As oil and gas prices rise so does the price of artificial chemical fertilisers – the lynch-pin of industrial agriculture’s claims to be ‘efficient’. In the UK, the price of nitrogen fertiliser has doubled over the past year to around £330 per tonne. With oil currently at over $130 a barrel and with OPEC warning it could reach $200 by the end of the year, it has been suggested that fertilisers could hit GBP 500 a tonne. At these prices, the claimed efficiency of fossil-fuel and fertiliser dependent industrial farming begins to collapse.”
The above extract is from a 2008 Soil Association press release. Not much has changed.
In July 2022, the price of oil is just over $100 per barrel and fertilisers are well more than double the 2008 price. In fact, the price of fertilisers has doubled since 2021.
Much has been written in recent months about supply chain crises stemming from the conflict in Ukraine and the effects on gas and oil. Perhaps up to two thirds of the global population are reliant on nitrogen-based synthetic fertilisers for much of their food. As a result, alarm bells have been ringing over fertiliser and food shortages, which will hit the world’s poorest the worst.
With fears of rising prices for natural gas – essential for producing nitrogen fertiliser – we are seeing the vulnerability of a fossil-fuel dependent food system. Nitrogen fertilisers are made from ammonia produced by the Haber-Bosch process, an energy-intensive approach. Natural gas usually supplies the hydrogen. The nitrogen is derived from the air. This ammonia is used for all nitrogen fertilisers, including anhydrous ammonium nitrate and urea.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, in the period 1961-2014, global nitrogenous fertiliser consumption went from a little more than 10 million tonnes to around 105 million tonnes. This has helped feed and maintain a rapidly growing global population.
But this has come at a high cost in terms of mineral-depleted and microbiological-degraded soils, polluted waterways, unstable nitrogen in soils which release nitrous oxide into the atmosphere and a food system extremely vulnerable to oil and gas price rise volatility due to war, commodity speculation or some other catastrophe.
The situation in Ukraine and the West’s sanctions on Russia aside, the current crisis might not be solely due to the economics of supply and demand. The recent article by Antonia Juhasz ‘Why are gas prices so high?’ reports that current prices are not reflective of supply chain problems.
In effect, energy traders are stoking rising prices and volatility when it comes to the price of oil, natural gas and other vital fossil-fuel commodities.
Given the environmental impacts and the vulnerability to price shocks and largely unregulated speculation, it is increasingly clear that the world must move away from its reliance on fossil-fuel agriculture. This also involves delinking from a globalised food system based on long-line supply chains.
For instance, Russia and Ukraine produce more than half of the world’s supply of sunflower oil and 30% of the world’s wheat. Some 45 African and least-developed countries import at least a third of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia with 18 of them importing at 50% or more.
Regional and local community-owned food systems based on food sovereignty and short(er) food supply chains that can cope with future shocks are required.
How we cultivate food also needs to change.
The EU’s ‘farm to fork’ strategy advocates for at least a 20% reduction in synthetic fertiliser use by 2030 and at least a 50% reduction in pesticides.
This has come under fire from the US government and its cronies in the agrochemical sector who forward tired and discredited arguments that this will fuel hunger and starvation and lead to increased land use.
The industry is determined to undermine the EU’s strategy, which also aims by 2030 to more than triple the percentage of EU farmland under organic management (from 8.1% to 25%).
‘A loud lobby for a silent spring’ is a 2022 report by the Brussels-based lobby watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory, which details the carefully orchestrated attack on this EU strategy by the industry. Its business model depends on trapping farmers on chemical treadmills.
Rather than rehash the arguments here, readers may turn to author and impact investor Brian Halweil who presented a detailed, research-based takedown of the anti-organic arguments of the pesticide lobby some years back. His piece originally appeared in World Watch Volume 19, Number 3. It can be accessed on the Organic Consumers Association website – ‘Can Organic Food Feed the World?’
Halveil also rebuts the claim that organic fertilisers are insufficient in quantity and effect for maintaining necessary levels of productivity. The arguments for organic methods and agroecological approaches and evidence of their success and scaling up have been well documented (see the 2022 article ‘Living in Epoch-Defining Times: Food, Agriculture and the New World Order’ for a brief overview).
