selective disclosure of information.

Yeah. It is not what they say, but what they do not say.
Carefully worded to tell half of the story...the half they want you to hear.

 
Tyler Ludens
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As mentioned, most no-till farming these days relies entirely on RoundUp. So even though farmers are avoiding soil loss due to plowing, they are still doing tremendous damage to life.

 
Jan White
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John Polk wrote:
their page is pretty clever in the selective disclosure of information.

Yeah. It is not what they say, but what they do not say.
Carefully worded to tell half of the story...the half they want you to hear.



But they DO say. They say we do no-till and THEREFORE we are not organic, leading people who don't know any better to think the two are mutually exclusive. If they'd just gone on about their soil health and left organic out of it it wouldn't have pissed me off, cause then it would just be them telling the part they want people to hear, which people should know by now is what every company does already. As it is, they're lying - more so than just by omission.

*edited for clarity (maybe)
 
Scott Strough
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There are conventional no-til farmers working their way down towards less and less. Here is one: Gabe Brown
 
David Lam
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Thanks Jan saved me the hassle of doing it. I will be returning their oil ASAP! Altho their infusion of garlic and peppers with 475F smoke point sounds so dreamy
Jan White wrote:This really bugs me. Yes, so much that I finally registered to the forum to actually post something and express how bugged I am. I sent threefarmers an email telling them their marketing bullshit sucks and makes them look sleazy despite any cool stuff they might be doing. That'll show em.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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But they DO say. They say we do no-till and THEREFORE we are not organic, leading people who don't know any better to think the two are mutually exclusive. If they'd just gone on about their soil health and left organic out of it it wouldn't have pissed me off, cause then it would just be them telling the part they want people to hear, which people should know by now is what every company does already. As it is, they're lying - more so than just by omission



The real crappy thing here, in my opinion, is not the sleezy marketing to trick people (that's done every day, everywhere-Caveat Emptor), {not that it should exist at all, anywhere, but it does, so buyer beware) but there is a some kind of connection being made between no-till being exclusive from being organic (as Jan wrote and I quote above); this not only is the foundation of their blatant thinly veiled lie, but it undermines the organic/natural farming approach, by making it sound as though the organic/natural folks would never do no till or to simply associate this ignorant trend of dosing crops with herbicide and then practicing no-till and making claims of glorious farming practices.

What a load of shit. But a clever load of shit. And it's great that people call them on it, and that you caught yourself, David. But, unfortunately the majority of sheep will still follow the call of the shepherd on this one and be fooled.

I thought organic was purely to do with spraying chemicals is this true?


Not exactly. The non spraying aspect of certified organic farming is only one aspect of organic production. To be organic, you can not import any additives onto your farm that will be added to your soil at all that are not certified organic including your seeds, even for green manure. A paper trail of certification has to follow each amendment, be it the spraying of herbicides and pesticides (which can be done within organic certification using exacting and specific timing parameters and only with organic compounds) or fertilizers (so for instance you can import manure from a neighbor's dairy farm, but only if it is a certified organic dairy.) Also, there are stipulations within the organic standardization about building/protecting soil---And some of the farmers chose to do no till as a means to protect and build soil. Also certified organic producers can not use genetically modified seeds. Most use open pollinated, non hybrid seeds. In order to be certified, a government certified inspector has to come by and inspect your land. It has to be under such scrutiny for at least 3 years and up to 5 years before you can claim full organic certification; before that you are transitional organic.

There are several big problems with this system, beyond the government involvement and the exhausting bureaucratic process. One is the fact that if you do not have very many local certified organic producers, it takes a lot of work to make an organic go of it alone; you have to produce or (pay to import at a distance), all of your organic inputs. Another crappy thing is exemplified by an example I heard about that someone can do and still be certified organic, is 1.) spray roundup all over an otherwise healthy feral meadow 2.) Transplant super dwarf early bearing but certified organic apple trees, and broadcast an organic polyculture seed mix or some certified mulch, and apply for certification. 3.)Wait three or whatever years and laugh at the people tending their heritage groves with real organic standards but no certification, laugh your ass off that you are getting a premium price for apples grown on trees with a very limited lifespan. Then do it again somewhere else. Welcome to modern "organics". Too many hoops to jump through, Too few and far between, and Too many loopholes. Great for Big Farming. Not so great otherwise. It could have been... but... not.

