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Re: [fukuoka_farming] Organic farming produces same corn and soybean yields as conventional farms, but consumes less energy and no pesticides, study finds

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  • Raju Titus
    Dear Dieter, I am not saying that use of cow dung in field is wrong. In India traditionally farmers keeping cows it is religius. What I want to say that if we
    Message 1 of 20 , Mar 7 7:52 PM
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      Dear Dieter,
      I am not saying that use of cow dung in field is wrong. In India
      traditionally farmers keeping cows it is religius. What I want to say that
      if we return all agricutuer waste straw.leaves.branches.cow dung, pigery and
      poultry waste as it is .


      On 3/8/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dear Raju,
      >
      > What I'm saying is that "no method is absolute," and that we have to use
      > the method that works best in a given place. What I'm saying is also that
      > it is better to practice organic farming in the fields than to practice
      > natural
      > farming in the head only. I also believe that it is better to till
      > _without_
      > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals.
      >
      > Naturally, no-till without chemicals is best if it can be implemented. We
      > all agree about that, no need for further discussion. What we need to
      > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening.
      >
      > Perhaps natural farming is something like an ideal we try to perfect all
      > our life without ever fully achieving it.
      >
      > >If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow dung compost can get
      > >high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many acers
      > >is a question.
      >
      > An organic farmer can use manure, compost, green manure, mulch and
      > cover crops depending on what is available on the farm. If a farmer keeps
      > cows for diary of meat production, why should s/he not use the manure
      > produced by the cows? Nobody keeps cows just to produce manure,
      > the argument is wrong.
      >
      > Dieter Brand
      > Portugal
      >
      >
      > Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com>> wrote:
      > Dear dieter,
      > Love to see you after long time. Why you are saying that you are
      > not Fukuokn? We are talking with you from very long time as Fukuokan.
      > We are not here to advocate any farming based on tilling may it be
      > conventional+ chemical or organic because it is against Fukuoka's way. We
      > can consider no-till Conservative farming growing crops in crop residues
      > without using chemicals.If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow dung
      > compost can get high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many
      > acers
      > is a question. If you compare productivity and quality in farming no any
      > method can compete with fukuoka farming.Soil and bio diversity loss and
      > loss of water holding capcity must be taken in to acount.
      > Thanks
      > Raju Titus
      > Natural farmer of India
      >
      > On 3/7/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@... <diebrand%40yahoo.com>> wrote:
      > >
      > > Fukuokans take note:
      > >
      > > > "...organic corn yields were about one-third lower during the first
      > four
      > > years
      > > > of the study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
      > > especially
      > > > under drought conditions."
      > >
      > > This is concrete proof that organic _does_ improve soil and is to be
      > > preferred
      > > over conventional, no-till or not.
      > >
      > > It is good to have such a long-term research, 22 years, which proves
      > that
      > > organic yields can be comparable to those achieved by conventional
      > > farming.
      > >
      > > In addition to quantity, organic also provides better quality as has
      > been
      > > shown
      > > by numerous reports.
      > >
      > > Dieter Brand
      > > Portugal
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Suresh Motwani <motwanisuresh07@... <motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com><motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com>>
      > > wrote:
      > > Organic farming produces same corn and soybean yields as conventional
      > > farms,
      > > but consumes less energy and no pesticides, study finds
      > >
      > > http://www.news.cornell.edu
      > >
      > > By Susan S. Lang <ssl4@... <ssl4%40cornell.edu><ssl4%40cornell.edu>>
      > >
      > > ITHACA, N.Y. -- Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and
      > > soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less energy,
      > > less
      > > water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study
      > > concludes.
      > >
      > > David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor of ecology and
      > agriculture,
      > > concludes, "Organic farming offers re
      > > consultant-ngo@yahoogroups.comaladvantages<consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages><consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages>for
      > such crops as corn and
      > > soybeans." Pimentel is the lead author
      > > of a study that is published in the July issue of Bioscience (Vol. 55:7)
      > > analyzing the environmental, energy and economic costs and benefits of
      > > growing soybeans and corn organically versus conventionally. The study
      > is
      > > a
      > > review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest
      > running
      > > comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States.
      > >
      > > "Organic farming approaches for these crops not only use an average of
      > 30
      > > percent less fossil energy but also conserve more water in the soil,
      > > induce
      > > less erosion, maintain soil quality and conserve more biological
      > resources
      > > than conventional farming does," Pimentel added.
      > >
      > > The study compared a conventional farm that used recommended fertilizer
      > > and
      > > pesticide applications with an organic animal-based farm (where manure
      > was
      > > applied) and an organic legume-based farm (that used a three-year
      > rotation
      > > of hairy vetch/corn and rye/soybeans and wheat). The two organic systems
      > > received no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
      > >
      > > Inter-institutional collaboration included Rodale Institute agronomists
      > > Paul
      > > Hepperly and Rita Seidel, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural
      > > Research Service research microbiologist David Douds Jr. and University
      > of
      > > Maryland agricultural economist James Hanson. The research compared soil
      > > fungi activity, crop yields, energy efficiency, costs, organic matter
      > > changes over time, nitrogen accumulation and nitrate leaching across
      > > organic
      > > and conventional agricultural systems.
      > >
      > > "First and foremost, we found that corn and soybean yields were the same
      > > across the three systems," said Pimentel, who noted that although
      > organic
      > > corn yields were about one-third lower during the first four years of
      > the
      > > study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields, especially
      > > under drought conditions. The reason was that wind and water erosion
      > > degraded the soil on the conventional farm while the soil on the organic
      > > farms steadily improved in organic matter, moisture, microbial activity
      > > and
      > > other soil quality indicators.
      > >
      > > The fact that organic agriculture systems also absorb and retain
      > > significant
      > > amounts of carbon in the soil has implications for global warming,
      > > Pimentel
      > > said, pointing out that soil carbon in the organic systems increased by
      > 15
      > > to 28 percent, the equivalent of taking about 3,500 pounds of carbon
      > > dioxide
      > > per hectare out of the air.
      > >
      > > Among the study's other findings:
      > > In the drought years, 1988 to 1998, corn yields in the legume-based
      > system
      > > were 22 percent higher than yields in the conventional system.
      > > The soil nitrogen levels in the organic farming systems increased 8 to
      > 15
      > > percent. Nitrate leaching was about equivalent in the organic and
      > > conventional farming systems.
      > > Organic farming reduced local and regional groundwater pollution by not
      > > applying agricultural chemicals.
      > >
      > > Pimentel noted that although cash crops cannot be grown as frequently
      > over
      > > time on organic farms because of the dependence on cultural practices to
      > > supply nutrients and control pests and because labor costs average about
      > > 15
      > > percent higher in organic farming systems, the higher prices that
      > organic
      > > foods command in the marketplace still make the net economic return per
      > > acre
      > > either equal to or higher than that of conventionally produced crops.
      > >
      > > Organic farming can compete effectively in growing corn, soybeans,
      > wheat,
      > > barley and other grains, Pimentel said, but it might not be as favorable
      > > for
      > > growing such crops as grapes, apples, cherries and potatoes, which have
      > > greater pest problems.
      > >
      > > The study was funded by the Rodale Institute and included a review of
      > > current literature on organic and conventional agriculture comparisons.
      > > According to Pimentel, dozens of scientific papers reporting on research
      > > from the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial have been published in
      > > prestigious refereed journals over the past 20 years.
      > >
      > > --
      > > Dr.Suresh Motwani
      > > AGronomist
      > > Cell: +91 9329450167
      > > Email: motwanisuresh07@... <motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com><motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com>
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > > ---------------------------------
      > > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
      > >
      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      > ---------------------------------
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      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dieter Brand
      Paul, I know mulched gardening and understand that it is an easy way of practicing no-dig on the garden scale. I particularly liked that piece about Compost in
      Message 2 of 20 , Mar 8 12:04 PM
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        Paul,

        I know mulched gardening and understand that it is an easy way of practicing
        no-dig on the garden scale. I particularly liked that piece about Compost in Place
        with No-Till Gardening you sent via your list a couple of days ago. I think Pat
        Ruggiero's adaptation of Ruth Stout's mulched gardening goes a good part of the
        way towards realizing natural farming, in particular because there is an attempt to
        go beyond mulch and use cover crops. Perhaps you can also share it with the
        members of this list.

        However, I also think there are limitations to your model of market gardening.

        Firstly, it is not always possible to apply gardening methods to the farming
        scale. You are probably right that there is room for more market gardeners
        to work with the methods and on the scale you are. However, there will
        always be things that need to be done on the farming scale, in particular
        growing staple food like wheat. I don't see wheat being grown by market
        gardeners on raised or mulched beds anytime soon.

        Secondly, mulched gardening often relies on off-site organic matter. A little
        while ago, John Warner explained this to us with his version of the hunter
        gatherer scavenging the neighbourhood for lawn clippings etc. Problems of
        contaminations aside, this model is a good way of salvaging organic matter
        from the landfill. However, it is basically limited to farms and gardens in easy
        reach of the urban areas in the rich industrialized countries where organic
        matter is considered a waste and people are happy if you take it off them.
        This model cannot be applied to the rest of the World. Also, if it were to
        be practiced on a wider scale, the economics of supply and demand would
        change, and you would find that you would suddenly have to pay for
        mulching material that was hitherto available for free.

        Lastly, for farming to be sustainable it needs to work with organic matter
        produced on-site in the form of cover crops, green manure, manure,
        compost, etc. Hence, we are back at the traditional integrated farming
        model still used in parts by organic farming. No-till on this level needs to
        involve cover crop management which is very different from spreading a
        layer of mulch. The mere fact that almost all no-till farmers in the US use
        herbicide killed cover crops proves that it is by no means easy to
        practice organic no-till farming. People in the EcoAg scene like to pest
        about conventional farmers, but it is always a mistake to assume that
        the other guy is more stupid than we are. Farmers are not stupid, in
        fact they can be more savvy than any university professor when it comes
        to the bottom line. No farmer would waste money on herbicides if s/he
        had another means of achieving the same effect without it.

        > ... And we have to do better than the industrial food system which is
        > becoming unhealthy, unstable and pricing the world's poor out of existence. ...

        On their own, numerous small local producers will not make prices go down
        nor will they help the poor, quite on the contrary. There still needs to be an
        efficient and _fair_ system of trade. Advocates of local producers often forget,
        or prefer not to see, that they play into the hands of protectionist politicians
        who are eager to pry open foreign markets for their own industrial goods but
        stubbornly refuse to open the markets of the rich countries for the agricultural
        goods from poor countries. Thus the poor, having been deprived of market
        access and an opportunity for fair trade, become poorer all the time.

        Dieter Brand
        Portugal

        Tradingpost <tradingpost@...> wrote:

        Yes. No-till without chemicals can succeed, with cover crops or mulch. This is happening in many places. Now the sticking point seems to be getting and moving a huge amount of cow dung compost or other compost.

        My first thought is, if the growing area is too large to make mulching practical, then it's too big. A few million more small farms and gardens can produce more (and far more profitably) than the megacorporate farms with unsustainable monocultures selling to the middleman at ruinous prices. And small farms can grow efficiently and diversify with composting from whatever source. One key to small farm no-till is permanent bed growing where mulch (and water) is conserved by not needing to mulch (or irrigate) aisles. And of course, mulched beds that don't get compacted by feet, tractors, or rain don't need annual tilling. The cost of tillers and other machinery, plus labor costs for weeding etc., must come out of gross sales. Those of us who don't have those costs get almost the whole dollar from retail sales.

        Bottom line: it can work with smaller farms, and those smaller farms can be more productive - and profitable - because they diversify and make more efficient use of land than a single industrial cash crop each year.

        I absolutely welcome challenge to this because I've done the math, and I get good net income from a small area, and there's a huge amount of research out there to back it up. And this goes along with a great decentralization of food production and distribution, and it meets the pressing ecological challenges threatening our food systems. And we have to do better than the industrial food system which is becoming unhealthy, unstable and pricing the world's poor out of existence. Wheat hit $24 a bushel. Stay tuned.

        paul tradingpost@...



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      • Tradingpost
        I do respect your views, however I must stress that it would be feasible for us to have tens of millions more home and market growers in the USA. There is that
        Message 3 of 20 , Mar 9 1:36 PM
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          I do respect your views, however I must stress that it would be feasible for us to have tens of millions more home and market growers in the USA. There is that much land in small plots sitting idle. And we could very easily do without nine-tenths of the beef that diverts so much of our land and water, and that would naturally reduce the need for megafarms and monocultures and free up lots of farmland to grow people food.

          As for applying efficient garden methods to the farm scale, of course there are larger scale methods of accomplishing the same results, such as windrow composting, manure spreaders, machines for planting through killed cover crops. Newfarm.org carries a lot of news on sustainable farm scale growing.

          You note there will always be things that need to be done on the farming scale like wheat. Yes but those huge grain monocultures are depleting topsoil everywhere and the cost of fossil fuels to grow them is helping to price a lot of the third world out of food. If we really aren't smart enough to create alternatives to industrial farming, then billions will starve eventually.

          Yes, mulched gardening often relies on off-site organic matter. That's a good thing. But here little of the vast amount of organic waste gets recycled on the land, and this is also the case worldwide. I think the world has a long way to go before having to pay for organic waste. Meanwhile, we ought to be taking advantage of all the waste to save money on what we grow. As for suburban neighborhoods scrounging contaminated lawn clippings, well, suburbs are terminal; they just don't know it.

          As for organic no-till with cover crops, that does require some intelligence and knowhow. I can't agree that no farmer would waste money on herbicides if s/he had another means of achieving the same effect without it. What happens in this country is farmers can't get credit for the year's seed and costs without satisfying the bank that they're dancing to the industrial tune. They live their lives in debt to keep buying the chemicals and machinery. The alternative is to sell out and give up. And they should.

          But it is not harder or more expensive; herbicides and heavy machinery costs are rising with no end in sight. To me the bottom line is in the big picture - rising costs and what growers must do to survive. There is no future in the old model of industrial scale farming. It's almost over.

          I agree that on their own, numerous small local producers will not make prices go down nor will they help the poor, basically. I don't think we can do anything at all the affect global prices, nor do we have to. We can't change the global system nor save the world. What we do have to do is learn to provide for ourselves and network locally with specialization of labor, or pay the price. We're working for that here where we live, constantly. We have no choice but to learn to grow sustainably at whatever scale we need to grow.

          paul tradingpost@...