[It’s interesting to note the current crisis in Sri Lanka is being part-blamed on the government switching to 100% organic farming, in a clear effort to discredit the practice – ed.]
Readers are also urged to access the short but excellent backgrounder on YouTube Understanding Our Soil: The Nitrogen Cycle, Fixers and Fertilizer (2021), which describes the deleterious impact of modern synthetic fertilisers on soil, water and the atmosphere and how organic nitrogen-fixing methods can address these problems, not least by restoring and boosting soil fertility.
Of course, no one is advocating an immediate shift to organic cultivation methods. There has to be a gradual and careful phase out and phase in which would take place over a period of many years.
In this respect, Vandana Shiva says in a recent article that it is time governments made the fertiliser industry pay for nitrogen pollution and redirect subsidies from industrial agriculture to ecological farming.
Rather than attacking farmers (as is currently happening in the Netherlands), she says new agroecology schools need to be open for farmers to make a transition to ecological agriculture over a three- to five-year period.
At the same time, we must not be hoodwinked by the relentless fear-mongering (concerning organics) of the agritech-agribusiness lobby, which requires farmers to continue to purchase its proprietary inputs, including synthetic fertilisers, while continuing to rollout and impose its high-input, high-energy, health-damaging model of industrial agriculture across the world.
Colin Todhunter specialises in development, food and agriculture and is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal. You can read his “mini e-book”, Food, Dependency and Dispossession: Cultivating Resistance, here.
For direct-transfer bank details click here.
Dr Who.* In one early series there was A Villain who disposed of those he knocked-off by dumping the bodies in a large grinder that reduced them to liquid pulp which was then pumped into his garden as fertiliser… A truly wonderful idea…Waste not, want not…
For the Sake of The Planet the idea is becoming mainstream…And there’s a choice: dry compost (Recompose):
or liquid fertiliser (Alkaline hydrolysis):
** That’s Dr Who, not The WHO. (little billy gates eagerness to hurry people into the grave with his killer vaxxes suggests he has invested in the ‘business’ ?)
Organic farming failed in Sri Lanka because of high population density. In order to replace the nitrogen to the same level as “chemical” fertilizer, there would need to be a six fold increase in surface area for high intensity nitrogen farming through manure production.
Compared to Cuba, Sri Lanka has twice the population 21.8M vs 11.3M but 3 times the population density 332/km2 vs 102/km2.
Simply put there are too many people on not enough land to support “sustainable” agriculture. Now you know why certain people are so keen on “reducing” population levels. That’s why it worked in the medieval age, it won’t work now unless we tidy up a bit.
And besides, we humans make great fertilizer!
Organic farming failed in Sri Lanka because they banned chemical inputs without educating farmers how to transition.
This is not true at all, RegenAg/Biological farming improves yeilds, see my post below for examples.
Yes, improving yields is not the same thing as feeding an entire country’s population. The problem with “organic” farming is like any other “sustainable”/’renewable” scheme, like solar or wind. It just does not scale to support the energy needs of the current population levels.
If you are going Net Zero, then Nuclear energy is probably the only alternative to mass genocide. Deal with it.
“It doesn’t scale”
Nonsense, I posted an example of a 10,000 acre farm below, there a 100k hectare farm in Oregon successfully following Dr EIaine Ingmans soil food web consultancy program, interim results can be seen on one of her youtube seminars that already show imporvements over conventional farming practices.
Yep. I follow OffG for trying to be objective and impartial. Please be aware of gross simplifications. Nitrogen “retaining” plants are “leguminosae” via a symbiotic relationship with nitrogen truly fixating bacteria “Rhizobium“. Cereals, oil seeds, fruit trees, etc do not have that ability, they need nitrogen fertilizers. This is known from ancient times and “culture rotation” was (is) indeed a sustainable practice, but not a match to actual crop needs. Root “funghi extensions” are vital for a broader scope of plants but they only help with water and nutrient intake by associated plants; no active role in nitrogen fixation. Nitrogen cycle bacteria are essential (for the cycle, forgive the redundancy) but do not yield enough available nitrogen for plants. Finally it is an over simplification (an hypothesis not a thesis – please never mix one with other, its very common these days) to say that nitrogen fertilizers are, ultimately responsible for climate change… not a very “scientific” assertion.