This is not to say that you should not support your local organic farmer! Do so, and support those who are transparent and amazing. They jumped on the standardization for the earnest truth of what they were, and what we all were hoping it would become. But look into each and every one. Visit the farms if you can. Enjoy what you learn. But always be aware of what you are seeing, and what you are asking. Find your truth.

organic has became a legal term that don't apply as you know it any more.
It don't apply to you unless you are trying to get organically certified by the powers to be.


There are other alternative systems being brainstormed or implemented that may create a system of organic standards that has no government intervention. jack spirko is involve in spearheading one: http://agritrue.com/

A couple quotes, including the steps listed on the website:
The Nuts and Bolts of it:
"The primary goal of AgriTrue is to break down the real or perceived wall between food producer and food consumer. To do this, we need to rebuild a community where growers, farmers, and ranchers are talking directly with their patrons. AgriTrue wants to help start this conversation."

The Steps to becoming an AgriTrue producer:
"FIRST, there is a minimum standard to be an AgriTrue Producer… it requires you to be open and honest. That is it. Tell us about yourself and how you manage your land and/or animals. We will help by asking questions. Just answer the questions to the best of your ability, and you will qualify to be a Silver Level AgriTrue Producer. You don’t need to follow any specific production rules to be a Silver Level AgriTrue Producer. You just have to tell us how you raise the food you produce.
SECOND, you must take the AgriTrue Pledge. By completing and submitting the form below, I am agreeing to the AgriTrue Pledge:
I agree to stay connected to my customers. I will give a reasonable effort to respond to the questions and concerns of my patrons as expressed through my profile page on the AgriTrue website.
I will keep my AgriTrue Profile Page updated as needed.
I agree not to use synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers in the production of the food I produce, and the feed I give my animals will be raised without synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers.
I agree not to raise Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), and I agree not to use Genetically Modified (GM) feed for my animals. (click here to see our listing of non-GMO animal feeds)
THIRD, you must complete the registration process below."

AS MENTIONED IN THE FIRST QUOTE, the process is about building a network of consumers and producers based on truth and transparency that has no government manipulation. The website's "About" page is well worded.
 
David Lam
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Thank you everyone for the wonderful replies! Since you all seem so knowledgeable can anyone tell me what the difference is between the certification process of organic vs biodynamic?
 
Tyler Ludens
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geoff lawton did a little video about the crappiness of certified organic: http://geofflawton.com/videos/organics-goes-bad/
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Hi David Lam:

can anyone tell me what the difference is between the certification process of organic vs biodynamic?


There is a whole forum dedicated to biodynamics here at permies. It might be better to post your question there, where people are more knowledgeable and who might not view this question here.

I can say this much:

Biodynamics is based on the esoteric work and experiments of the philosopher savant Rudolf Steiner. Biodynamics is all about using etheric natural forces to your advantage in growing soil and food. The simplest techniques involve gardening by the lunar calendar and planting according to what forces are acting upon a plant.

http://ca.rhythmofnature.net/biodynamic-calendar

Other simple procedures include making brews of certain plants and injecting them into your compost.

More complicated procedures include burying the horns of cattle that are stuffed with manure or other substances, and then using the material from exhumed horns (after certain burial times), to prepare brews that are further imbued with natural forces using vortexes (by stirring in alternating directions, or using a pump and created flow forms).

It's pretty cool stuff, and the people who are into it are REALLY into it, which is pretty awesome too. There's lots of info out there online.
 