          *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

          On 3/8/2008 at 12:04 PM Dieter Brand wrote:

          >Paul,
          >
          > I know mulched gardening and understand that it is an easy way of
          >practicing
          > no-dig on the garden scale. I particularly liked that piece about
          >Compost in Place
          > with No-Till Gardening you sent via your list a couple of days ago. I
          >think Pat
          > Ruggiero's adaptation of Ruth Stout's mulched gardening goes a good part
          >of the
          > way towards realizing natural farming, in particular because there is an
          >attempt to
          > go beyond mulch and use cover crops. Perhaps you can also share it with
          >the
          > members of this list.
          >
          > However, I also think there are limitations to your model of market
          >gardening.
          >
          > Firstly, it is not always possible to apply gardening methods to the
          >farming
          > scale. You are probably right that there is room for more market
          >gardeners
          > to work with the methods and on the scale you are. However, there will
          > always be things that need to be done on the farming scale, in particular
          > growing staple food like wheat. I don't see wheat being grown by market
          > gardeners on raised or mulched beds anytime soon.
          >
          > Secondly, mulched gardening often relies on off-site organic matter. A
          >little
          > while ago, John Warner explained this to us with his version of the
          >hunter
          > gatherer scavenging the neighbourhood for lawn clippings etc. Problems
          >of
          > contaminations aside, this model is a good way of salvaging organic
          >matter
          > from the landfill. However, it is basically limited to farms and gardens
          >in easy
          > reach of the urban areas in the rich industrialized countries where
          >organic
          > matter is considered a waste and people are happy if you take it off
          >them.
          > This model cannot be applied to the rest of the World. Also, if it were
          >to
          > be practiced on a wider scale, the economics of supply and demand would
          > change, and you would find that you would suddenly have to pay for
          > mulching material that was hitherto available for free.
          >
          > Lastly, for farming to be sustainable it needs to work with organic
          >matter
          > produced on-site in the form of cover crops, green manure, manure,
          > compost, etc. Hence, we are back at the traditional integrated farming
          > model still used in parts by organic farming. No-till on this level
          >needs to
          > involve cover crop management which is very different from spreading a
          > layer of mulch. The mere fact that almost all no-till farmers in the US
          >use
          > herbicide killed cover crops proves that it is by no means easy to
          > practice organic no-till farming. People in the EcoAg scene like to pest
          > about conventional farmers, but it is always a mistake to assume that
          > the other guy is more stupid than we are. Farmers are not stupid, in
          > fact they can be more savvy than any university professor when it comes
          > to the bottom line. No farmer would waste money on herbicides if s/he
          > had another means of achieving the same effect without it.
          >
          > > ... And we have to do better than the industrial food system which is
          > > becoming unhealthy, unstable and pricing the world's poor out of
          >existence. ...
          >
          > On their own, numerous small local producers will not make prices go down
          > nor will they help the poor, quite on the contrary. There still needs to
          >be an
          > efficient and _fair_ system of trade. Advocates of local producers often
          >forget,
          > or prefer not to see, that they play into the hands of protectionist
          >politicians
          > who are eager to pry open foreign markets for their own industrial goods
          >but
          > stubbornly refuse to open the markets of the rich countries for the
          >agricultural
          > goods from poor countries. Thus the poor, having been deprived of market
          > access and an opportunity for fair trade, become poorer all the time.
          >
          > Dieter Brand
          > Portugal
          >
          > Tradingpost <tradingpost@...> wrote:
          >
          >Yes. No-till without chemicals can succeed, with cover crops or mulch.
          >This is happening in many places. Now the sticking point seems to be
          >getting and moving a huge amount of cow dung compost or other compost.
          >
          >My first thought is, if the growing area is too large to make mulching
          >practical, then it's too big. A few million more small farms and gardens
          >can produce more (and far more profitably) than the megacorporate farms
          >with unsustainable monocultures selling to the middleman at ruinous
          >prices. And small farms can grow efficiently and diversify with composting
          >from whatever source. One key to small farm no-till is permanent bed
          >growing where mulch (and water) is conserved by not needing to mulch (or
          >irrigate) aisles. And of course, mulched beds that don't get compacted by
          >feet, tractors, or rain don't need annual tilling. The cost of tillers and
          >other machinery, plus labor costs for weeding etc., must come out of gross
          >sales. Those of us who don't have those costs get almost the whole dollar
          >from retail sales.
          >
          >Bottom line: it can work with smaller farms, and those smaller farms can
          >be more productive - and profitable - because they diversify and make more
          >efficient use of land than a single industrial cash crop each year.
          >
          >I absolutely welcome challenge to this because I've done the math, and I
          >get good net income from a small area, and there's a huge amount of
          >research out there to back it up. And this goes along with a great
          >decentralization of food production and distribution, and it meets the
          >pressing ecological challenges threatening our food systems. And we have
          >to do better than the industrial food system which is becoming unhealthy,
          >unstable and pricing the world's poor out of existence. Wheat hit $24 a
          >bushel. Stay tuned.
          >
          >paul tradingpost@...
          >
          >
        • Dieter Brand
          Paul, I do hope that your model of market gardening will spread to as many new gardens or farms as possible. All I m saying is that economic mechanisms like
          Message 4 of 20 , Mar 9 3:21 PM
          • 0 Attachment
            Paul,

            I do hope that your model of market gardening will spread to as many new
            gardens or farms as possible. All I'm saying is that economic mechanisms
            like the mechanisms of life itself are infinitely complex, and nothing grows
            from one scale to another without undergoing significant changes.

            Take a look at the organic movement. Today, the health food and organic
            market keeps on growing rapidly all the time even though the rest of the
            economy is in the doldrums. You would think that those who pioneered
            the organic market 20 or 30 years ago with small health food stores and
            small farming operations would now be in a position to finally reap the
            rewards for having persisted for so long on a shoestring. Not so! The
            small health food stores around the corner are forced out of business
            by the large health food supermarkets.

            And if you think you won't have to pay for organic waste in the future, well,
            better think again. There is this sawmill near me, they produce large amounts
            of bark which they used to dump somewhere. When I went around with
            a small truck about 10 years ago they let me take as much as I wanted
            for free. When I came back a couple of years later, there had been a few
            others who had come to pick up the bark for mulching their gardens. As
            a result of which the mill owner decided to charge so much that it wasn't
            worthwhile any longer.

            Cities do produce an awful lot of organic waste, and there have been
            attempts as far back as 100 years ago to produce organic fertilizer for
            agriculture by pressing sewage into solid bricks. However, today
            sewage is contaminated by 80,000 chemical and pharmacological
            compounds released into the environment by industry. And it would
            be a daunting task to produce fertilizers from the sewage that would
            be fit to use in an organic farm.

            It is a fact of life that large farms run like a business are better equipped
            to tap into government subsidies than small operators. This is the same
            in Europe. It needs to be dealt with on a political level. In Europe there
            are attempts to use more of the subsidies to promote organic and
            sustainable farming and to see that more gets to the small farmer.
            But the traditional farming lobby is a force to reckon with and they won't
            give up their subsidies without a fight. Well, they will have to in the end
            if the WTO talks are not to falter altogether.

            Perhaps farmers in the US are different, but the farmers I know here or I
            used to know back in my home country certainly didn't waste money on
            herbicides or whatever if they didn't have to.

            From your messages like those of many others on alternative farming
            lists I get the impression of a deep distrust of federal politics. That is
            or course understandable, but we are not going to make a better World
            by making a credo out of political apathy.

            Dieter

            Tradingpost <tradingpost@...> wrote:

            I do respect your views, however I must stress that it would be feasible for us to have tens of millions more home and market growers in the USA. There is that much land in small plots sitting idle. And we could very easily do without nine-tenths of the beef that diverts so much of our land and water, and that would naturally reduce the need for megafarms and monocultures and free up lots of farmland to grow people food.

            As for applying efficient garden methods to the farm scale, of course there are larger scale methods of accomplishing the same results, such as windrow composting, manure spreaders, machines for planting through killed cover crops. Newfarm.org carries a lot of news on sustainable farm scale growing.

            You note there will always be things that need to be done on the farming scale like wheat. Yes but those huge grain monocultures are depleting topsoil everywhere and the cost of fossil fuels to grow them is helping to price a lot of the third world out of food. If we really aren't smart enough to create alternatives to industrial farming, then billions will starve eventually.

            Yes, mulched gardening often relies on off-site organic matter. That's a good thing. But here little of the vast amount of organic waste gets recycled on the land, and this is also the case worldwide. I think the world has a long way to go before having to pay for organic waste. Meanwhile, we ought to be taking advantage of all the waste to save money on what we grow. As for suburban neighborhoods scrounging contaminated lawn clippings, well, suburbs are terminal; they just don't know it.

            As for organic no-till with cover crops, that does require some intelligence and knowhow. I can't agree that no farmer would waste money on herbicides if s/he had another means of achieving the same effect without it. What happens in this country is farmers can't get credit for the year's seed and costs without satisfying the bank that they're dancing to the industrial tune. They live their lives in debt to keep buying the chemicals and machinery. The alternative is to sell out and give up. And they should.

            But it is not harder or more expensive; herbicides and heavy machinery costs are rising with no end in sight. To me the bottom line is in the big picture - rising costs and what growers must do to survive. There is no future in the old model of industrial scale farming. It's almost over.

            I agree that on their own, numerous small local producers will not make prices go down nor will they help the poor, basically. I don't think we can do anything at all the affect global prices, nor do we have to. We can't change the global system nor save the world. What we do have to do is learn to provide for ourselves and network locally with specialization of labor, or pay the price. We're working for that here where we live, constantly. We have no choice but to learn to grow sustainably at whatever scale we need to grow.

            paul tradingpost@...


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          • Tradingpost
            Of course I can t claim any credit for my model . It comes from Sir Albert Howard, Jeavons, Eliot Coleman, J.I.Rodale, and others. You re surely correct about
            Message 5 of 20 , Mar 10 6:38 PM
            • 0 Attachment
              Of course I can't claim any credit for "my model". It comes from Sir Albert Howard, Jeavons, Eliot Coleman, J.I.Rodale, and others. You're surely correct about scale changing things.

              True the small health food stores are beaten by the big guys, but home growing and farmers markets still can't be beat for cheap, healthy food that's fresh and local. And that sawmill selling bark, remember, is probably in demand for rustic landscaping rather than home food gardens.

              As for sewage, forget it. What I'm seeing here though, is enormous amounts of livestock manure going nowhere, and restaurants and homes wasting all their food leftovers, and that could go to good use for food growing.

              Yes, the big guys get the lion's share of the subsidies. But honestly I don't want them and don't want or need to be dependent on some government handout. And low cost home or market growing doesn't need handouts to compete. In fact, we need nobody's permission, no foundation funding, no votes, no subsidy, to make a good income growing sustainably with very little land.

              It may turn out that those who still have healthy food to eat will have operate under the radar. These government agents keep pestering people here to fill out these surveys, down to the last peach tree and chicken. Every event I attend lately there's some USDA clown telling people they need those forms filled out to get federal program money for some project funding. And to get their own paycheck of course. But the day may come soon when known producers get their food confiscated for "national security". With federal money comes federal control.

              paul tradingpost@...


              *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

              On 3/9/2008 at 3:21 PM Dieter Brand wrote:

              >Paul,
              >
              > I do hope that your model of market gardening will spread to as many new
              > gardens or farms as possible. All I'm saying is that economic mechanisms
              > like the mechanisms of life itself are infinitely complex, and nothing
              >grows
              > from one scale to another without undergoing significant changes.
              >
              > Take a look at the organic movement. Today, the health food and organic
              > market keeps on growing rapidly all the time even though the rest of the
              > economy is in the doldrums. You would think that those who pioneered
              > the organic market 20 or 30 years ago with small health food stores and
              > small farming operations would now be in a position to finally reap the
              > rewards for having persisted for so long on a shoestring. Not so! The
              > small health food stores around the corner are forced out of business
              > by the large health food supermarkets.
              >
              > And if you think you won't have to pay for organic waste in the future,
              >well,
              > better think again. There is this sawmill near me, they produce large
              >amounts
              > of bark which they used to dump somewhere. When I went around with
              > a small truck about 10 years ago they let me take as much as I wanted
              > for free. When I came back a couple of years later, there had been a few
              > others who had come to pick up the bark for mulching their gardens. As
              > a result of which the mill owner decided to charge so much that it wasn't
              > worthwhile any longer.
              >
              > Cities do produce an awful lot of organic waste, and there have been
              > attempts as far back as 100 years ago to produce organic fertilizer for
              > agriculture by pressing sewage into solid bricks. However, today
              > sewage is contaminated by 80,000 chemical and pharmacological
              > compounds released into the environment by industry. And it would
              > be a daunting task to produce fertilizers from the sewage that would
              > be fit to use in an organic farm.
              >
              > It is a fact of life that large farms run like a business are better
              >equipped
              > to tap into government subsidies than small operators. This is the same
              > in Europe. It needs to be dealt with on a political level. In Europe
              >there
              > are attempts to use more of the subsidies to promote organic and
              > sustainable farming and to see that more gets to the small farmer.
              > But the traditional farming lobby is a force to reckon with and they
              >won't
              > give up their subsidies without a fight. Well, they will have to in the
              >end
              > if the WTO talks are not to falter altogether.
              >
              > Perhaps farmers in the US are different, but the farmers I know here or I
              > used to know back in my home country certainly didn't waste money on
              > herbicides or whatever if they didn't have to.
              >
              > From your messages like those of many others on alternative farming
              > lists I get the impression of a deep distrust of federal politics. That
              >is
              > or course understandable, but we are not going to make a better World
              > by making a credo out of political apathy.
              >
              > Dieter
              >
              >Tradingpost <tradingpost@...> wrote:
              >
              >I do respect your views, however I must stress that it would be feasible
              >for us to have tens of millions more home and market growers in the USA.
              >There is that much land in small plots sitting idle. And we could very
              >easily do without nine-tenths of the beef that diverts so much of our land
              >and water, and that would naturally reduce the need for megafarms and
              >monocultures and free up lots of farmland to grow people food.
              >
              >As for applying efficient garden methods to the farm scale, of course
              >there are larger scale methods of accomplishing the same results, such as
              >windrow composting, manure spreaders, machines for planting through killed
              >cover crops. Newfarm.org carries a lot of news on sustainable farm scale
              >growing.
              >
              >You note there will always be things that need to be done on the farming
              >scale like wheat. Yes but those huge grain monocultures are depleting
              >topsoil everywhere and the cost of fossil fuels to grow them is helping to
              >price a lot of the third world out of food. If we really aren't smart
              >enough to create alternatives to industrial farming, then billions will
              >starve eventually.
              >
              >Yes, mulched gardening often relies on off-site organic matter. That's a
              >good thing. But here little of the vast amount of organic waste gets
              >recycled on the land, and this is also the case worldwide. I think the
              >world has a long way to go before having to pay for organic waste.
              >Meanwhile, we ought to be taking advantage of all the waste to save money
              >on what we grow. As for suburban neighborhoods scrounging contaminated
              >lawn clippings, well, suburbs are terminal; they just don't know it.
              >
              >As for organic no-till with cover crops, that does require some
              >intelligence and knowhow. I can't agree that no farmer would waste money
              >on herbicides if s/he had another means of achieving the same effect
              >without it. What happens in this country is farmers can't get credit for
              >the year's seed and costs without satisfying the bank that they're dancing
              >to the industrial tune. They live their lives in debt to keep buying the
              >chemicals and machinery. The alternative is to sell out and give up. And
              >they should.
              >
              >But it is not harder or more expensive; herbicides and heavy machinery
              >costs are rising with no end in sight. To me the bottom line is in the big
              >picture - rising costs and what growers must do to survive. There is no
              >future in the old model of industrial scale farming. It's almost over.
              >
              >I agree that on their own, numerous small local producers will not make
              >prices go down nor will they help the poor, basically. I don't think we
              >can do anything at all the affect global prices, nor do we have to. We
              >can't change the global system nor save the world. What we do have to do
              >is learn to provide for ourselves and network locally with specialization
              >of labor, or pay the price. We're working for that here where we live,
              >constantly. We have no choice but to learn to grow sustainably at whatever
              >scale we need to grow.
              >
              >paul tradingpost@...
              >
              >
            • Raju Titus
              Dear Dieter. You wrote I also believe that it is better to till _without_ chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals. To till is very much harmful not
              Message 6 of 20 , Mar 11 12:58 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                Dear Dieter.
                You wrote " I also believe that it is better to till _without_
                chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals."