Research in the last 10yrs has shown otherwise, all plants “farm” microbiology within their root systems and within the actual plant with symbiotic relationships.
Mycorrhizal fungi deliver Phosphorus in exchange for plant sugars (I’ve seen this happen live with epiflouresence microscopy on plant tissues), Plants select bacteria to live within their tissues (abundant in Trichomes or hair like structures) to deliver/synthsize Nirtogen directly from the atmosphere.
Dr James White at Rutgers is at the cutting edge of these discoveries, here are some of his recent papers:
Trials show once the correct soil microbiology is replaced, and practices adopted to keep in there and expand it, Regenerative/Biological farming out performs conventiional farming with higher yeilds, higher Birx, higher trace mineral content, at a much lower cost to the farmer. This is the future of Agriculture.
I don’t know what is happening in Sri Lanka. I saw the BBC claiming there was a failure but that could just be propaganda. Farming isn’t a system to produce as much food as possible per unit of land. It is a system to make as much money as possible which usually involves minimising labour costs. You are assuming that Cuba used more land when infact they probably used less land. In Russia gardeners produce 53% (by value) on only 2.9% of the land. Household agriculture uses 38 times less land per $ worth of output:
This is however only the financial value of the crops. There is other value obtained that is discussed in the document. For example personal development, education, cultural, entrepreneurship, social justice, food security, aesthetics, health etc.
I guess the riots and government overthrow were also “just propaganda”.
In this video it says organic was in the election manifesto. The Viyath Maga movement had long been campaigning for a return to organic. ‘Covid’ was the problem with the tourism sector devastated by WHO orchestrated lockdowns. The country had got into vast amounts of debt.
Whaaa … did you skip the course on color revolutions at Langley?
Wake your own ass up.
Cuba has just had their worst sugar harvest in over a century. “… The report, which cited a spokesman for Azcuba, the state-run sugar company, blamed the shortfall primarily on a lack of inputs, including oxygen for sugar production, fertilizers, pesticides, fuel and spare parts for plant machinery. … The report said only 37% of the necessary herbicides and pesticides were available for use this season. …”
Just one example of many. Agriculture is very dependent on the climate which is extremely complicated, so complicated that know one knows exactly how it works.
So it is best to stick with things we know work, until the problem is sorted out.
There have been many good suggestions here, only time,100 – 200 years will tell if they are correct.
Adopting industrial agriculture dependent on herbicides and pesticies is not sticking with “things we know work”. If Sri Lanka can’t afford it then it is not working. They have depleted their soils of nutrients and now have to dig their way out of the mess created by rejecting “things we know work”.
Don’t miss – by F. William Engdahl:
“Toxicology vs Virology: Rockefeller Institute and the Criminal Polio Fraud” – http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO12July2022.php
Can regenerative farming/gardening grow what we need? Undoubtedly.
Is it widely enough embraced and understood and implemented to avert food shortages and famine? Absolutely not.
Many of us would suffer greatly if a crop did poorly or failed. We need to learn what our ancestors well understood. Food preservation. When you have a good yield you preserve what you can and hopefully when you don’t have a good yield it can get you through, whether by having it traded/helped a neighbor previously, or by having enough tucked away that is still edible. Yu eat seasonal foods that grow in your locae, not a global smorgasbord from a supermarket.
In a couple of short generations we forgot a lot more than how to garden and farm on a non-industrial scale.
Government/s can pay grants to farmers. Unfortunately they suggest lot of chemicals as condition of the grant application being processed.
Catch 22 when your in financial difficulty.
There is a quiet revolution going on in agriculture over the last ~10 years, it’s quiet because it’s happening one neighboring farm at a time. As one farm adopts Regenerative Agriculture/Biological farming practices, their conventional, heavy chemical input neighbours, see the huge improvements in productivity, crop health (often doubling Brix vlaue), and massively lower input costs when they look over their neighbors fence. Nitrogen inputs can usually be halved, Potassium inputs can usually be negated all together in the first year.