Darin Colville
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Organic no-till is considerably more difficult than conventional no-till. (They can use the dreaded Round-up). Organic requires either freeze down cover crops or trampling by Intensive Rotational Grazing. You need to know your shit. BTW I know not everyone here believes in organic but here's some food for thought-every order of Stonyfield yogurt by Wal-Mart saves 22 tons of pesticide being sprayed on America's soil. Also the prices payed for organic grain is more likely to lead to a profit for the farmer. That's my first rule of sustainability- make enough money to be in business again next year.
 
Peter Ellis
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David Lam wrote:Thank you everyone for the wonderful replies! Since you all seem so knowledgeable can anyone tell me what the difference is between the certification process of organic vs biodynamic?


Organic certification is a government issued designation, with substantial fees associated and lots of rules, regulations, standards. Depending on who you are talking to, these rules and regulations are varying degrees of outrageous.
As far as I am aware, biodynamic is not government certified at all and is very different. The biodynamic practitioner could qualify for organic certification as they don't use conventional pesticides.
 
Darin Colville
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The certification board of biodynamics is called Demeter. The greek goddess of harvest.
 
David Lam
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The "head honcho" is away on break so this is their response for now as to why they arn't organic.
https://vimeo.com/108525075
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Sorry David, I misread your quote even as I quoted it in my previous post. my apologies. As Peter Ellis said :
biodynamic is not government certified at all and is very different. The biodynamic practitioner could qualify for organic certification as they don't use conventional pesticides.
Biodynamic is organic by it's nature. They do not use chemicals.

I watched the Vimeo clip you posted.

Either the interviewee is being very careful in this clip to not include his use of roundup, or herbicides, or he doesn't use them. I think the wording from one of their pages: "There are NO herbicides, pesticides or chemicals used on camelina and none present what so ever in our product." is enough to say that it appears they are trying to use very careful wording to avoid the fact that they do use chemicals, just not directly on the oil plant, and that those chemicals are not traceable (they go into great pains and detail about the traceable nature of their farming system on their website) from the seed to the final pressed oil in their products.

It seems like the farmer interviewee has a lot of information in his head, and he knows what he wants to say, but he is not really on top of all of his facts in the video.

I do not necessarily like his choice of words as he goes through this short clip, and I'll try to be as accurate as I can by quoting him in full. The three quotes flow from one to another directly in order from the beginning of the clip after introducing himself:

1.) "The goal of what we are moving towards is more of a perennial polyculture system, which would be a complete natural system;"

I guess any step away from the idiocy of the standard conventionally till, kill, and chemically support, system is moving towards a complete natural perennial polyculture system. Farming seed crops is not going to be easy without some form of weed suppression. They are not tilling and they are using peas and lentils (pulses) to both fix nitrogen and enhance the soil structure and hydrological interface which, in their favor, is many steps towards a more natural system... so they can say that they are moving towards a complete natural system... But, the next line, begins the bullshit (and by association this first line is also rendered bullshit, as I will write about below).

2.) "whereas organic has a lot of restrictions such as you can't do (pause) you can't provide plant nutrition, so without providing your plants with the proper nutrients and nutrition, you either sacrifice quality of the crop or you have to use practices such as tillage to basically mine those nutrients out of the soil."

I think the pause in his narrative is telling. He's probably thinking "chemicals" in his subconscious but then catches himself and goes off spewing bullshit about organic methods being prohibited to provide plant nutrition. I don't know, but that's the way it seems. He shows a very limited (or contrived) understanding of organics. He is skimming the truth for his benefit by saying for instance, that tillage basically mines the soil of nutrients. It is true because tillage adds oxygen and the aerobic microbial population goes into overdrive, for a short term gain, but then dies off, so there is no long term gain for your soils system from the great burst of growth, thus such can be called mining: And that makes tilling extractive, depletive, and unsustainable way of farming. He wants to equate his no till system with Sustainability. But to say, blatantly, and in the same breath that you are restricted against providing plant nutrition in an organic system... that is a lie. Also, by association with his previous leading statement, it is clear he wants to delude the listener/watcher that organic practices are somehow opposed to or are not allowed to go towards natural systems or polycultures, when the truth is that these re-directions of farming were initiated within the parameters of the organic/natural farming community.