                To till is very much harmful not having single point in favour.
                No till+ chemicals is having so many advantages except unnecessarily wasting
                money on chemicals and creating pollution.
                you wrote

                " What we need to
                discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening."

                Start in a Quarter acer of land bigger area bigger problem.Once you realize
                you will never till again.
                Raju



                On 3/8/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear Raju,
                >
                > What I'm saying is that "no method is absolute," and that we have to use
                > the method that works best in a given place. What I'm saying is also that
                > it is better to practice organic farming in the fields than to practice
                > natural
                > farming in the head only. I also believe that it is better to till
                > _without_
                > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals.
                >
                > Naturally, no-till without chemicals is best if it can be implemented. We
                > all agree about that, no need for further discussion. What we need to
                > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening.
                >
                > Perhaps natural farming is something like an ideal we try to perfect all
                > our life without ever fully achieving it.
                >
                > >If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow dung compost can get
                > >high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many acers
                > >is a question.
                >
                > An organic farmer can use manure, compost, green manure, mulch and
                > cover crops depending on what is available on the farm. If a farmer keeps
                > cows for diary of meat production, why should s/he not use the manure
                > produced by the cows? Nobody keeps cows just to produce manure,
                > the argument is wrong.
                >
                > Dieter Brand
                > Portugal
                >
                >
                > Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                > Dear dieter,
                > Love to see you after long time. Why you are saying that you are
                > not Fukuokn? We are talking with you from very long time as Fukuokan.
                > We are not here to advocate any farming based on tilling may it be
                > conventional+ chemical or organic because it is against Fukuoka's way. We
                > can consider no-till Conservative farming growing crops in crop residues
                > without using chemicals.If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow dung
                > compost can get high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many
                > acers
                > is a question. If you compare productivity and quality in farming no any
                > method can compete with fukuoka farming.Soil and bio diversity loss and
                > loss of water holding capcity must be taken in to acount.
                > Thanks
                > Raju Titus
                > Natural farmer of India
                >
                > On 3/7/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@... <diebrand%40yahoo.com>> wrote:
                > >
                > > Fukuokans take note:
                > >
                > > > "...organic corn yields were about one-third lower during the first
                > four
                > > years
                > > > of the study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                > > especially
                > > > under drought conditions."
                > >
                > > This is concrete proof that organic _does_ improve soil and is to be
                > > preferred
                > > over conventional, no-till or not.
                > >
                > > It is good to have such a long-term research, 22 years, which proves
                > that
                > > organic yields can be comparable to those achieved by conventional
                > > farming.
                > >
                > > In addition to quantity, organic also provides better quality as has
                > been
                > > shown
                > > by numerous reports.
                > >
                > > Dieter Brand
                > > Portugal
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Suresh Motwani <motwanisuresh07@... <motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com><motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com>>
                > > wrote:
                > > Organic farming produces same corn and soybean yields as conventional
                > > farms,
                > > but consumes less energy and no pesticides, study finds
                > >
                > > http://www.news.cornell.edu
                > >
                > > By Susan S. Lang <ssl4@... <ssl4%40cornell.edu><ssl4%40cornell.edu>>
                > >
                > > ITHACA, N.Y. -- Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and
                > > soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less energy,
                > > less
                > > water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study
                > > concludes.
                > >
                > > David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor of ecology and
                > agriculture,
                > > concludes, "Organic farming offers re
                > > consultant-ngo@yahoogroups.comaladvantages<consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages><consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages>for
                > such crops as corn and
                > > soybeans." Pimentel is the lead author
                > > of a study that is published in the July issue of Bioscience (Vol. 55:7)
                > > analyzing the environmental, energy and economic costs and benefits of
                > > growing soybeans and corn organically versus conventionally. The study
                > is
                > > a
                > > review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest
                > running
                > > comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States.
                > >
                > > "Organic farming approaches for these crops not only use an average of
                > 30
                > > percent less fossil energy but also conserve more water in the soil,
                > > induce
                > > less erosion, maintain soil quality and conserve more biological
                > resources
                > > than conventional farming does," Pimentel added.
                > >
                > > The study compared a conventional farm that used recommended fertilizer
                > > and
                > > pesticide applications with an organic animal-based farm (where manure
                > was
                > > applied) and an organic legume-based farm (that used a three-year
                > rotation
                > > of hairy vetch/corn and rye/soybeans and wheat). The two organic systems
                > > received no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
                > >
                > > Inter-institutional collaboration included Rodale Institute agronomists
                > > Paul
                > > Hepperly and Rita Seidel, U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural
                > > Research Service research microbiologist David Douds Jr. and University
                > of
                > > Maryland agricultural economist James Hanson. The research compared soil
                > > fungi activity, crop yields, energy efficiency, costs, organic matter
                > > changes over time, nitrogen accumulation and nitrate leaching across
                > > organic
                > > and conventional agricultural systems.
                > >
                > > "First and foremost, we found that corn and soybean yields were the same
                > > across the three systems," said Pimentel, who noted that although
                > organic
                > > corn yields were about one-third lower during the first four years of
                > the
                > > study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields, especially
                > > under drought conditions. The reason was that wind and water erosion
                > > degraded the soil on the conventional farm while the soil on the organic
                > > farms steadily improved in organic matter, moisture, microbial activity
                > > and
                > > other soil quality indicators.
                > >
                > > The fact that organic agriculture systems also absorb and retain
                > > significant
                > > amounts of carbon in the soil has implications for global warming,
                > > Pimentel
                > > said, pointing out that soil carbon in the organic systems increased by
                > 15
                > > to 28 percent, the equivalent of taking about 3,500 pounds of carbon
                > > dioxide
                > > per hectare out of the air.
                > >
                > > Among the study's other findings:
                > > In the drought years, 1988 to 1998, corn yields in the legume-based
                > system
                > > were 22 percent higher than yields in the conventional system.
                > > The soil nitrogen levels in the organic farming systems increased 8 to
                > 15
                > > percent. Nitrate leaching was about equivalent in the organic and
                > > conventional farming systems.
                > > Organic farming reduced local and regional groundwater pollution by not
                > > applying agricultural chemicals.
                > >
                > > Pimentel noted that although cash crops cannot be grown as frequently
                > over
                > > time on organic farms because of the dependence on cultural practices to
                > > supply nutrients and control pests and because labor costs average about
                > > 15
                > > percent higher in organic farming systems, the higher prices that
                > organic
                > > foods command in the marketplace still make the net economic return per
                > > acre
                > > either equal to or higher than that of conventionally produced crops.
                > >
                > > Organic farming can compete effectively in growing corn, soybeans,
                > wheat,
                > > barley and other grains, Pimentel said, but it might not be as favorable
                > > for
                > > growing such crops as grapes, apples, cherries and potatoes, which have
                > > greater pest problems.
                > >
                > > The study was funded by the Rodale Institute and included a review of
                > > current literature on organic and conventional agriculture comparisons.
                > > According to Pimentel, dozens of scientific papers reporting on research
                > > from the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial have been published in
                > > prestigious refereed journals over the past 20 years.
                > >
                > > --
                > > Dr.Suresh Motwani
                > > AGronomist
                > > Cell: +91 9329450167
                > > Email: motwanisuresh07@... <motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com><motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com>
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                > > ---------------------------------
                > > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                > Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.
                >
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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Raju Titus
                Dear Dieter, 1) Scatter few seeds in standing grass or any weed cover irrigate if no moisture, Than cut cover after germination and scatterer cuttings on
                Message 7 of 20 , Mar 11 4:14 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Dear Dieter,
                  1) Scatter few seeds in standing grass or any weed cover irrigate if
                  no moisture, Than cut cover after germination and scatterer cuttings on the
                  germinating seeds.
                  2) Scatter few seeds on without covered land and cover tham with dry grass
                  or rice straw or any thing which is available in your area.
                  Precaution- Mulch should be loose ,sun light can reach up to
                  seeds.Aftersome time seedlings will come
                  up.Than it is your duty to protect your crop as you are protecting in your
                  ways. No need to add any thing except water if required.
                  Please do this experiment in small piece of land than expand.
                  Raju



                  On 3/11/08, Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear Dieter.
                  > You wrote " I also believe that it is better to till _without_
                  > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals."
                  >
                  > To till is very much harmful not having single point in favour.
                  > No till+ chemicals is having so many advantages except unnecessarily
                  > wasting money on chemicals and creating pollution.
                  > you wrote
                  >
                  > " What we need to
                  > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening."
                  >
                  > Start in a Quarter acer of land bigger area bigger problem.Once you
                  > realize you will never till again.
                  > Raju
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > On 3/8/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Dear Raju,
                  > >
                  > > What I'm saying is that "no method is absolute," and that we have to use
                  > > the method that works best in a given place. What I'm saying is also
                  > > that
                  > > it is better to practice organic farming in the fields than to practice
                  > > natural
                  > > farming in the head only. I also believe that it is better to till
                  > > _without_
                  > > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals.
                  > >
                  > > Naturally, no-till without chemicals is best if it can be implemented.
                  > > We
                  > > all agree about that, no need for further discussion. What we need to
                  > > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening.
                  > >
                  > > Perhaps natural farming is something like an ideal we try to perfect all
                  > > our life without ever fully achieving it.
                  > >
                  > > >If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow dung compost can get
                  > > >high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many acers
                  > > >is a question.
                  > >
                  > > An organic farmer can use manure, compost, green manure, mulch and
                  > > cover crops depending on what is available on the farm. If a farmer
                  > > keeps
                  > > cows for diary of meat production, why should s/he not use the manure
                  > > produced by the cows? Nobody keeps cows just to produce manure,
                  > > the argument is wrong.
                  > >
                  > > Dieter Brand
                  > > Portugal
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                  > > Dear dieter,
                  > > Love to see you after long time. Why you are saying that you are
                  > > not Fukuokn? We are talking with you from very long time as Fukuokan.
                  > > We are not here to advocate any farming based on tilling may it be
                  > > conventional+ chemical or organic because it is against Fukuoka's way.
                  > > We
                  > > can consider no-till Conservative farming growing crops in crop residues
                  > > without using chemicals.If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow
                  > > dung
                  > > compost can get high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many
                  > > acers
                  > > is a question. If you compare productivity and quality in farming no any
                  > > method can compete with fukuoka farming.Soil and bio diversity loss and
                  > > loss of water holding capcity must be taken in to acount.
                  > > Thanks
                  > > Raju Titus
                  > > Natural farmer of India
                  > >
                  > > On 3/7/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@... <diebrand%40yahoo.com>>
                  > > wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Fukuokans take note:
                  > > >
                  > > > > "...organic corn yields were about one-third lower during the first
                  > > four
                  > > > years
                  > > > > of the study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                  > > > especially
                  > > > > under drought conditions."
                  > > >
                  > > > This is concrete proof that organic _does_ improve soil and is to be
                  > > > preferred
                  > > > over conventional, no-till or not.
                  > > >
                  > > > It is good to have such a long-term research, 22 years, which proves
                  > > that
                  > > > organic yields can be comparable to those achieved by conventional
                  > > > farming.
                  > > >
                  > > > In addition to quantity, organic also provides better quality as has
                  > > been
                  > > > shown
                  > > > by numerous reports.
                  > > >
                  > > > Dieter Brand
                  > > > Portugal
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > Suresh Motwani <motwanisuresh07@...<motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com><motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com>>
                  > > > wrote:
                  > > > Organic farming produces same corn and soybean yields as conventional
                  > > > farms,
                  > > > but consumes less energy and no pesticides, study finds
                  > > >
                  > > > http://www.news.cornell.edu
                  > > >
                  > > > By Susan S. Lang <ssl4@... <ssl4%40cornell.edu><ssl4%40cornell.edu>>
                  > > >
                  > > > ITHACA, N.Y. -- Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and
                  > > > soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less
                  > > energy,
                  > > > less
                  > > > water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study
                  > > > concludes.
                  > > >
                  > > > David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor of ecology and
                  > > agriculture,
                  > > > concludes, "Organic farming offers re
                  > > > consultant-ngo@yahoogroups.comaladvantages<consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages><consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages>for
                  > > such crops as corn and
                  > > > soybeans." Pimentel is the lead author
                  > > > of a study that is published in the July issue of Bioscience (Vol.
                  > > 55:7)
                  > > > analyzing the environmental, energy and economic costs and benefits of
                  > > > growing soybeans and corn organically versus conventionally. The study
                  > > is
                  > > > a
                  > > > review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest
                  > > running
                  > > > comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States.
                  > > >
                  > > > "Organic farming approaches for these crops not only use an average of
                  > > 30
                  > > > percent less fossil energy but also conserve more water in the soil,
                  > > > induce
                  > > > less erosion, maintain soil quality and conserve more biological
                  > > resources
                  > > > than conventional farming does," Pimentel added.
                  > > >
                  > > > The study compared a conventional farm that used recommended
                  > > fertilizer
                  > > > and
                  > > > pesticide applications with an organic animal-based farm (where manure
                  > > was
                  > > > applied) and an organic legume-based farm (that used a three-year
                  > > rotation
                  > > > of hairy vetch/corn and rye/soybeans and wheat). The two organic
                  > > systems
                  > > > received no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
                  > > >
                  > > > Inter-institutional collaboration included Rodale Institute
                  > > agronomists
                  > > > Paul
                  > > > Hepperly and Rita Seidel, U.S. Department of Agriculture's
                  > > Agricultural
                  > > > Research Service research microbiologist David Douds Jr. and
                  > > University of
                  > > > Maryland agricultural economist James Hanson. The research compared
                  > > soil
                  > > > fungi activity, crop yields, energy efficiency, costs, organic matter
                  > > > changes over time, nitrogen accumulation and nitrate leaching across
                  > > > organic
                  > > > and conventional agricultural systems.
                  > > >
                  > > > "First and foremost, we found that corn and soybean yields were the
                  > > same
                  > > > across the three systems," said Pimentel, who noted that although
                  > > organic
                  > > > corn yields were about one-third lower during the first four years of
                  > > the
                  > > > study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                  > > especially
                  > > > under drought conditions. The reason was that wind and water erosion
                  > > > degraded the soil on the conventional farm while the soil on the
                  > > organic
                  > > > farms steadily improved in organic matter, moisture, microbial
                  > > activity
                  > > > and
                  > > > other soil quality indicators.
                  > > >
                  > > > The fact that organic agriculture systems also absorb and retain
                  > > > significant
                  > > > amounts of carbon in the soil has implications for global warming,
                  > > > Pimentel
                  > > > said, pointing out that soil carbon in the organic systems increased
                  > > by 15
                  > > > to 28 percent, the equivalent of taking about 3,500 pounds of carbon
                  > > > dioxide
                  > > > per hectare out of the air.
                  > > >
                  > > > Among the study's other findings:
                  > > > In the drought years, 1988 to 1998, corn yields in the legume-based
                  > > system
                  > > > were 22 percent higher than yields in the conventional system.
                  > > > The soil nitrogen levels in the organic farming systems increased 8 to
                  > > 15
                  > > > percent. Nitrate leaching was about equivalent in the organic and
                  > > > conventional farming systems.
                  > > > Organic farming reduced local and regional groundwater pollution by
                  > > not
                  > > > applying agricultural chemicals.
                  > > >
                  > > > Pimentel noted that although cash crops cannot be grown as frequently
                  > > over
                  > > > time on organic farms because of the dependence on cultural practices
                  > > to
                  > > > supply nutrients and control pests and because labor costs average
                  > > about
                  > > > 15
                  > > > percent higher in organic farming systems, the higher prices that
                  > > organic
                  > > > foods command in the marketplace still make the net economic return
                  > > per
                  > > > acre
                  > > > either equal to or higher than that of conventionally produced crops.
                  > > >
                  > > > Organic farming can compete effectively in growing corn, soybeans,
                  > > wheat,
                  > > > barley and other grains, Pimentel said, but it might not be as
                  > > favorable
                  > > > for
                  > > > growing such crops as grapes, apples, cherries and potatoes, which
                  > > have
                  > > > greater pest problems.
                  > > >
                  > > > The study was funded by the Rodale Institute and included a review of
                  > > > current literature on organic and conventional agriculture
                  > > comparisons.
                  > > > According to Pimentel, dozens of scientific papers reporting on
                  > > research
                  > > > from the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial have been published in
                  > > > prestigious refereed journals over the past 20 years.
                  > > >
                  > > > --
                  > > > Dr.Suresh Motwani
                  > > > AGronomist
                  > > > Cell: +91 9329450167
                  > > > Email: motwanisuresh07@... <motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com><motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com>
                  > > >
                  > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > >
                  > > > ---------------------------------
                  > > > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
                  > > >
                  > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  > > ---------------------------------
                  > > Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo!
                  > > Search.
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  >