Conventional farmers tend to think it’s impossible, or impractical, to raise organic matter and soil microbiology content on a broadscale; nothing could be further from the truth. With the right preperation, compost extracts and compost tea can be used to reintroduce OM and the correct microbiology broadscale at the rate of 2-4 lbs per acre. (all composts are NOT equal) using no till practices to preserve OM and microbiology, and cover cropping to feed the microbiology via root exodates and increase OM to do this is crutial part of the system.
There are now many working examples and case studies, some as large as 100k hectares.
Here’s an example in Jersey (3.5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Aje_-PX3R8
Here is an example from BioFarm 2019 – “The Future of Biological Farming” panel session discusses how this quiet revolution is happening
Here is an example of a market gardening farm in Sweeden that saw an average 72% increase in yeild after adopting Regenerative practices https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z2I9DSErf8
In this case study, Todd Harrington from York Farms talks about how the Soil Food Web School transformed his 10,000 acre farm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_xSHcRRgOE
If you are a farmer interested in a regenerative agriculture transition there are two ways to go about it, employ a consultant, or learn the techniques yourself. I can highly recomend the latter, Darren J Doherty now runs a low cost online course to help you design your own farm transition, I attended the first UK course with Darren in 2011, it’s designed to teach all the principles and hold your hand with expert back-up through your own transition. Here is his website http://www.regrarians.org
Excellent. It’s all about healthy soil. I liken it to healthy terrain versus poison injections.
Thank you Pete S. You sound like another of the mucky-handed people who actually know what they’re talking about, instead of the theory-regurgitator keyboard-jockies of suburbia. Keep on growing stuff, bro. Direct experience beats the theorising of the soft-handers any day! 😄
This is prevalent outside the Global West. The biggest impact will come when China takes it up in a big way. It has relatively little flat land to mechanise.
No tilling and cover crops also preserve soil biota and compost/soil carbon from the sun and runoff.
Mark this as another reason for our overlords to hasten their desperate Great Reset.
EU’s discovered they’ve no laws in place to allow them to seize the Russian reserves they’ve frozen. So they’re designing a “Freeze & Seize” law.
I want to use Freeze & Seize against BlackRock & Vanguard. They should be forfeit for their war against humanity.
Freeze first, then legalise. Parliamentary democracy for poodles.
Amazing how these goons hide behind laws and create a facade of legitimacy but they are worse then common criminals…
“oil and gas price rise volatility due to war, commodity speculation or some other catastrophe.”
It’s not “due to war”, it’s due to sanctions. It’s like saying due to covid when they mean due to lockdown. And they aren’t “fossil fuels” either.
I suspect organic farming vs. wall-to-wall glyphosate is another fake binary.
Organic farming is a threat to the medical industry and eugenicists.
errrr nOPE! next they’re be saying tap water verses pure/distilled/spring water is a fake binary.
When I was a child I spent idyllic summers with my grandmother in southern Spain. She lived with her sister, her nephew and disabled niece. They lived in a small “cottage” which was more like a couple of rooms without electricity or running water. They had a well for water and we had to do our business in the hills above. They grew nearly all their own food and had chickens and pigs and a goat. They lived completely off grid but in those days it was called poverty and no one aspired to it. The ravages of the spanish civil war had not long passed and dictatorship was very embedded in the fabric of society. But as a child I knew nothing of that, my mind wasn’t mature enough to notice but what i did notice was the difference between my life in london and my grandmother’s life and as a child I preferred hers, naïve I know but I had a child’s eyes. The adults around me wanted more, well not my grandmother, she seemed stoically contented. She would get up early every morning to plan the days meals and her nephew would help her gather the food before he left to work the land of the the aristocratic owner of the cottage they lived in. My grandmother was canny and so was her nephew and between them they would feed the hoards of relatives who would arrive in the summer to share their space. Coming from a sedate london suburb, life going on mainly behind net curtains, this was like heaven to me, screaming wild kids everywhere and not once did we go without something to eat. This isn’t to glorify poverty but more about the loss of human connectedness in modernity, well a certain type of modernity, the white goods modernity, but maybe we can have both, well creature comforts and human connectedness. I think that’s where we are headed if we win. It’s taken us a while to figure it out.