3.)"So instead, what we have been doing is intercropping and polyculture systems in order to fix nutrients for the camelina crop."

Instead of what? Instead of tilling. Tilling isn't necessarily an organic process of farming, but by the flow of his language it is implied that either you till conventionally, grow organically (without the ability to provide properly for the crop's nutrition) and till, or not, or you use their method; although the phraseology is garbled together enough that a listener could be confused to believe that "natural farming", "polyculture", "no-till" are exclusively not organic practices.

Yes they are using this intercropping method to boost nitrogen and provide a more diverse 'polyculture' (although the choice of polyculture to describe this is a bit of a stretch {see *below}, in my opinion) in their field system, and they are not tilling and they are intercropping, which are great improvements, awesome in fact, and that is what they should focus on and show the difference in a tilled and fully monocropped field, but the rest is, it seems, horse shit meant to confuse people.

He goes on for the rest of the video about the fact that nature doesn't monocrop, and describes some of the benefits of intercropping which is all true of this system to my knowledge, and they do seem to have some intercropping in sight when he does the close up.... But:

*The support crops are not readily apparent in this system from a height (which is not necessary for them to be effective, but it would be great to notice them a bit more), and polyculture is a stretch to define a three crop system. Although these nitrogen fixing crops are present when shown in close up, they are not super productive looking, or, by volume, a major part of the field. The crop of pulses may have been pre-planted and then rolled to suppress the plants a bit and then drilled with the camelina seed, or possibly the pulse crop was grown in the field the year before, and the existing pulses are self seeded or remnants of the previous crops. Or the seeding of the pulses was minimal in order that their climbing nature did not pull down the main crop. It's hard to say what the method was exactly, but from what I can tell, this is damn near a monoculture, and the pulses are being used to take the space where weeds might germinate while providing some of the protection/nutrition that they do best.

If you do get these guys on the line, or get a chance to ask a direct question or two in an email, then it would be very telling to consider these questions:

What is the seeding ratio of your pulses to your camelina? He may say that he does not want to supply this so that he can keep competition from stealing his recipe.

Can you describe all of your inputs through machinery, seeds, or supplements, or suppressants, at any time throughout the year? He may try to side step here, by referring to his traceable clean product, and that the camelina is never sprayed with anything.


This last is probably most important for your purposes:

Can you verify for me that you do not use any synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers in the production of your field at any time in the year? (as opposed to directly on, or traceable within, your camelina)
 
Tyler Ludens
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Excellent bullshit detecting, Roberto!
 
John Wolfram
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The way their field looks is also quite telling as to their agricultural practices. To me, it looks like it is almost a giant lawn of camelina which indicates that they either A) manually removed any weeds that grew taller than the camelina, B) they applied a bunch of herbicides at the start, or C) their area is magically free of weed seeds.
 
John Wolfram
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Roberto pokachinni wrote: Biodynamic is organic by it's nature. They do not use chemicals.

There's more to organic than just chemicals. For example, a chemical-free apple orchard that harvests October 1st and runs sheep through their orchard on the 4th of July would not be organic due to the manure time requirements.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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There's more to organic than just chemicals.


Thanks John. It's good to keep me in check. There are a lot of parameters for becoming and keeping organic certification standards. I should not have blanket statemented that. I'm not familiar with all the specifics, but I have worked on a few certified organic wwoofer farms in the past. I have considered going that route in the future, but I'm also interested in skipping the government involvement and all the bureaucratic crap with the ongoing process. Are you an organic producer yourself?
 
Roberto pokachinni
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John Wolfran wrote:
To me, it looks like it is almost a giant lawn of camelina which indicates that they either A) manually removed any weeds that grew taller than the camelina, B) they applied a bunch of herbicides at the start, or C) their area is magically free of weed seeds.