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Robert Monie
                  Dear Raju, Scattering seeds in weed cover, irrigating, and mulching sounds like a good method, but... This is not a universally applicable method any more than
                  Message 8 of 20 , Mar 11 10:16 AM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Dear Raju,

                    Scattering seeds in weed cover, irrigating, and mulching sounds like a good method, but...

                    This is not a universally applicable method any more than seeding in clover crops or using the acacia tree is. In my New Orleans garden, I can grow Malabar (Ceylon) spinach and watermelon this way; I cannot grow cabbage or carrots like this. To test that this is not the result of my own personal klutzyness, I have had superb ethnic farmers (Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese) who grow food for ethnic markets in New Orleans try the same techniques on my soil, and the results are substantially the same.

                    It damages the credibility of Natural Farming to present it as a simple "one size fits all" method. In the study "Alternative Agriculture in Thailand and Japan," the author notes that of 80 farmers in Thailand who heard Fukuoka himself expound natural farming methods, only 27 were still doing it a few years later. The others, after trying the method, deemed it "impractical." No doubt their experience was similar to mine. Some plant seeds grow after seeding in weeds, cutting the weeds, and then mulching, but many others do not. The text of this study can be pulled up by going google.com to

                    Alternative Agriculture in Thailand and Japan .

                    Jenny Hall and Ian Tolhurst report in "Green Growing" the results of two studies done in England that attempted to reproduce Fukuoka's practice of seeding in short white clover (Dutch, New Zealand, or ladino). The experiments were considered a failure owing to the considerable difference in the behavior of clover fields in English soil contrasted with their behavior in Japananese soil. In England it is no easy task to weaken the clovers by flooding just the right amount so they don't compete for nutrients with the seedlings. Even in Japan, natural farmer Kawaguchi gave up seeding in clover because, in his case, he found it added an excessive nitrogen to the soil.

                    To grow naturally, it may be necessary for farmers and gardeners to find methods suitable to their own soil and climate and maybe even to their own temperament and the layout of their garden. What works in India may fail in Norway or Patagonia. The methods that you propose all assume a simultaneous movement of events that in some soils may occur only sequentially, one after another. Growing seeds right out of weeds may be impossible in some soils. Some soils may need years of preparation before they begin to support staple food crops, including grains, greens, veggies, and legumes. Some soils may need ley cover conditioning with deep-rooted cover crops (in England, traditionally red clover, orchard grass, rye, chicory) and dynamic accumulators before they can support substantial food crop growth.

                    How does it benefit us to pretend otherwise?

                    Also, the wattle acacia in most of its varieties, however admirable it may serve in Japan to fix nitrogen and provide mineral nourishment, is too prone to plant disease and insect infestation to be of any practical use in the garden or on the farm in many other biolregions, including the South Gulf Coast of the US.

                    Unfortunately, the more literal Fukuoka followers tend to summarily dismiss the efforts of growers who fail in trying to apply his methods. They attribute the failing to bad karma, "half-hearted effort" or some personal flaw in the hapless grower. More realistically, the flaw is in the assumptions that one general soil culture can grow anything and one set of procedures works anywhere.

                    Many roads led to Rome; many methods can lead to natural farming.

                    Bob Monie
                    New Orleans, La 70119
                    Zone 8
                    Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
                    Dear Dieter,
                    1) Scatter few seeds in standing grass or any weed cover irrigate if
                    no moisture, Than cut cover after germination and scatterer cuttings on the
                    germinating seeds.
                    2) Scatter few seeds on without covered land and cover tham with dry grass
                    or rice straw or any thing which is available in your area.
                    Precaution- Mulch should be loose ,sun light can reach up to
                    seeds.Aftersome time seedlings will come
                    up.Than it is your duty to protect your crop as you are protecting in your
                    ways. No need to add any thing except water if required.
                    Please do this experiment in small piece of land than expand.
                    Raju

                    On 3/11/08, Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Dear Dieter.
                    > You wrote " I also believe that it is better to till _without_
                    > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals."
                    >
                    > To till is very much harmful not having single point in favour.
                    > No till+ chemicals is having so many advantages except unnecessarily
                    > wasting money on chemicals and creating pollution.
                    > you wrote
                    >
                    > " What we need to
                    > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening."
                    >
                    > Start in a Quarter acer of land bigger area bigger problem.Once you
                    > realize you will never till again.
                    > Raju
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > On 3/8/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Dear Raju,
                    > >
                    > > What I'm saying is that "no method is absolute," and that we have to use
                    > > the method that works best in a given place. What I'm saying is also
                    > > that
                    > > it is better to practice organic farming in the fields than to practice
                    > > natural
                    > > farming in the head only. I also believe that it is better to till
                    > > _without_
                    > > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals.
                    > >
                    > > Naturally, no-till without chemicals is best if it can be implemented.
                    > > We
                    > > all agree about that, no need for further discussion. What we need to
                    > > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening.
                    > >
                    > > Perhaps natural farming is something like an ideal we try to perfect all
                    > > our life without ever fully achieving it.
                    > >
                    > > >If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow dung compost can get
                    > > >high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many acers
                    > > >is a question.
                    > >
                    > > An organic farmer can use manure, compost, green manure, mulch and
                    > > cover crops depending on what is available on the farm. If a farmer
                    > > keeps
                    > > cows for diary of meat production, why should s/he not use the manure
                    > > produced by the cows? Nobody keeps cows just to produce manure,
                    > > the argument is wrong.
                    > >
                    > > Dieter Brand
                    > > Portugal
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                    > > Dear dieter,
                    > > Love to see you after long time. Why you are saying that you are
                    > > not Fukuokn? We are talking with you from very long time as Fukuokan.
                    > > We are not here to advocate any farming based on tilling may it be
                    > > conventional+ chemical or organic because it is against Fukuoka's way.
                    > > We
                    > > can consider no-till Conservative farming growing crops in crop residues
                    > > without using chemicals.If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow
                    > > dung
                    > > compost can get high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many
                    > > acers
                    > > is a question. If you compare productivity and quality in farming no any
                    > > method can compete with fukuoka farming.Soil and bio diversity loss and
                    > > loss of water holding capcity must be taken in to acount.
                    > > Thanks
                    > > Raju Titus
                    > > Natural farmer of India
                    > >
                    > > On 3/7/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@... <diebrand%40yahoo.com>>
                    > > wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Fukuokans take note:
                    > > >
                    > > > > "...organic corn yields were about one-third lower during the first
                    > > four
                    > > > years
                    > > > > of the study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                    > > > especially
                    > > > > under drought conditions."
                    > > >
                    > > > This is concrete proof that organic _does_ improve soil and is to be
                    > > > preferred
                    > > > over conventional, no-till or not.
                    > > >
                    > > > It is good to have such a long-term research, 22 years, which proves
                    > > that
                    > > > organic yields can be comparable to those achieved by conventional
                    > > > farming.
                    > > >
                    > > > In addition to quantity, organic also provides better quality as has
                    > > been
                    > > > shown
                    > > > by numerous reports.
                    > > >
                    > > > Dieter Brand
                    > > > Portugal
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Suresh Motwani <motwanisuresh07@...<motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com><motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com>>
                    > > > wrote:
                    > > > Organic farming produces same corn and soybean yields as conventional
                    > > > farms,
                    > > > but consumes less energy and no pesticides, study finds
                    > > >
                    > > > http://www.news.cornell.edu
                    > > >
                    > > > By Susan S. Lang <ssl4@... <ssl4%40cornell.edu><ssl4%40cornell.edu>>
                    > > >
                    > > > ITHACA, N.Y. -- Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and
                    > > > soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less
                    > > energy,
                    > > > less
                    > > > water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study
                    > > > concludes.
                    > > >
                    > > > David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor of ecology and
                    > > agriculture,
                    > > > concludes, "Organic farming offers re
                    > > > consultant-ngo@yahoogroups.comaladvantages<consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages><consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages>for
                    > > such crops as corn and
                    > > > soybeans." Pimentel is the lead author
                    > > > of a study that is published in the July issue of Bioscience (Vol.
                    > > 55:7)
                    > > > analyzing the environmental, energy and economic costs and benefits of
                    > > > growing soybeans and corn organically versus conventionally. The study
                    > > is
                    > > > a
                    > > > review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest
                    > > running
                    > > > comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States.
                    > > >
                    > > > "Organic farming approaches for these crops not only use an average of
                    > > 30
                    > > > percent less fossil energy but also conserve more water in the soil,
                    > > > induce
                    > > > less erosion, maintain soil quality and conserve more biological
                    > > resources
                    > > > than conventional farming does," Pimentel added.
                    > > >
                    > > > The study compared a conventional farm that used recommended
                    > > fertilizer
                    > > > and
                    > > > pesticide applications with an organic animal-based farm (where manure
                    > > was
                    > > > applied) and an organic legume-based farm (that used a three-year
                    > > rotation
                    > > > of hairy vetch/corn and rye/soybeans and wheat). The two organic
                    > > systems
                    > > > received no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
                    > > >
                    > > > Inter-institutional collaboration included Rodale Institute
                    > > agronomists
                    > > > Paul
                    > > > Hepperly and Rita Seidel, U.S. Department of Agriculture's
                    > > Agricultural
                    > > > Research Service research microbiologist David Douds Jr. and
                    > > University of
                    > > > Maryland agricultural economist James Hanson. The research compared
                    > > soil
                    > > > fungi activity, crop yields, energy efficiency, costs, organic matter
                    > > > changes over time, nitrogen accumulation and nitrate leaching across
                    > > > organic
                    > > > and conventional agricultural systems.
                    > > >
                    > > > "First and foremost, we found that corn and soybean yields were the
                    > > same
                    > > > across the three systems," said Pimentel, who noted that although
                    > > organic
                    > > > corn yields were about one-third lower during the first four years of
                    > > the
                    > > > study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                    > > especially
                    > > > under drought conditions. The reason was that wind and water erosion
                    > > > degraded the soil on the conventional farm while the soil on the
                    > > organic
                    > > > farms steadily improved in organic matter, moisture, microbial
                    > > activity
                    > > > and
                    > > > other soil quality indicators.
                    > > >
                    > > > The fact that organic agriculture systems also absorb and retain
                    > > > significant
                    > > > amounts of carbon in the soil has implications for global warming,
                    > > > Pimentel
                    > > > said, pointing out that soil carbon in the organic systems increased
                    > > by 15
                    > > > to 28 percent, the equivalent of taking about 3,500 pounds of carbon
                    > > > dioxide
                    > > > per hectare out of the air.
                    > > >
                    > > > Among the study's other findings:
                    > > > In the drought years, 1988 to 1998, corn yields in the legume-based
                    > > system
                    > > > were 22 percent higher than yields in the conventional system.
                    > > > The soil nitrogen levels in the organic farming systems increased 8 to
                    > > 15
                    > > > percent. Nitrate leaching was about equivalent in the organic and
                    > > > conventional farming systems.
                    > > > Organic farming reduced local and regional groundwater pollution by
                    > > not
                    > > > applying agricultural chemicals.
                    > > >
                    > > > Pimentel noted that although cash crops cannot be grown as frequently
                    > > over
                    > > > time on organic farms because of the dependence on cultural practices
                    > > to
                    > > > supply nutrients and control pests and because labor costs average
                    > > about
                    > > > 15
                    > > > percent higher in organic farming systems, the higher prices that
                    > > organic
                    > > > foods command in the marketplace still make the net economic return
                    > > per
                    > > > acre
                    > > > either equal to or higher than that of conventionally produced crops.
                    > > >
                    > > > Organic farming can compete effectively in growing corn, soybeans,
                    > > wheat,
                    > > > barley and other grains, Pimentel said, but it might not be as
                    > > favorable
                    > > > for
                    > > > growing such crops as grapes, apples, cherries and potatoes, which
                    > > have
                    > > > greater pest problems.
                    > > >
                    > > > The study was funded by the Rodale Institute and included a review of
                    > > > current literature on organic and conventional agriculture
                    > > comparisons.
                    > > > According to Pimentel, dozens of scientific papers reporting on
                    > > research
                    > > > from the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial have been published in
                    > > > prestigious refereed journals over the past 20 years.
                    > > >
                    > > > --
                    > > > Dr.Suresh Motwani
                    > > > AGronomist
                    > > > Cell: +91 9329450167
                    > > > Email: motwanisuresh07@... <motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com><motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com>
                    > > >
                    > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > > >
                    > > > ---------------------------------
                    > > > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
                    > > >
                    > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > >
                    > > ---------------------------------
                    > > Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo!
                    > > Search.
                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Shawn Turner
                    I agree. What I think is missed most about Fukukoka, is the method that he used to figure out what worked and what did not for his location. I think the
                    Message 9 of 20 , Mar 11 12:56 PM
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I agree. What I think is missed most about Fukukoka, is the method that he used to figure out what worked and what did not for his location. I think the methodology is the most important lesson he was trying to pass on.