Sorry that’s a bit of a ramble.
and they weren’t bothered by bills constantly arriving through the letterbox or the endless forms that need to be completed to ensure they receive their “healthcare” or to prove that they were valid citizens, a much freer time, ironically. I and those immediately around me now are in the grip of some kind of Kafkaesque nightmare of bureaucracy, never completing enough forms to feed the machine, taking up so much energy that we could be feeding into the land and each other and creative pursuits. Institutions have become our enemies and the covid crisis has just brought that starkly to the fore.
The tyranny of forms
indeed! or the tyranny of bureaucracy
We are victims of the Borg serving the oligarchy serving the ultra-rich.
Hi Sofia – what a beautiful ramble and in my mind so much of what you say is true.
I agree that this not “ to glorify poverty” but rather to celebrate simplicity.
Thank you for warming my heart.
thank you for your kind comment, there’s nothing quite like a bit of heart warming in the morning 🙂
If you do a search for “When I was a child I spent idyllic summers with”, you get a list of nothing but encrypted sites.
Most ‘rambles’ don’t have quite so many matches, and when they do, they’re usually readable.
Sofia, perhaps it’s better to live several generations under one roof. Then if one person doesn’t fulfill your needs for connection (or whatever) another member of the family can.
Also there was a time when the home was a place where things were accomplished– food grown, children educated, various crafts and businesses.
One of the things that I like the best about Mexican village life is that I can have friends of all different ages; it’s normal there. A little boy of 7 was one of my closest friends there. When I needed directions to drive to a giant market in Guadalajara a child of 11 offered to go along to show me the way. And fiestas are for all ages. No one wd dream of segregating oneself by age.
Independent and resilient families and communities pose a hindrance to capitalist expoitation.
Yes definitely, a more supportive extended family/friends living situation is preferable. Mexico is a beautiful place, and beautiful people, love it there!
“Mexico is a beautiful place, and beautiful people … “
That’s why the US of As has done its level best to destroy Mexico going on just about 100 years
Hordes of Relatives
Derived I believe from a Mongol word.
“my mind wasn’t mature enough to notice but what i did notice was the difference between my life in london and my grandmother’s life and as a child I preferred hers, naïve I know but I had a child’s eyes.”
Children see things clearly and say them plainly. Les enfants terribles.
Beautiful story.thank you.
Second that. Thanks Sofia!
” … screaming wild kids everywhere … “
Don’t dare vax them parents. Let all the children boogie ….
Stop wasting farmland growing crops for ethanol and biofuels then.
The author did mentioned the subsidies scam. Most of industrial ag. in USA, Europe and Japan is unviable without subsidies, meaning friends in high places.
Warringah Mall shopping centre in a Sydney suburb, the largest shopping centre in Australia, occupies land that previously was a market garden. Now, when the rains and hail trample veggie crops in Queensland, Sydney consumers either go without or pay exorbitant prices…
The first piece of advice Investment Advisers give is “Spread your investments. Dont put all your (nest) eggs into one basket !”
Biodiversity Is Life:
The Financialization of Nature:
And now the huge shopping centers are becoming passe (at least in the US). Soon there will be abandoned ruins where once there was farmland.
And some still say humanity will survive another millennium or two.
Shouldn’t that be ‘Profits of Doom’?
Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Military, Big Media = Big Extinction.
Gotta laugh. Military and private partnerships are dumping Millions of tons of aluminum oxide into the atmosphere every. single. year. Aluminum oxide causes severe alterations in soil Ph, decimates soil microbes, and ultimately impairs the ability of plants to uptake nutrients.
An example of what organic farmers are up against. >
[“Aluminum resistant gene patent # 7582809 Patent granted on September 1, 2009 Patent developed at the Robert W. Holley Center for Agricultural Health at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Leon Kochian and Jurandir Vieira de Magallhaes are the primary inventors/ researchers.
Patent assigned to US Department of Agriculture and Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research According to Cornell University Chronicle Online, the research project was supported in part by the McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crop Research Program, the Generation Challenge Program, the National Science Foundation and the USDA. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a contributor to both the McKnight Foundation and the Generation Challenge Program.”]
Complete article: United States Patent: 7582809 (uspto.gov)
UN seems to be getting closer to making this example of “controlling global warming thru reflecting sunlight” publicly known. After years of insisting that chemtrails are only contrails.