I think that "B" is the only possibility.

My best guess at the management protocol on this field is that they definitely zapped the field with herbicide in the spring. Then, I would say what they likely did was seed a quick pulse crop as soon as they figured they could get away with it after the dose of broad-leaf herbicide (likely roundup as Saskatchewan has many round-up ready farmers). Then, once the pulse crop was up and running, they rolled the pulse crop and drilled the camelina at the same time. This would enable a minimum of weeds, give them the benefits of their 'polyculture' (and bullshit source), while reducing the potential (by rolling them) for the pulses to either compete for space/light, bring down the camelina, or get mixed into the seed harvesting.

It is also possible that they planted and rolled multiple crops of pulses in the field the previous season to produce a pretty solid mulch layer and thus there is very little germination of weed seeds to need herbicide. The drilled camelina seed would be the only seeds that get a chance to grow through the drilled hole.

 
Roberto pokachinni
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Excellent bullshit detecting, Roberto!
Thanks Tyler.

My guess is one of these three farmers has a lawyer, or someone half ass educated in the family in Saskatoon that helped write their bullshit lines for them.

But they crossed the bottom line of truth, as far as I can tell. They are lying, in my opinion, and deserve to be called on it, or they should at least be asked to declare outright what they do with their fields.
 
David Lam
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Here is a response from them first thing i'll be asking is what SPECIFIC pesticides they use.

>>>> Please address the following quote and why is there no mention of the type of fertilizer you use?
>>>>
>>>> We use manures as available and also regular dry urea, phosphate, potassium, and ammonium sulphate at appropriate rates according soil tests and in many cases applied in a variable rate according to the soil of that area. Nutrients are removed when crops are harvested and they need to be replaced or we are just mining the soil. Phosphate in particular is being exported from our soils to the cities and ends up in city waste. One big solution to environmental issues right now is better waste treatment in the cities where they could recover the P to put back on the land.



>>>> I find it hard to believe that not tilling would lead to a non organic designation. Can you please show me where that definition is stated?
>>>>
>>>> That is not in the definition for organic. Tillage is not required However, in organic grain production, tillage is used intensely to control weeds and to break down organic matter levels to free up nutrients for crop production. Tillage is very harmful to the soil food web and soil structure. It results in lower soil organic matter levels, soil erosion, soil salinity, and less biological soil activity. Years of tillage practices have degraded our soils and we are improving them now through diverse crop rotations, intercropping, fertility management, continuous cropping, grazing animals in rotations, pulse crops, cover crops, and most importantly minimizing tillage.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> "No-till farming often uses a lot of chemicals that decimate the soil food web, so organic matter left on the surface isn’t going to break down. However, in a soil with an abundant soil food web, earthworms, insects and fungi can get up on the surface and work on the organic matter."
>>>>
>>>> no till farming does not use a lot of Chemicals. We use the minimum pesticides required when they are required and we follow labels which have been tested and approved by PMRA of Canada and proven to be safe world wide.
>>>> We do not decimate the soil Food web. The soil food web is a term like ecosystem. It is very broad and encompasses all life in the soil. I invite you to come do a biological measure of life or soil food web of our soils compared to organic farm soils in our area. When we stopped tillage on our farm and diversified our crop rotations, earthworms by the millions have come back, the soil structure is amazing and the soil has a wonderful rich smell to it. Intensely tilled soils have Almost no earth worms, have a powder structure rather than aggregated, and really has no smell. The amount of pesticides we use are so low that they have virtually no effect on the soil food web. And the alternative for weed control which would be tillage systems results in significant damage to the soil food web.
>>>> Soil fungi such as AM fungi, a beneficial fungi that lives symbiotically with most plants, is one that we strive to increase populations of in our soils. Eliminating tillage and intercropping when growing brassica plants are two of The techniques we use to ensure the proper environment for them. Tillage and summerfallow years have been shown to dramatically decrease the populations of AM fungi.
>>>>
>>>> Organic matter left on the surface will take longer to break down than if it were tilled in that is true whether organic or conventional soil. For two reasons, one tillage breaks it up decreasing organic matter particle size and increasing its surface area and second increasing contact to the soil. Just like a piece of wood will rot where it is in contact with the soil but not above the ground, because it stays moist where it contacts the ground. There is no lack of breakdown or retarded rate of breakdown because of chemical use. As I mentioned earlier we have abundant soil life and earthworms because of no till. Organic matter or a mulch layer on the soil surface is a good thing, it conserves moisture, keeps the soil cooler, hampers weed growth, and protects the soil from erosion from wind or water.
>>>> We are very passionate about our cropping systems and believe soil nutrition to be the most important factor when practicing sustainable methods of farming.
>>>>
>>>> I am open to any of three farmers customers to come to the farm and I will show you our cropping systems and the soils nutrition compared to organically farmed soils in the area.
>>>>
>>>> Please feel free to email me directly for further discussion on our farming system and any specific practices if you are interested in the exact details of what we did when to produce the high quality product that is in your bottle or bag.
>>>>
>>>> Thanks for your interest in our practices and thanks for purchasing our products.
 