                      Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote: Dear Raju,

                      Scattering seeds in weed cover, irrigating, and mulching sounds like a good method, but...

                      This is not a universally applicable method any more than seeding in clover crops or using the acacia tree is. In my New Orleans garden, I can grow Malabar (Ceylon) spinach and watermelon this way; I cannot grow cabbage or carrots like this. To test that this is not the result of my own personal klutzyness, I have had superb ethnic farmers (Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese) who grow food for ethnic markets in New Orleans try the same techniques on my soil, and the results are substantially the same.

                      It damages the credibility of Natural Farming to present it as a simple "one size fits all" method. In the study "Alternative Agriculture in Thailand and Japan," the author notes that of 80 farmers in Thailand who heard Fukuoka himself expound natural farming methods, only 27 were still doing it a few years later. The others, after trying the method, deemed it "impractical." No doubt their experience was similar to mine. Some plant seeds grow after seeding in weeds, cutting the weeds, and then mulching, but many others do not. The text of this study can be pulled up by going google.com to

                      Alternative Agriculture in Thailand and Japan .

                      Jenny Hall and Ian Tolhurst report in "Green Growing" the results of two studies done in England that attempted to reproduce Fukuoka's practice of seeding in short white clover (Dutch, New Zealand, or ladino). The experiments were considered a failure owing to the considerable difference in the behavior of clover fields in English soil contrasted with their behavior in Japananese soil. In England it is no easy task to weaken the clovers by flooding just the right amount so they don't compete for nutrients with the seedlings. Even in Japan, natural farmer Kawaguchi gave up seeding in clover because, in his case, he found it added an excessive nitrogen to the soil.

                      To grow naturally, it may be necessary for farmers and gardeners to find methods suitable to their own soil and climate and maybe even to their own temperament and the layout of their garden. What works in India may fail in Norway or Patagonia. The methods that you propose all assume a simultaneous movement of events that in some soils may occur only sequentially, one after another. Growing seeds right out of weeds may be impossible in some soils. Some soils may need years of preparation before they begin to support staple food crops, including grains, greens, veggies, and legumes. Some soils may need ley cover conditioning with deep-rooted cover crops (in England, traditionally red clover, orchard grass, rye, chicory) and dynamic accumulators before they can support substantial food crop growth.

                      How does it benefit us to pretend otherwise?

                      Also, the wattle acacia in most of its varieties, however admirable it may serve in Japan to fix nitrogen and provide mineral nourishment, is too prone to plant disease and insect infestation to be of any practical use in the garden or on the farm in many other biolregions, including the South Gulf Coast of the US.

                      Unfortunately, the more literal Fukuoka followers tend to summarily dismiss the efforts of growers who fail in trying to apply his methods. They attribute the failing to bad karma, "half-hearted effort" or some personal flaw in the hapless grower. More realistically, the flaw is in the assumptions that one general soil culture can grow anything and one set of procedures works anywhere.

                      Many roads led to Rome; many methods can lead to natural farming.

                      Bob Monie
                      New Orleans, La 70119
                      Zone 8
                      Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
                      Dear Dieter,
                      1) Scatter few seeds in standing grass or any weed cover irrigate if
                      no moisture, Than cut cover after germination and scatterer cuttings on the
                      germinating seeds.
                      2) Scatter few seeds on without covered land and cover tham with dry grass
                      or rice straw or any thing which is available in your area.
                      Precaution- Mulch should be loose ,sun light can reach up to
                      seeds.Aftersome time seedlings will come
                      up.Than it is your duty to protect your crop as you are protecting in your
                      ways. No need to add any thing except water if required.
                      Please do this experiment in small piece of land than expand.
                      Raju

                      On 3/11/08, Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Dear Dieter.
                      > You wrote " I also believe that it is better to till _without_
                      > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals."
                      >
                      > To till is very much harmful not having single point in favour.
                      > No till+ chemicals is having so many advantages except unnecessarily
                      > wasting money on chemicals and creating pollution.
                      > you wrote
                      >
                      > " What we need to
                      > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening."
                      >
                      > Start in a Quarter acer of land bigger area bigger problem.Once you
                      > realize you will never till again.
                      > Raju
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > On 3/8/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Dear Raju,
                      > >
                      > > What I'm saying is that "no method is absolute," and that we have to use
                      > > the method that works best in a given place. What I'm saying is also
                      > > that
                      > > it is better to practice organic farming in the fields than to practice
                      > > natural
                      > > farming in the head only. I also believe that it is better to till
                      > > _without_
                      > > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals.
                      > >
                      > > Naturally, no-till without chemicals is best if it can be implemented.
                      > > We
                      > > all agree about that, no need for further discussion. What we need to
                      > > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening.
                      > >
                      > > Perhaps natural farming is something like an ideal we try to perfect all
                      > > our life without ever fully achieving it.
                      > >
                      > > >If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow dung compost can get
                      > > >high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many acers
                      > > >is a question.
                      > >
                      > > An organic farmer can use manure, compost, green manure, mulch and
                      > > cover crops depending on what is available on the farm. If a farmer
                      > > keeps
                      > > cows for diary of meat production, why should s/he not use the manure
                      > > produced by the cows? Nobody keeps cows just to produce manure,
                      > > the argument is wrong.
                      > >
                      > > Dieter Brand
                      > > Portugal
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                      > > Dear dieter,
                      > > Love to see you after long time. Why you are saying that you are
                      > > not Fukuokn? We are talking with you from very long time as Fukuokan.
                      > > We are not here to advocate any farming based on tilling may it be
                      > > conventional+ chemical or organic because it is against Fukuoka's way.
                      > > We
                      > > can consider no-till Conservative farming growing crops in crop residues
                      > > without using chemicals.If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow
                      > > dung
                      > > compost can get high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many
                      > > acers
                      > > is a question. If you compare productivity and quality in farming no any
                      > > method can compete with fukuoka farming.Soil and bio diversity loss and
                      > > loss of water holding capcity must be taken in to acount.
                      > > Thanks
                      > > Raju Titus
                      > > Natural farmer of India
                      > >
                      > > On 3/7/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@... <diebrand%40yahoo.com>>
                      > > wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Fukuokans take note:
                      > > >
                      > > > > "...organic corn yields were about one-third lower during the first
                      > > four
                      > > > years
                      > > > > of the study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                      > > > especially
                      > > > > under drought conditions."
                      > > >
                      > > > This is concrete proof that organic _does_ improve soil and is to be
                      > > > preferred
                      > > > over conventional, no-till or not.
                      > > >
                      > > > It is good to have such a long-term research, 22 years, which proves
                      > > that
                      > > > organic yields can be comparable to those achieved by conventional
                      > > > farming.
                      > > >
                      > > > In addition to quantity, organic also provides better quality as has
                      > > been
                      > > > shown
                      > > > by numerous reports.
                      > > >
                      > > > Dieter Brand
                      > > > Portugal
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > Suresh Motwani <motwanisuresh07@...<motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com><motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com>>
                      > > > wrote:
                      > > > Organic farming produces same corn and soybean yields as conventional
                      > > > farms,
                      > > > but consumes less energy and no pesticides, study finds
                      > > >
                      > > > http://www.news.cornell.edu
                      > > >
                      > > > By Susan S. Lang <ssl4@... <ssl4%40cornell.edu><ssl4%40cornell.edu>>
                      > > >
                      > > > ITHACA, N.Y. -- Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and
                      > > > soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less
                      > > energy,
                      > > > less
                      > > > water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study
                      > > > concludes.
                      > > >
                      > > > David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor of ecology and
                      > > agriculture,
                      > > > concludes, "Organic farming offers re
                      > > > consultant-ngo@yahoogroups.comaladvantages<consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages><consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages>for
                      > > such crops as corn and
                      > > > soybeans." Pimentel is the lead author
                      > > > of a study that is published in the July issue of Bioscience (Vol.
                      > > 55:7)
                      > > > analyzing the environmental, energy and economic costs and benefits of
                      > > > growing soybeans and corn organically versus conventionally. The study
                      > > is
                      > > > a
                      > > > review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest
                      > > running
                      > > > comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States.
                      > > >
                      > > > "Organic farming approaches for these crops not only use an average of
                      > > 30
                      > > > percent less fossil energy but also conserve more water in the soil,
                      > > > induce
                      > > > less erosion, maintain soil quality and conserve more biological
                      > > resources
                      > > > than conventional farming does," Pimentel added.
                      > > >
                      > > > The study compared a conventional farm that used recommended
                      > > fertilizer
                      > > > and
                      > > > pesticide applications with an organic animal-based farm (where manure
                      > > was
                      > > > applied) and an organic legume-based farm (that used a three-year
                      > > rotation
                      > > > of hairy vetch/corn and rye/soybeans and wheat). The two organic
                      > > systems
                      > > > received no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
                      > > >
                      > > > Inter-institutional collaboration included Rodale Institute
                      > > agronomists
                      > > > Paul
                      > > > Hepperly and Rita Seidel, U.S. Department of Agriculture's
                      > > Agricultural
                      > > > Research Service research microbiologist David Douds Jr. and
                      > > University of
                      > > > Maryland agricultural economist James Hanson. The research compared
                      > > soil
                      > > > fungi activity, crop yields, energy efficiency, costs, organic matter
                      > > > changes over time, nitrogen accumulation and nitrate leaching across
                      > > > organic
                      > > > and conventional agricultural systems.
                      > > >
                      > > > "First and foremost, we found that corn and soybean yields were the
                      > > same
                      > > > across the three systems," said Pimentel, who noted that although
                      > > organic
                      > > > corn yields were about one-third lower during the first four years of
                      > > the
                      > > > study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                      > > especially
                      > > > under drought conditions. The reason was that wind and water erosion
                      > > > degraded the soil on the conventional farm while the soil on the
                      > > organic
                      > > > farms steadily improved in organic matter, moisture, microbial
                      > > activity
                      > > > and
                      > > > other soil quality indicators.
                      > > >
                      > > > The fact that organic agriculture systems also absorb and retain
                      > > > significant
                      > > > amounts of carbon in the soil has implications for global warming,
                      > > > Pimentel
                      > > > said, pointing out that soil carbon in the organic systems increased
                      > > by 15
                      > > > to 28 percent, the equivalent of taking about 3,500 pounds of carbon
                      > > > dioxide
                      > > > per hectare out of the air.
                      > > >
                      > > > Among the study's other findings:
                      > > > In the drought years, 1988 to 1998, corn yields in the legume-based
                      > > system
                      > > > were 22 percent higher than yields in the conventional system.
                      > > > The soil nitrogen levels in the organic farming systems increased 8 to
                      > > 15
                      > > > percent. Nitrate leaching was about equivalent in the organic and
                      > > > conventional farming systems.
                      > > > Organic farming reduced local and regional groundwater pollution by
                      > > not
                      > > > applying agricultural chemicals.
                      > > >
                      > > > Pimentel noted that although cash crops cannot be grown as frequently
                      > > over
                      > > > time on organic farms because of the dependence on cultural practices
                      > > to
                      > > > supply nutrients and control pests and because labor costs average
                      > > about
                      > > > 15
                      > > > percent higher in organic farming systems, the higher prices that
                      > > organic
                      > > > foods command in the marketplace still make the net economic return
                      > > per
                      > > > acre
                      > > > either equal to or higher than that of conventionally produced crops.
                      > > >
                      > > > Organic farming can compete effectively in growing corn, soybeans,
                      > > wheat,
                      > > > barley and other grains, Pimentel said, but it might not be as
                      > > favorable
                      > > > for
                      > > > growing such crops as grapes, apples, cherries and potatoes, which
                      > > have
                      > > > greater pest problems.
                      > > >
                      > > > The study was funded by the Rodale Institute and included a review of
                      > > > current literature on organic and conventional agriculture
                      > > comparisons.
                      > > > According to Pimentel, dozens of scientific papers reporting on
                      > > research
                      > > > from the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial have been published in
                      > > > prestigious refereed journals over the past 20 years.
                      > > >
                      > > > --
                      > > > Dr.Suresh Motwani
                      > > > AGronomist
                      > > > Cell: +91 9329450167
                      > > > Email: motwanisuresh07@... <motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com><motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com>
                      > > >
                      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > > >
                      > > > ---------------------------------
                      > > > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
                      > > >
                      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      > > ---------------------------------
                      > > Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo!
                      > > Search.
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      >

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                    • Dieter Brand
                      Shawn, If I remember correctly, he describes his method in great detail in Mu III. He also describes the steps by which he got there. Most of the text has
                      Message 10 of 20 , Mar 11 6:57 PM
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                        Shawn,

                        If I remember correctly, he describes his method in great detail in Mu III. He also
                        describes the steps by which he got there. Most of the text has been translated
                        into English (The Natural Way of Farming, not sure about the title), but I think that
                        the editors of the English edition have partially cut the detailed descriptions about
                        his method for growing rice. Here again we are back at the problem I have talked
                        about previously: to the traditional Japanese farmer the most important thing is to
                        grow a staple food like rice. Vegetables and all the rest is secondary. The Western
                        reader, on the other hand, is not interested in growing rice and only wants to know
                        about growing vegetables.

                        Bob,

                        Thanks a lot for all that information. I didn't know most of it. Still haven't been
                        able to download the text about Alternative Agriculture in Thailand and Japan,
                        my Internet problem again. But will keep on trying.

                        Cheers,
                        Dieter

                        Shawn Turner <shawndturner@...> wrote:
                        I agree. What I think is missed most about Fukukoka, is the method that he used to figure out what worked and what did not for his location. I think the methodology is the most important lesson he was trying to pass on.

                        Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote: Dear Raju,

                        Scattering seeds in weed cover, irrigating, and mulching sounds like a good method, but...

                        This is not a universally applicable method any more than seeding in clover crops or using the acacia tree is. In my New Orleans garden, I can grow Malabar (Ceylon) spinach and watermelon this way; I cannot grow cabbage or carrots like this. To test that this is not the result of my own personal klutzyness, I have had superb ethnic farmers (Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese) who grow food for ethnic markets in New Orleans try the same techniques on my soil, and the results are substantially the same.

                        It damages the credibility of Natural Farming to present it as a simple "one size fits all" method. In the study "Alternative Agriculture in Thailand and Japan," the author notes that of 80 farmers in Thailand who heard Fukuoka himself expound natural farming methods, only 27 were still doing it a few years later. The others, after trying the method, deemed it "impractical." No doubt their experience was similar to mine. Some plant seeds grow after seeding in weeds, cutting the weeds, and then mulching, but many others do not. The text of this study can be pulled up by going google.com to

                        Alternative Agriculture in Thailand and Japan .