Gates seems to have evil fingers in everything:
The top five funders to U.S. MEDIA: Ford Foundation, Google, Knight Foundation, Gates Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, totalling $619.5 million in 2020 (later numbers N/A).
As I understand it, the surface of aluminium get oxidised fast, rendering the rest of the piece chemically inert (without abrasion). This would apply even more to aluminium dust. Is this correct?
Why not link to your sources and let us all be enlightened?
Is it perhaps time to nourish the soils by burying the rich and all banksters and self-appointed leaders, in chaff-bags? After all, they only ‘create’ money, the root-of-all-evil, and could therefore be classified as the proverbial ‘useless-eaters’.
MAX VOTES hotrod !
Nah…that’d be poisoning the soils not nourishing them!
Remember when the whole world was organic?
Ahhh, good times.
How old are you…?
I’m 75, and I grew up in the middle of DDT… 🙂
DDT and some other stuff (POPs) remained in the soil, of course, like the heavy metals. There was a smooth transition from DDT to other proprietary concoctions.
GMO Farming uses government enforced monopoly powers (patent and copyright) to restrict the supply and to market bio engineered produced food products. I can see the future: seeds are genetically <=designed by genetic engineers, to modify plant metabolism so the Gene modified plant produces plant products that people eat. Hence gene modified seeds modify plant metabolism, the gene modified plant produces into its food product let's say a mRNA ( maybe the one in Covid Vaccine?). So the products in the food chain vector pharmaceutical s from farm to consumer, without knowledge of either the farmer or the consumer.
In other words, GMS (seeds could be genetically engineered to alter the plant metabolism, the altered plant produces, inserts and distributes mRNAs into the farm product, the grocery store sells the (genetically modified farm product) GMFP and the metabolism of GMFP consuming human is modified to challenge the immune system of the human consumer. The challenged immune system produces antibodies against the challenge (virus, as in covid). The body of everyone who eats the GMFP <=self-produces and self-vaccinates as a consequence of eating Genetic modified food.
That’s how powerful genetic tools are.. It would be just as easy to weaponize food products. All need to be done is to engineer the seeds to grow plants to make poisons as part of the product plants produce that flow through the food chain to food consumers.
Playing with genes that produce food is a dangerous game.
As dangerous as playing with genes that produce flu, as the Fauci Frankenstein Virus Labs did with Covid-19.
Well, it wasn’t paradise. Many cultures disappeared because they couldn’t figure out how to replenish the soil. Mostly the plan was to use it up and move on. See David Montgomery’s book Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. The take-away is we know what soil is now and how to manage it. Organic now could be even better than organic historically.
Meanwhile in other news. Qantas has scapped its injection mandate for international travelers, but kept it in place for staff. Science…
Especially pilots …
Shouldn’t airlines inform passengers of the vaccine status of those flying the airplanes? Shouldn’t at least one crew member be vax-free. It’s all about safety, isn’t it … ?
At the end of the recommended video titled, “Understanding Our Soil: The Nitrogen Cycle, Fixers and Fertilizer”, the video suggests that if you have low soil fertility you should add nitrogen fixers to the soil.
First, there is no need to have nitrogen fixer plants in your soil in order to increase the amount of available nitrogen in the soil. There are microbes in soil that fix nitrogen in the absence of legumes. The requirement for the microbes in the nodules on the roots of legumes is that the base saturation for calcium in the negatively charged soil colloid is at least 60%. When this condition is not met in the soil, the microbes in the nodules on the roots do not fix nitrogen. If you think that adding legumes to a poor soil will increase the amount of nitrogen in the soil, you are fooling yourself. Also, legumes growing in a poor soil are no more nutritious than non-legumes.
People who are concerned whether or not organic agriculture can feed the world might consider whether or not maximizing the yield per acre in organic agriculture is sufficient to nourish the world’s population. As currently constructed, I consider organic agriculture as malnutrition without poison which does nothing to solve the nutritional deficiencies in our current diet.
Thanks, I was unaware how important Calcium (and a titchy smidgin of Boron) were for fixing nitrogen in legumes. Fascinating example of co-operative evolution between plants, bacteria, fungi — and now us.