Tyler Ludens
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We use the minimum pesticides required when they are required and we follow labels which have been tested and approved by PMRA of Canada and proven to be safe world wide.


Just so you know the kind of standard PMRA adheres to:

"The herbicide glyphosate and products containing glyphosate (e.g., Roundup) are registered pesticides in Canada supported by extensive scientific data that meet strict health and environmental standards."

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/gmf-agm/seralini-eng.php

So much for "health."
 
Andrew Mateskon
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But they DO say. They say we do no-till and THEREFORE we are not organic, leading people who don't know any better to think the two are mutually exclusive. If they'd just gone on about their soil health and left organic out of it it wouldn't have pissed me off, cause then it would just be them telling the part they want people to hear, which people should know by now is what every company does already. As it is, they're lying - more so than just by omission.



This argument is made all the time, that no-till means herbicides. I hear this from agronomists and from people studying the science of agriculture, and it always strikes me as a complete failure of imagination. It is the same kind of thinking that crafts the argument "we need industrial agriculture to feed the world." This scientists I know travelled all through Australia and New Zealand this last summer looking at sustainable farming methods, and he still makes that argument. I'm certain he came across farms with Keyline design and food forests, etc., yet in the American consciousness it is completely impossible to imagine a world where food is abundant and grown in regenerative systems. In my not so humble opinion, Paul is doing some amazing work spreading permaculture, but it is imperative that we all understand and spread regenerative practices to our farmer friends. The larger and more industrial, the better. The "broadacre" category on this website therefore encapsulates the ideas which will tip the largest domino in changing our world. No-till does not mean herbicides. Feeding the world does not mean raping the planet. Just the opposite.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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Yes the equations have to change.

No-till does not mean herbicides. Feeding the world does not mean raping the planet. Just the opposite.


Great point, Andrew. As is this:

In my not so humble opinion, Paul is doing some amazing work spreading permaculture, but it is imperative that we all understand and spread regenerative practices to our farmer friends.


If we really want to reach the tipping point, we really need to change the paradigm of the big farms away from tilled, chemically grown, massive monocrops, to more horticultural, diverse, and polyculturally oriented practices with hedgerows/lane cropping on swales and keyline systems. Any infusion into these large farms of ideas that really promote regenerative systems, is a massive step forward in shifting the mindset.

It could even start with these "Three Farmers" if they can wrap their brain around the concept of getting chemical free to begin with, and perhaps really developing a healthy, thriving polycultural system.

 
David Lam
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It's like pulling teeth but damn you guys are good.

Hi David
If you send us your traceability code we can answer you in detail with exactly what products were used, rates, when they were applied, why, and how. Otherwise these questions are tough to answer. I did, however go back to Colin to speak to glyphosate specifically.