                        Jenny Hall and Ian Tolhurst report in "Green Growing" the results of two studies done in England that attempted to reproduce Fukuoka's practice of seeding in short white clover (Dutch, New Zealand, or ladino). The experiments were considered a failure owing to the considerable difference in the behavior of clover fields in English soil contrasted with their behavior in Japananese soil. In England it is no easy task to weaken the clovers by flooding just the right amount so they don't compete for nutrients with the seedlings. Even in Japan, natural farmer Kawaguchi gave up seeding in clover because, in his case, he found it added an excessive nitrogen to the soil.

                        To grow naturally, it may be necessary for farmers and gardeners to find methods suitable to their own soil and climate and maybe even to their own temperament and the layout of their garden. What works in India may fail in Norway or Patagonia. The methods that you propose all assume a simultaneous movement of events that in some soils may occur only sequentially, one after another. Growing seeds right out of weeds may be impossible in some soils. Some soils may need years of preparation before they begin to support staple food crops, including grains, greens, veggies, and legumes. Some soils may need ley cover conditioning with deep-rooted cover crops (in England, traditionally red clover, orchard grass, rye, chicory) and dynamic accumulators before they can support substantial food crop growth.

                        How does it benefit us to pretend otherwise?

                        Also, the wattle acacia in most of its varieties, however admirable it may serve in Japan to fix nitrogen and provide mineral nourishment, is too prone to plant disease and insect infestation to be of any practical use in the garden or on the farm in many other biolregions, including the South Gulf Coast of the US.

                        Unfortunately, the more literal Fukuoka followers tend to summarily dismiss the efforts of growers who fail in trying to apply his methods. They attribute the failing to bad karma, "half-hearted effort" or some personal flaw in the hapless grower. More realistically, the flaw is in the assumptions that one general soil culture can grow anything and one set of procedures works anywhere.

                        Many roads led to Rome; many methods can lead to natural farming.

                        Bob Monie
                        New Orleans, La 70119
                        Zone 8
                        Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
                        Dear Dieter,
                        1) Scatter few seeds in standing grass or any weed cover irrigate if
                        no moisture, Than cut cover after germination and scatterer cuttings on the
                        germinating seeds.
                        2) Scatter few seeds on without covered land and cover tham with dry grass
                        or rice straw or any thing which is available in your area.
                        Precaution- Mulch should be loose ,sun light can reach up to
                        seeds.Aftersome time seedlings will come
                        up.Than it is your duty to protect your crop as you are protecting in your
                        ways. No need to add any thing except water if required.
                        Please do this experiment in small piece of land than expand.
                        Raju

                        On 3/11/08, Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Dear Dieter.
                        > You wrote " I also believe that it is better to till _without_
                        > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals."
                        >
                        > To till is very much harmful not having single point in favour.
                        > No till+ chemicals is having so many advantages except unnecessarily
                        > wasting money on chemicals and creating pollution.
                        > you wrote
                        >
                        > " What we need to
                        > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening."
                        >
                        > Start in a Quarter acer of land bigger area bigger problem.Once you
                        > realize you will never till again.
                        > Raju
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > On 3/8/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Dear Raju,
                        > >
                        > > What I'm saying is that "no method is absolute," and that we have to use
                        > > the method that works best in a given place. What I'm saying is also
                        > > that
                        > > it is better to practice organic farming in the fields than to practice
                        > > natural
                        > > farming in the head only. I also believe that it is better to till
                        > > _without_
                        > > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals.
                        > >
                        > > Naturally, no-till without chemicals is best if it can be implemented.
                        > > We
                        > > all agree about that, no need for further discussion. What we need to
                        > > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening.
                        > >
                        > > Perhaps natural farming is something like an ideal we try to perfect all
                        > > our life without ever fully achieving it.
                        > >
                        > > >If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow dung compost can get
                        > > >high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many acers
                        > > >is a question.
                        > >
                        > > An organic farmer can use manure, compost, green manure, mulch and
                        > > cover crops depending on what is available on the farm. If a farmer
                        > > keeps
                        > > cows for diary of meat production, why should s/he not use the manure
                        > > produced by the cows? Nobody keeps cows just to produce manure,
                        > > the argument is wrong.
                        > >
                        > > Dieter Brand
                        > > Portugal
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                        > > Dear dieter,
                        > > Love to see you after long time. Why you are saying that you are
                        > > not Fukuokn? We are talking with you from very long time as Fukuokan.
                        > > We are not here to advocate any farming based on tilling may it be
                        > > conventional+ chemical or organic because it is against Fukuoka's way.
                        > > We
                        > > can consider no-till Conservative farming growing crops in crop residues
                        > > without using chemicals.If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow
                        > > dung
                        > > compost can get high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many
                        > > acers
                        > > is a question. If you compare productivity and quality in farming no any
                        > > method can compete with fukuoka farming.Soil and bio diversity loss and
                        > > loss of water holding capcity must be taken in to acount.
                        > > Thanks
                        > > Raju Titus
                        > > Natural farmer of India
                        > >
                        > > On 3/7/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@... <diebrand%40yahoo.com>>
                        > > wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Fukuokans take note:
                        > > >
                        > > > > "...organic corn yields were about one-third lower during the first
                        > > four
                        > > > years
                        > > > > of the study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                        > > > especially
                        > > > > under drought conditions."
                        > > >
                        > > > This is concrete proof that organic _does_ improve soil and is to be
                        > > > preferred
                        > > > over conventional, no-till or not.
                        > > >
                        > > > It is good to have such a long-term research, 22 years, which proves
                        > > that
                        > > > organic yields can be comparable to those achieved by conventional
                        > > > farming.
                        > > >
                        > > > In addition to quantity, organic also provides better quality as has
                        > > been
                        > > > shown
                        > > > by numerous reports.
                        > > >
                        > > > Dieter Brand
                        > > > Portugal
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > Suresh Motwani <motwanisuresh07@...<motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com><motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com>>
                        > > > wrote:
                        > > > Organic farming produces same corn and soybean yields as conventional
                        > > > farms,
                        > > > but consumes less energy and no pesticides, study finds
                        > > >
                        > > > http://www.news.cornell.edu
                        > > >
                        > > > By Susan S. Lang <ssl4@... <ssl4%40cornell.edu><ssl4%40cornell.edu>>
                        > > >
                        > > > ITHACA, N.Y. -- Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and
                        > > > soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less
                        > > energy,
                        > > > less
                        > > > water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study
                        > > > concludes.
                        > > >
                        > > > David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor of ecology and
                        > > agriculture,
                        > > > concludes, "Organic farming offers re
                        > > > consultant-ngo@yahoogroups.comaladvantages<consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages><consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages>for
                        > > such crops as corn and
                        > > > soybeans." Pimentel is the lead author
                        > > > of a study that is published in the July issue of Bioscience (Vol.
                        > > 55:7)
                        > > > analyzing the environmental, energy and economic costs and benefits of
                        > > > growing soybeans and corn organically versus conventionally. The study
                        > > is
                        > > > a
                        > > > review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest
                        > > running
                        > > > comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States.
                        > > >
                        > > > "Organic farming approaches for these crops not only use an average of
                        > > 30
                        > > > percent less fossil energy but also conserve more water in the soil,
                        > > > induce
                        > > > less erosion, maintain soil quality and conserve more biological
                        > > resources
                        > > > than conventional farming does," Pimentel added.
                        > > >
                        > > > The study compared a conventional farm that used recommended
                        > > fertilizer
                        > > > and
                        > > > pesticide applications with an organic animal-based farm (where manure
                        > > was
                        > > > applied) and an organic legume-based farm (that used a three-year
                        > > rotation
                        > > > of hairy vetch/corn and rye/soybeans and wheat). The two organic
                        > > systems
                        > > > received no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
                        > > >
                        > > > Inter-institutional collaboration included Rodale Institute
                        > > agronomists
                        > > > Paul
                        > > > Hepperly and Rita Seidel, U.S. Department of Agriculture's
                        > > Agricultural
                        > > > Research Service research microbiologist David Douds Jr. and
                        > > University of
                        > > > Maryland agricultural economist James Hanson. The research compared
                        > > soil
                        > > > fungi activity, crop yields, energy efficiency, costs, organic matter
                        > > > changes over time, nitrogen accumulation and nitrate leaching across
                        > > > organic
                        > > > and conventional agricultural systems.
                        > > >
                        > > > "First and foremost, we found that corn and soybean yields were the
                        > > same
                        > > > across the three systems," said Pimentel, who noted that although
                        > > organic
                        > > > corn yields were about one-third lower during the first four years of
                        > > the
                        > > > study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                        > > especially
                        > > > under drought conditions. The reason was that wind and water erosion
                        > > > degraded the soil on the conventional farm while the soil on the
                        > > organic
                        > > > farms steadily improved in organic matter, moisture, microbial
                        > > activity
                        > > > and
                        > > > other soil quality indicators.
                        > > >
                        > > > The fact that organic agriculture systems also absorb and retain
                        > > > significant
                        > > > amounts of carbon in the soil has implications for global warming,
                        > > > Pimentel
                        > > > said, pointing out that soil carbon in the organic systems increased
                        > > by 15
                        > > > to 28 percent, the equivalent of taking about 3,500 pounds of carbon
                        > > > dioxide
                        > > > per hectare out of the air.
                        > > >
                        > > > Among the study's other findings:
                        > > > In the drought years, 1988 to 1998, corn yields in the legume-based
                        > > system
                        > > > were 22 percent higher than yields in the conventional system.
                        > > > The soil nitrogen levels in the organic farming systems increased 8 to
                        > > 15
                        > > > percent. Nitrate leaching was about equivalent in the organic and
                        > > > conventional farming systems.
                        > > > Organic farming reduced local and regional groundwater pollution by
                        > > not
                        > > > applying agricultural chemicals.
                        > > >
                        > > > Pimentel noted that although cash crops cannot be grown as frequently
                        > > over
                        > > > time on organic farms because of the dependence on cultural practices
                        > > to
                        > > > supply nutrients and control pests and because labor costs average
                        > > about
                        > > > 15
                        > > > percent higher in organic farming systems, the higher prices that
                        > > organic
                        > > > foods command in the marketplace still make the net economic return
                        > > per
                        > > > acre
                        > > > either equal to or higher than that of conventionally produced crops.
                        > > >
                        > > > Organic farming can compete effectively in growing corn, soybeans,
                        > > wheat,
                        > > > barley and other grains, Pimentel said, but it might not be as
                        > > favorable
                        > > > for
                        > > > growing such crops as grapes, apples, cherries and potatoes, which
                        > > have
                        > > > greater pest problems.
                        > > >
                        > > > The study was funded by the Rodale Institute and included a review of
                        > > > current literature on organic and conventional agriculture
                        > > comparisons.
                        > > > According to Pimentel, dozens of scientific papers reporting on
                        > > research
                        > > > from the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial have been published in
                        > > > prestigious refereed journals over the past 20 years.
                        > > >
                        > > > --
                        > > > Dr.Suresh Motwani
                        > > > AGronomist
                        > > > Cell: +91 9329450167
                        > > > Email: motwanisuresh07@... <motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com><motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com>
                        > > >
                        > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > > >
                        > > > ---------------------------------
                        > > > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
                        > > >
                        > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > >
                        > > ---------------------------------
                        > > Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo!
                        > > Search.
                        > >
                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        >

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                      • macropneuma
                        - http://www.worldwidewattle.com/ There are about 900 species of Wattle or Acacia in Australia (alone - many of them are only very subtly different physically
                        Message 11 of 20 , Mar 11 7:29 PM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          -> http://www.worldwidewattle.com/
                          There are about 900 species of Wattle or Acacia in Australia (alone -
                          many of them are only very subtly different physically
                          (morphologically) to the uninitiated eye).
                          -> http://www.worldwidewattle.com/infogallery/species/
                          There are Wattle species in virtually each & every climate class and
                          soil type combination here in Australia.
                          So over most of the earth, by extrapolation, there is some Aussie
                          Wattle species suitable for that place.
                          Southern Tasmania & the highlands are sort of cold places, but not
                          compared to the north of the northern hemisphere, so there may not be
                          any Aussie Wattle species (spp.) adapted to those cold climates.
                          Some other places, soils and climates may also not have any Aussie
                          Wattles spp. suited to them at all, but most of The Earth will.
                          Also, extremely damaged soils, by humans, have a variety of African
                          Acacias & Aussie Wattles perfectly suited to them - Acacia spp. are
                          often the pioneer perrenial spp. in highly disturbed environments.
                          There is so much to choose from amongst 900 very varied species, of
                          course all of which are nitrogen fixers (some better or some not so
                          great).
                          Also critical however is the extreme invasiveness of some Wattle spp.,
                          elsewhere, around The Earth, from the places where they are native.
                          This must be taken into account.
                          For example:
                          Acacia mearnsii (Fukuoka's morishima wattle):
                          ->
                          http://www.invasivespecies.net/database/species/ecology.asp?fr=1&si=51&sts=

                          Acacia saligna - Western Australian native species - highly invasive
                          elsewhere in Australia, eg. Sydney, and in South Africa, etc.

                          Acacia nilotica - Native of Pakistan - extremely extensive invasions
                          in northern Australia (amongst Aussie native Acacia spp. in
                          combination (often) with unsustainable pastoral grazing 'agriculture')
                          ->
                          http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/cps/rde/xchg/dpi/hs.xsl/4790_7342_ENA_HTML.htm

                          Acacia farnesiana (Probably native to tropical America)
                          ->
                          http://www.invasivespecies.net/database/species/ecology.asp?si=49&fr=1&sts=sss

                          ---------------------------------------------------------------------

                          The degree of change and diversity over the earth of the genes of
                          plants, the gene's combinations, and between the aggregates of genomes
                          in the form of species, subspecies, varieties, populations, *and*
                          individual plants is far & away more than the degree of change and
                          diversity in soils, their parent materials, and climates over the
                          earth -- from the point of view of the human mind or human genius'
                          mind to comprehend, summarise and make generalisations about.
                          Fukuoka-sensei, genius, or any human cannot possibly know the range of
                          plant species and their interactions across the earth. IMHO He can &
                          does do better at understanding soils, food growing in soil & farming
                          (of course especially micro-biology), summarising the problems
                          thereof, and making general principles about solving those problem's,
                          than anyone i've read on this group in the 5 years i've been reading
                          this group and a member. And that's even in the evidently imperfect
                          English translations.

                          Yes that "one size does not fit all" is crucially true, obviously,
                          just think of ecosystems across the Earth, and of the already
                          scientifically recorded ca. 300,000 plant species of the Earth. (ca.
                          30,000 in Australia).

                          --Motivated, for the Earth.

                          ===================================================================

                          --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Dear Raju,
                          >
                          > Scattering seeds in weed cover, irrigating, and mulching
                          sounds like a good method, but...
                          >
                          > This is not a universally applicable method any more than
                          seeding in clover crops or using the acacia tree is. In my New
                          Orleans garden, I can grow Malabar (Ceylon) spinach and watermelon
                          this way; I cannot grow cabbage or carrots like this. To test that
                          this is not the result of my own personal klutzyness, I have had
                          superb ethnic farmers (Vietnamese, Cambodian, Chinese) who grow food
                          for ethnic markets in New Orleans try the same techniques on my soil,
                          and the results are substantially the same.
                          >
                          > It damages the credibility of Natural Farming to present it as
                          a simple "one size fits all" method. In the study "Alternative
                          Agriculture in Thailand and Japan," the author notes that of 80
                          farmers in Thailand who heard Fukuoka himself expound natural farming
                          methods, only 27 were still doing it a few years later. The others,
                          after trying the method, deemed it "impractical." No doubt their
                          experience was similar to mine. Some plant seeds grow after seeding
                          in weeds, cutting the weeds, and then mulching, but many others do
                          not. The text of this study can be pulled up by going google.com to
                          >
                          > Alternative Agriculture in
                          Thailand and Japan .
                          >
                          > Jenny Hall and Ian Tolhurst report in "Green Growing" the
                          results of two studies done in England that attempted to reproduce
                          Fukuoka's practice of seeding in short white clover (Dutch, New
                          Zealand, or ladino). The experiments were considered a failure owing
                          to the considerable difference in the behavior of clover fields in
                          English soil contrasted with their behavior in Japananese soil. In
                          England it is no easy task to weaken the clovers by flooding just the
                          right amount so they don't compete for nutrients with the seedlings.
                          Even in Japan, natural farmer Kawaguchi gave up seeding in clover
                          because, in his case, he found it added an excessive nitrogen to the
                          soil.
                          >
                          > To grow naturally, it may be necessary for farmers and
                          gardeners to find methods suitable to their own soil and climate and
                          maybe even to their own temperament and the layout of their garden.
                          What works in India may fail in Norway or Patagonia. The methods that
                          you propose all assume a simultaneous movement of events that in some
                          soils may occur only sequentially, one after another. Growing seeds
                          right out of weeds may be impossible in some soils. Some soils may
                          need years of preparation before they begin to support staple food
                          crops, including grains, greens, veggies, and legumes. Some soils may
                          need ley cover conditioning with deep-rooted cover crops (in England,
                          traditionally red clover, orchard grass, rye, chicory) and dynamic
                          accumulators before they can support substantial food crop growth.
                          >
                          > How does it benefit us to pretend otherwise?
                          >
                          > Also, the wattle acacia in most of its varieties, however
                          admirable it may serve in Japan to fix nitrogen and provide mineral
                          nourishment, is too prone to plant disease and insect infestation to
                          be of any practical use in the garden or on the farm in many other
                          biolregions, including the South Gulf Coast of the US.
                          >
                          > Unfortunately, the more literal Fukuoka followers tend to
                          summarily dismiss the efforts of growers who fail in trying to apply
                          his methods. They attribute the failing to bad karma, "half-hearted
                          effort" or some personal flaw in the hapless grower. More
                          realistically, the flaw is in the assumptions that one general soil
                          culture can grow anything and one set of procedures works anywhere.
                          >
                          > Many roads led to Rome; many methods can lead to natural farming.
                          >
                          > Bob Monie
                          > New Orleans, La 70119
                          > Zone 8
                          > Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
                          > Dear Dieter,
                          > 1) Scatter few seeds in standing grass or any weed cover irrigate if
                          > no moisture, Than cut cover after germination and scatterer cuttings
                          on the
                          > germinating seeds.
                          > 2) Scatter few seeds on without covered land and cover tham with dry
                          grass
                          > or rice straw or any thing which is available in your area.
                          > Precaution- Mulch should be loose ,sun light can reach up to
                          > seeds.Aftersome time seedlings will come
                          > up.Than it is your duty to protect your crop as you are protecting
                          in your
                          > ways. No need to add any thing except water if required.
                          > Please do this experiment in small piece of land than expand.
                          > Raju
                          >
                          > On 3/11/08, Raju Titus <rajuktitus@...> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Dear Dieter.
                          > > You wrote " I also believe that it is better to till _without_
                          > > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals."
                          > >
                          > > To till is very much harmful not having single point in favour.
                          > > No till+ chemicals is having so many advantages except unnecessarily
                          > > wasting money on chemicals and creating pollution.
                          > > you wrote
                          > >
                          > > " What we need to
                          > > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not
                          happening."
                          > >
                          > > Start in a Quarter acer of land bigger area bigger problem.Once you
                          > > realize you will never till again.
                          > > Raju
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > On 3/8/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@...> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > Dear Raju,
                          > > >
                          > > > What I'm saying is that "no method is absolute," and that we
                          have to use
                          > > > the method that works best in a given place. What I'm saying is also
                          > > > that
                          > > > it is better to practice organic farming in the fields than to
                          practice
                          > > > natural
                          > > > farming in the head only. I also believe that it is better to till
                          > > > _without_
                          > > > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals.
                          > > >
                          > > > Naturally, no-till without chemicals is best if it can be
                          implemented.
                          > > > We
                          > > > all agree about that, no need for further discussion. What we
                          need to
                          > > > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not
                          happening.
                          > > >
                          > > > Perhaps natural farming is something like an ideal we try to
                          perfect all
                          > > > our life without ever fully achieving it.
                          > > >
                          > > > >If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow dung compost can get
                          > > > >high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many acers
                          > > > >is a question.
                          > > >
                          > > > An organic farmer can use manure, compost, green manure, mulch and
                          > > > cover crops depending on what is available on the farm. If a farmer
                          > > > keeps
                          > > > cows for diary of meat production, why should s/he not use the
                          manure
                          > > > produced by the cows? Nobody keeps cows just to produce manure,
                          > > > the argument is wrong.
                          > > >
                          > > > Dieter Brand
                          > > > Portugal
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                          > > > Dear dieter,
                          > > > Love to see you after long time. Why you are saying that you are
                          > > > not Fukuokn? We are talking with you from very long time as
                          Fukuokan.
                          > > > We are not here to advocate any farming based on tilling may it be
                          > > > conventional+ chemical or organic because it is against
                          Fukuoka's way.
                          > > > We
                          > > > can consider no-till Conservative farming growing crops in crop
                          residues
                          > > > without using chemicals.If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow
                          > > > dung
                          > > > compost can get high yield.But getting this much of dung from
                          how many
                          > > > acers
                          > > > is a question. If you compare productivity and quality in
                          farming no any
                          > > > method can compete with fukuoka farming.Soil and bio diversity
                          loss and
                          > > > loss of water holding capcity must be taken in to acount.
                          > > > Thanks
                          > > > Raju Titus
                          > > > Natural farmer of India
                          > > >
                          > > > On 3/7/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@... <diebrand%40yahoo.com>>
                          > > > wrote:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Fukuokans take note:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > > "...organic corn yields were about one-third lower during
                          the first
                          > > > four
                          > > > > years
                          > > > > > of the study, over time the organic systems produced higher
                          yields,
                          > > > > especially
                          > > > > > under drought conditions."
                          > > > >
                          > > > > This is concrete proof that organic _does_ improve soil and is
                          to be
                          > > > > preferred
                          > > > > over conventional, no-till or not.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > It is good to have such a long-term research, 22 years, which
                          proves
                          > > > that
                          > > > > organic yields can be comparable to those achieved by conventional
                          > > > > farming.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > In addition to quantity, organic also provides better quality
                          as has
                          > > > been
                          > > > > shown
                          > > > > by numerous reports.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Dieter Brand
                          > > > > Portugal
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Suresh Motwani
                          <motwanisuresh07@...<motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com><motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com>>
                          > > > > wrote:
                          > > > > Organic farming produces same corn and soybean yields as
                          conventional
                          > > > > farms,
                          > > > > but consumes less energy and no pesticides, study finds
                          > > > >
                          > > > > http://www.news.cornell.edu
                          > > > >
                          > > > > By Susan S. Lang <ssl4@...
                          <ssl4%40cornell.edu><ssl4%40cornell.edu>>
                          > > > >
                          > > > > ITHACA, N.Y. -- Organic farming produces the same yields of
                          corn and
                          > > > > soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less
                          > > > energy,
                          > > > > less
                          > > > > water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study
                          > > > > concludes.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor of ecology and
                          > > > agriculture,
                          > > > > concludes, "Organic farming offers re
                          > > > >
                          consultant-ngo@...<consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages><consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages>for
                          > > > such crops as corn and
                          > > > > soybeans." Pimentel is the lead author
                          > > > > of a study that is published in the July issue of Bioscience (Vol.
                          > > > 55:7)
                          > > > > analyzing the environmental, energy and economic costs and
                          benefits of
                          > > > > growing soybeans and corn organically versus conventionally.
                          The study
                          > > > is
                          > > > > a
                          > > > > review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest
                          > > > running
                          > > > > comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United
                          States.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > "Organic farming approaches for these crops not only use an
                          average of
                          > > > 30
                          > > > > percent less fossil energy but also conserve more water in the
                          soil,
                          > > > > induce
                          > > > > less erosion, maintain soil quality and conserve more biological
                          > > > resources
                          > > > > than conventional farming does," Pimentel added.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > The study compared a conventional farm that used recommended
                          > > > fertilizer
                          > > > > and
                          > > > > pesticide applications with an organic animal-based farm
                          (where manure
                          > > > was
                          > > > > applied) and an organic legume-based farm (that used a three-year
                          > > > rotation
                          > > > > of hairy vetch/corn and rye/soybeans and wheat). The two organic
                          > > > systems
                          > > > > received no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Inter-institutional collaboration included Rodale Institute
                          > > > agronomists
                          > > > > Paul
                          > > > > Hepperly and Rita Seidel, U.S. Department of Agriculture's
                          > > > Agricultural
                          > > > > Research Service research microbiologist David Douds Jr. and
                          > > > University of
                          > > > > Maryland agricultural economist James Hanson. The research
                          compared
                          > > > soil
                          > > > > fungi activity, crop yields, energy efficiency, costs, organic
                          matter
                          > > > > changes over time, nitrogen accumulation and nitrate leaching
                          across
                          > > > > organic
                          > > > > and conventional agricultural systems.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > "First and foremost, we found that corn and soybean yields
                          were the
                          > > > same
                          > > > > across the three systems," said Pimentel, who noted that although
                          > > > organic
                          > > > > corn yields were about one-third lower during the first four
                          years of
                          > > > the
                          > > > > study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                          > > > especially
                          > > > > under drought conditions. The reason was that wind and water
                          erosion
                          > > > > degraded the soil on the conventional farm while the soil on the
                          > > > organic
                          > > > > farms steadily improved in organic matter, moisture, microbial
                          > > > activity
                          > > > > and
                          > > > > other soil quality indicators.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > The fact that organic agriculture systems also absorb and retain
                          > > > > significant
                          > > > > amounts of carbon in the soil has implications for global warming,
                          > > > > Pimentel
                          > > > > said, pointing out that soil carbon in the organic systems
                          increased
                          > > > by 15
                          > > > > to 28 percent, the equivalent of taking about 3,500 pounds of
                          carbon
                          > > > > dioxide
                          > > > > per hectare out of the air.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Among the study's other findings:
                          > > > > In the drought years, 1988 to 1998, corn yields in the
                          legume-based
                          > > > system
                          > > > > were 22 percent higher than yields in the conventional system.
                          > > > > The soil nitrogen levels in the organic farming systems
                          increased 8 to
                          > > > 15
                          > > > > percent. Nitrate leaching was about equivalent in the organic and
                          > > > > conventional farming systems.
                          > > > > Organic farming reduced local and regional groundwater
                          pollution by
                          > > > not
                          > > > > applying agricultural chemicals.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Pimentel noted that although cash crops cannot be grown as
                          frequently
                          > > > over
                          > > > > time on organic farms because of the dependence on cultural
                          practices
                          > > > to
                          > > > > supply nutrients and control pests and because labor costs average
                          > > > about
                          > > > > 15
                          > > > > percent higher in organic farming systems, the higher prices that
                          > > > organic
                          > > > > foods command in the marketplace still make the net economic
                          return
                          > > > per
                          > > > > acre
                          > > > > either equal to or higher than that of conventionally produced
                          crops.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Organic farming can compete effectively in growing corn, soybeans,
                          > > > wheat,
                          > > > > barley and other grains, Pimentel said, but it might not be as
                          > > > favorable
                          > > > > for
                          > > > > growing such crops as grapes, apples, cherries and potatoes, which
                          > > > have
                          > > > > greater pest problems.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > The study was funded by the Rodale Institute and included a
                          review of
                          > > > > current literature on organic and conventional agriculture
                          > > > comparisons.
                          > > > > According to Pimentel, dozens of scientific papers reporting on
                          > > > research
                          > > > > from the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial have been
                          published in
                          > > > > prestigious refereed journals over the past 20 years.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > --
                          > > > > Dr.Suresh Motwani
                          > > > > AGronomist
                          > > > > Cell: +91 9329450167
                          > > > > Email: motwanisuresh07@...
                          <motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com><motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com>
                          > > > >
                          > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          > > > >
                          > > > > ---------------------------------
                          > > > > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
                          > > > >
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                          > > > >
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                          > > >
                          > > > ---------------------------------
                          > > > Looking for last minute shopping deals? Find them fast with Yahoo!
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                        • Raju Titus
                          Dear friend, I agree with you if direct seeding by scattering is not possible. Than seeding by seed ball can work if not one can dibble or sowing in line by
                          Message 12 of 20 , Mar 11 8:08 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Dear friend,
                            I agree with you if direct seeding by scattering is not possible. Than
                            seeding by seed ball can work if not one can dibble or sowing in line by
                            zero tillage seed drill or planting by seedlings there are so any ways to do
                            natural farming.If straw is not available leaves or tiny branches can solve
                            problem.
                            Raju Titus
                            India