Here is his response:
Do we use glyphosate? We never apply glyphosate to our crops of Camelina or chickpeas. But Yes sometimes prior to seeding other crops we use glyphosate at 0.25L/ac active ingredient. One acre is 90% of a football field for perspective of size. And would be applied days prior to seeding the crop. Glyphosate has no residual effect it is neutralized by soil contact. If it did stick around our crops would not grow either. There is a lot of concern about glyphosate residue in foods these days and I won't debate that issue but I can tell you that those residues come from applications to the crops prior to harvest to dry them down. This is an approved practice in Canada but We do not do that on our Camelina or chickpeas. Therefore yes sometimes we use glyphosate but it is used days prior to planting at the lowest rates as an alternative to tillage. Sustainability comes from using the most appropriate tools for each challenge of farming.
If you feel there is a more appropriate alternative option to prepare for seeding I would be happy to discuss it with you.
Thanks again and please send us your traceability number and we could give you the exact story of that product.

Colin Rosengren.

 
John Wolfram
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David Lam wrote:Do we use glyphosate? We never apply glyphosate to our crops of Camelina or chickpeas. But Yes sometimes prior to seeding other crops we use glyphosate at 0.25L/ac active ingredient. One acre is 90% of a football field for perspective of size.

Standard ready-to-use RoundUp is 2% glyphosate, so when they say 0.25L/ac active ingredient, what that means is they apply the equivalent of 3.3 gallons of RoundUp per acre, or 1 ounce per 10 foot by 10 foot plot.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Do they even understand that they are not organic not because they don't till, but because they use chemical herbicide? Or is this too fine a point for them to understand?

Here's an article about herbicide alternatives: https://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_docs/programs/ipmnet/Vinegar-AnAlternativeToGlyphosate-UMD-Smith-Fiola-and-Gill.pdf

Why claiming glyphosate is safe may be disingenuous: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955666/
 
Alan Clashman
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Ok. I agree organic does not mean much in the reality of healthy interested people. So I grow the way grampa did. Try to be good to the land and on occasion I do use an occasional chemical to elevate a problem I have had no luck solving in a more friendly way. So bad me.

But ponder this

Organic honey??

If a bee will travel 3 miles from the hive for its food source then you do the math. A circle with a 3 mile radius would encompass 28.2 square miles or 18048 acres. So to be organic honey does every potential flower the bee sees have to be organic, non GMO, ...

??

Just a question

Bee safe and save bees
 
jimmy gallop
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well trained bees
 
Scott Strough
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Darin Colville wrote:Organic no-till is considerably more difficult than conventional no-till. (They can use the dreaded Round-up). Organic requires either freeze down cover crops or trampling by Intensive Rotational Grazing. You need to know your shit. BTW I know not everyone here believes in organic but here's some food for thought-every order of Stonyfield yogurt by Wal-Mart saves 22 tons of pesticide being sprayed on America's soil. Also the prices payed for organic grain is more likely to lead to a profit for the farmer. That's my first rule of sustainability- make enough money to be in business again next year.
That's a very good bunch of points you made, the most important being that organic no-til typically requires a greater knowledge/experience and skill set. You may add to those methods though, because mowing and a roller crimper also works, and obviously mulch too. You absolutely do need to "know your shit" as you term it. > The advantage though is big profits that increase as soil health recovers.

I do have a problem with some of the posts on this thread though. When you see a farmer reducing his chemical inputs and reducing or eliminating tillage, and even using cover crops and interplanting etc.... Those farmers need encouraged, not criticised for not being "pure" permaculture or "pure" organic. Everyone has their journey, and they are heading the right direction. We should congratulate them and offer assistance. They will reach the destination one day. Just be patient.

What gets me annoyed isn't the no til farmer using glyphosate, it's the so called "experts" (that are not really farmers) trolling everywhere and proclaiming that's the only or best way, when organic no till is quantifiably superior in many ways, including profits.


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