                            On 3/11/08, Robert Monie <bobm20001@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Dear Raju,
                            >
                            > Scattering seeds in weed cover, irrigating, and mulching sounds like a
                            > good method, but...
                            >
                            > This is not a universally applicable method any more than seeding in
                            > clover crops or using the acacia tree is. In my New Orleans garden, I can
                            > grow Malabar (Ceylon) spinach and watermelon this way; I cannot grow cabbage
                            > or carrots like this. To test that this is not the result of my own personal
                            > klutzyness, I have had superb ethnic farmers (Vietnamese, Cambodian,
                            > Chinese) who grow food for ethnic markets in New Orleans try the same
                            > techniques on my soil, and the results are substantially the same.
                            >
                            > It damages the credibility of Natural Farming to present it as a simple
                            > "one size fits all" method. In the study "Alternative Agriculture in
                            > Thailand and Japan," the author notes that of 80 farmers in Thailand who
                            > heard Fukuoka himself expound natural farming methods, only 27 were still
                            > doing it a few years later. The others, after trying the method, deemed it
                            > "impractical." No doubt their experience was similar to mine. Some plant
                            > seeds grow after seeding in weeds, cutting the weeds, and then mulching, but
                            > many others do not. The text of this study can be pulled up by going
                            > google.com to
                            >
                            > Alternative Agriculture in Thailand and Japan .
                            >
                            > Jenny Hall and Ian Tolhurst report in "Green Growing" the results of two
                            > studies done in England that attempted to reproduce Fukuoka's practice of
                            > seeding in short white clover (Dutch, New Zealand, or ladino). The
                            > experiments were considered a failure owing to the considerable difference
                            > in the behavior of clover fields in English soil contrasted with their
                            > behavior in Japananese soil. In England it is no easy task to weaken the
                            > clovers by flooding just the right amount so they don't compete for
                            > nutrients with the seedlings. Even in Japan, natural farmer Kawaguchi gave
                            > up seeding in clover because, in his case, he found it added an excessive
                            > nitrogen to the soil.
                            >
                            > To grow naturally, it may be necessary for farmers and gardeners to find
                            > methods suitable to their own soil and climate and maybe even to their own
                            > temperament and the layout of their garden. What works in India may fail in
                            > Norway or Patagonia. The methods that you propose all assume a simultaneous
                            > movement of events that in some soils may occur only sequentially, one after
                            > another. Growing seeds right out of weeds may be impossible in some soils.
                            > Some soils may need years of preparation before they begin to support staple
                            > food crops, including grains, greens, veggies, and legumes. Some soils may
                            > need ley cover conditioning with deep-rooted cover crops (in England,
                            > traditionally red clover, orchard grass, rye, chicory) and dynamic
                            > accumulators before they can support substantial food crop growth.
                            >
                            > How does it benefit us to pretend otherwise?
                            >
                            > Also, the wattle acacia in most of its varieties, however admirable it may
                            > serve in Japan to fix nitrogen and provide mineral nourishment, is too prone
                            > to plant disease and insect infestation to be of any practical use in the
                            > garden or on the farm in many other biolregions, including the South Gulf
                            > Coast of the US.
                            >
                            > Unfortunately, the more literal Fukuoka followers tend to summarily
                            > dismiss the efforts of growers who fail in trying to apply his methods. They
                            > attribute the failing to bad karma, "half-hearted effort" or some personal
                            > flaw in the hapless grower. More realistically, the flaw is in the
                            > assumptions that one general soil culture can grow anything and one set of
                            > procedures works anywhere.
                            >
                            > Many roads led to Rome; many methods can lead to natural farming.
                            >
                            > Bob Monie
                            > New Orleans, La 70119
                            > Zone 8
                            > Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                            > Dear Dieter,
                            > 1) Scatter few seeds in standing grass or any weed cover irrigate if
                            > no moisture, Than cut cover after germination and scatterer cuttings on
                            > the
                            > germinating seeds.
                            > 2) Scatter few seeds on without covered land and cover tham with dry grass
                            > or rice straw or any thing which is available in your area.
                            > Precaution- Mulch should be loose ,sun light can reach up to
                            > seeds.Aftersome time seedlings will come
                            > up.Than it is your duty to protect your crop as you are protecting in your
                            > ways. No need to add any thing except water if required.
                            > Please do this experiment in small piece of land than expand.
                            > Raju
                            >
                            > On 3/11/08, Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com>>
                            > wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Dear Dieter.
                            > > You wrote " I also believe that it is better to till _without_
                            > > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals."
                            > >
                            > > To till is very much harmful not having single point in favour.
                            > > No till+ chemicals is having so many advantages except unnecessarily
                            > > wasting money on chemicals and creating pollution.
                            > > you wrote
                            > >
                            > > " What we need to
                            > > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening."
                            > >
                            > > Start in a Quarter acer of land bigger area bigger problem.Once you
                            > > realize you will never till again.
                            > > Raju
                            > >
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > On 3/8/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@... <diebrand%40yahoo.com>>
                            > wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > > Dear Raju,
                            > > >
                            > > > What I'm saying is that "no method is absolute," and that we have to
                            > use
                            > > > the method that works best in a given place. What I'm saying is also
                            > > > that
                            > > > it is better to practice organic farming in the fields than to
                            > practice
                            > > > natural
                            > > > farming in the head only. I also believe that it is better to till
                            > > > _without_
                            > > > chemicals than not to till _with_ chemicals.
                            > > >
                            > > > Naturally, no-till without chemicals is best if it can be implemented.
                            > > > We
                            > > > all agree about that, no need for further discussion. What we need to
                            > > > discuss is how to achieve this in practice. And that is not happening.
                            > > >
                            > > > Perhaps natural farming is something like an ideal we try to perfect
                            > all
                            > > > our life without ever fully achieving it.
                            > > >
                            > > > >If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow dung compost can get
                            > > > >high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many acers
                            > > > >is a question.
                            > > >
                            > > > An organic farmer can use manure, compost, green manure, mulch and
                            > > > cover crops depending on what is available on the farm. If a farmer
                            > > > keeps
                            > > > cows for diary of meat production, why should s/he not use the manure
                            > > > produced by the cows? Nobody keeps cows just to produce manure,
                            > > > the argument is wrong.
                            > > >
                            > > > Dieter Brand
                            > > > Portugal
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > Raju Titus <rajuktitus@... <rajuktitus%40gmail.com><rajuktitus%40gmail.com>> wrote:
                            > > > Dear dieter,
                            > > > Love to see you after long time. Why you are saying that you are
                            > > > not Fukuokn? We are talking with you from very long time as Fukuokan.
                            > > > We are not here to advocate any farming based on tilling may it be
                            > > > conventional+ chemical or organic because it is against Fukuoka's way.
                            > > > We
                            > > > can consider no-till Conservative farming growing crops in crop
                            > residues
                            > > > without using chemicals.If a organic farmer using huge amount of cow
                            > > > dung
                            > > > compost can get high yield.But getting this much of dung from how many
                            > > > acers
                            > > > is a question. If you compare productivity and quality in farming no
                            > any
                            > > > method can compete with fukuoka farming.Soil and bio diversity loss
                            > and
                            > > > loss of water holding capcity must be taken in to acount.
                            > > > Thanks
                            > > > Raju Titus
                            > > > Natural farmer of India
                            > > >
                            > > > On 3/7/08, Dieter Brand <diebrand@... <diebrand%40yahoo.com><diebrand%40yahoo.com>>
                            > > > wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Fukuokans take note:
                            > > > >
                            > > > > > "...organic corn yields were about one-third lower during the
                            > first
                            > > > four
                            > > > > years
                            > > > > > of the study, over time the organic systems produced higher
                            > yields,
                            > > > > especially
                            > > > > > under drought conditions."
                            > > > >
                            > > > > This is concrete proof that organic _does_ improve soil and is to be
                            > > > > preferred
                            > > > > over conventional, no-till or not.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > It is good to have such a long-term research, 22 years, which proves
                            > > > that
                            > > > > organic yields can be comparable to those achieved by conventional
                            > > > > farming.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > In addition to quantity, organic also provides better quality as has
                            > > > been
                            > > > > shown
                            > > > > by numerous reports.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Dieter Brand
                            > > > > Portugal
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Suresh Motwani <motwanisuresh07@...<motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com>
                            > <motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com><motwanisuresh07%40yahoo.com>>
                            > > > > wrote:
                            > > > > Organic farming produces same corn and soybean yields as
                            > conventional
                            > > > > farms,
                            > > > > but consumes less energy and no pesticides, study finds
                            > > > >
                            > > > > http://www.news.cornell.edu
                            > > > >
                            > > > > By Susan S. Lang <ssl4@... <ssl4%40cornell.edu><ssl4%40cornell.edu><ssl4%40cornell.edu>>
                            > > > >
                            > > > > ITHACA, N.Y. -- Organic farming produces the same yields of corn and
                            > > > > soybeans as does conventional farming, but uses 30 percent less
                            > > > energy,
                            > > > > less
                            > > > > water and no pesticides, a review of a 22-year farming trial study
                            > > > > concludes.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > David Pimentel, a Cornell University professor of ecology and
                            > > > agriculture,
                            > > > > concludes, "Organic farming offers re
                            > > > > consultant-ngo@yahoogroups.comaladvantages<consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages>
                            > <consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages><consultant-ngo%40yahoogroups.comaladvantages>for
                            > > > such crops as corn and
                            > > > > soybeans." Pimentel is the lead author
                            > > > > of a study that is published in the July issue of Bioscience (Vol.
                            > > > 55:7)
                            > > > > analyzing the environmental, energy and economic costs and benefits
                            > of
                            > > > > growing soybeans and corn organically versus conventionally. The
                            > study
                            > > > is
                            > > > > a
                            > > > > review of the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial, the longest
                            > > > running
                            > > > > comparison of organic vs. conventional farming in the United States.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > "Organic farming approaches for these crops not only use an average
                            > of
                            > > > 30
                            > > > > percent less fossil energy but also conserve more water in the soil,
                            > > > > induce
                            > > > > less erosion, maintain soil quality and conserve more biological
                            > > > resources
                            > > > > than conventional farming does," Pimentel added.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > The study compared a conventional farm that used recommended
                            > > > fertilizer
                            > > > > and
                            > > > > pesticide applications with an organic animal-based farm (where
                            > manure
                            > > > was
                            > > > > applied) and an organic legume-based farm (that used a three-year
                            > > > rotation
                            > > > > of hairy vetch/corn and rye/soybeans and wheat). The two organic
                            > > > systems
                            > > > > received no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Inter-institutional collaboration included Rodale Institute
                            > > > agronomists
                            > > > > Paul
                            > > > > Hepperly and Rita Seidel, U.S. Department of Agriculture's
                            > > > Agricultural
                            > > > > Research Service research microbiologist David Douds Jr. and
                            > > > University of
                            > > > > Maryland agricultural economist James Hanson. The research compared
                            > > > soil
                            > > > > fungi activity, crop yields, energy efficiency, costs, organic
                            > matter
                            > > > > changes over time, nitrogen accumulation and nitrate leaching across
                            > > > > organic
                            > > > > and conventional agricultural systems.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > "First and foremost, we found that corn and soybean yields were the
                            > > > same
                            > > > > across the three systems," said Pimentel, who noted that although
                            > > > organic
                            > > > > corn yields were about one-third lower during the first four years
                            > of
                            > > > the
                            > > > > study, over time the organic systems produced higher yields,
                            > > > especially
                            > > > > under drought conditions. The reason was that wind and water erosion
                            > > > > degraded the soil on the conventional farm while the soil on the
                            > > > organic
                            > > > > farms steadily improved in organic matter, moisture, microbial
                            > > > activity
                            > > > > and
                            > > > > other soil quality indicators.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > The fact that organic agriculture systems also absorb and retain
                            > > > > significant
                            > > > > amounts of carbon in the soil has implications for global warming,
                            > > > > Pimentel
                            > > > > said, pointing out that soil carbon in the organic systems increased
                            > > > by 15
                            > > > > to 28 percent, the equivalent of taking about 3,500 pounds of carbon
                            > > > > dioxide
                            > > > > per hectare out of the air.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Among the study's other findings:
                            > > > > In the drought years, 1988 to 1998, corn yields in the legume-based
                            > > > system
                            > > > > were 22 percent higher than yields in the conventional system.
                            > > > > The soil nitrogen levels in the organic farming systems increased 8
                            > to
                            > > > 15
                            > > > > percent. Nitrate leaching was about equivalent in the organic and
                            > > > > conventional farming systems.
                            > > > > Organic farming reduced local and regional groundwater pollution by
                            > > > not
                            > > > > applying agricultural chemicals.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Pimentel noted that although cash crops cannot be grown as
                            > frequently
                            > > > over
                            > > > > time on organic farms because of the dependence on cultural
                            > practices
                            > > > to
                            > > > > supply nutrients and control pests and because labor costs average
                            > > > about
                            > > > > 15
                            > > > > percent higher in organic farming systems, the higher prices that
                            > > > organic
                            > > > > foods command in the marketplace still make the net economic return
                            > > > per
                            > > > > acre
                            > > > > either equal to or higher than that of conventionally produced
                            > crops.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Organic farming can compete effectively in growing corn, soybeans,
                            > > > wheat,
                            > > > > barley and other grains, Pimentel said, but it might not be as
                            > > > favorable
                            > > > > for
                            > > > > growing such crops as grapes, apples, cherries and potatoes, which
                            > > > have
                            > > > > greater pest problems.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > The study was funded by the Rodale Institute and included a review
                            > of
                            > > > > current literature on organic and conventional agriculture
                            > > > comparisons.
                            > > > > According to Pimentel, dozens of scientific papers reporting on
                            > > > research
                            > > > > from the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial have been published
                            > in
                            > > > > prestigious refereed journals over the past 20 years.
                            > > > >
                            > > > > --
                            > > > > Dr.Suresh Motwani
                            > > > > AGronomist
                            > > > > Cell: +91 9329450167
                            > > > > Email: motwanisuresh07@... <motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com><motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com><motwanisuresh07%40gmail.com>
                            > > > >
                            > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            > > > >
                            > > > > ---------------------------------
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                          • Anders Skarlind
                            Shawn, as I perceive Fukuoka through his books, I get this picture. (Others should know more than me about this, so please fill in and correct if motivated.)
                            Message 13 of 20 , Mar 16 8:34 AM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Shawn,
                              as I perceive Fukuoka through his books, I get this picture. (Others
                              should know more than me about this, so please fill in and correct if
                              motivated.) He had an episode of enlightenment (in a
                              spiritual/religious sense), a satori I think is the right word. I
                              assume he brought important insights with him from this, even though
                              he in one of his books laments that he has lost his contact with god.

                              Dieter asked if a farmer needs to be buddhist to practice Fukuoka's
                              methods. I guess not. But a more pertinent question may be if the
                              farmer needs to be enlightened. Again I guess not, but I think it
                              surely could help, especially if he/she wished to adapt Fukuoka's
                              growing principles to other conditions.

                              It is quite interesting when a man of such insight takes to farming.
                              There are not many such examples AFAIK. In our times I know of only
                              one or two other candidates, namely Rudolf Steiner (who devised
                              biodynamic farming) and maybe also Viktor Schauberger (who mainly
                              devoted his time to technology in harmony with nature, but also to
                              some extent farming).

                              One thing to understand about more or less enlightened persons is
                              that they often say quite a lot of interesting things about a wide
                              variety of subjects. Typically some of those things seem odd,
                              especially when taken out of context. And, more importantly, there is
                              a need to verify the wise man's statements. Rudolf Steiner pointed
                              this out repeatedly, and I guess Fukuoka would agree, as he is quite
                              scientifically oriented. In scientific language I would say that wise
                              men are good hypothesis generators, but those hypotheses need to be
                              verified. (This is the scientific side of things. Kyosan's recent
                              post has quite another perspective, which I think is also good to have.)

                              Cheers
                              Anders

                              At 20:56 2008-03-11, Shawn Turner wrote:
                              >I agree. What I think is missed most about Fukukoka, is the method
                              >that he used to figure out what worked and what did not for his
                              >location. I think the methodology is the most important lesson he
                              >was trying to pass on.
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