Sea energy agriculture a la Maynard Murray might be a starting point?
For the scientific evidence that backs up my statements, I suggest “The Albrecht Papers” by William Albrecht, PhD and “Soil Grass and Cancer” by Andre Voisin.
Read those years ago…must re-read. Thanks.
Funny, Gary, how the experienced, actually mucky-handed food-growers don’t agree with you. They (we, actually) find that legumes in the crop rotations, or inter-planted with other crops, work wonders with supplying nitrogen compounds to the soil community; the ‘micro-herd’ as Jim Kovaleski calls them (see Jim’s YT channel for a wealth of long-experience-based sound organic growing techniques; continuously proven by continuously supplying abundant prime organic foods every week of the year to farmers’ markets in Florida and Maine).
We just luuuurve legumes; from experience.
I’m not sure what you disagree with. Regardless, it’s not me that you and your food growers don’t agree with, it’s the late soil scientist, William Albrecht, PhD. Is Jim trying to exhaust the soil fertility in his farm in the quickest way possible?
In Volume II of “The Albrecht Papers”, chapter 9, there is an article titled, “Rotations, the Quickest Way to Mine the Soil”. Albrecht reports that “Since 1888 some rotations of two, three, four and six years in length have had their modifying effects on the maintenance of the soil fertility under critical chemical measures regularly.” With respect to the six year rotation over fifty years, plots at the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station demonstrated that the soil in the plot under crop rotation exhausted the soil of its fertility to a lower level than the soil in the plots of the various crops in the rotation when the same crop was being grown year after year in the same plot.
Does Jim grow hybrids? Does he have a soil test with the base saturation percentages of calcium, magnesium, potassium and hydrogen along with the percentage of organic matter? It may well be that the soil in Jim’s farm has the necessary available elements in order to support microbes in the nodules on the roots of legumes. Legumes, however, even when they contribute nitrogen to the soil, take more nutrients from the soil than non-legumes and thus deplete the soil fertility faster.
Yes…Calcium around 60-65% and magnesium 20% as base saturation then build around that with mychorzia friendly imputs and the soil life explodes….i do this at my place….soil sample results get sent to Keisey labs in the US….they make the fert imputs…….Keisey was a student of William Aubrecht….author of Albrecht papers……
To see how fertile a soil is you don’t necessarily need to do a soil test. Albrecht explains:
“Certain ‘big’ plants are more apt to be indicators of fertile soils than others. But for that, one must know something about what the plant is creating or making while it is growing. Crops, like the legumes, which are said to ‘hard to grow’, are usually indicators of fertile soils when they are making big plants and especially a big output of seed.”
Where I live the soil is a tight clay soil. In order to grow Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis), I added two amendments to the soil. The lupine I am growing is much larger than the same plant growing in a local park. A couple of years ago one plant with thirty racemes produced over 2,000 seeds. When the lupine flowers bumblebees come from parts unknown to collect the pollen and stop coming when the lupine has finished flowering.
Gary, have a look on youtube how to make a Lactic acid bacteria brew (LAB), it’s a really simple 3 day fermentation, I’ve applied LAB to my heavy clay soils and it’s completely transformed them. They are now soft underfoot, even in a hot summer!
I use a 50l barrel with a homebrew airlock, but you can do it in any size container.
Thanks Pete but I prefer to modify the soil so that it creates beneficial bacteria, rather than adding them. As Pasteur said, “the microbe is nothing, the terrain is everything”.
cool, compost will contain LAB, they’re both anerobic and aerobic (can live in both environments) they convert nitrates into long chain amino acids, lower order plants (weeds) love nitrates, C4 and higher order plants (most of our vegitables & grains) prefer amino acids. Worms effectively work to select for a higher proportion of good bacteria species by killing off most of the pathogenic species in their gut, and will eventually balance the soil, it just takes a bit longer without returning the soil biota directly, biodynamic soils are usually high in LAB too, it’s all good tho.
Have you ever made bread from your lupins? It’s a bit like sweet bread, gluten free too. Lupina has pretty big fat seeds 10-15mm
The lupine I am growing is Wild Lupine, not Sweet Lupin. Wild Lupine is the only food source for the Karner Blue Butterfly caterpillar, an endangered butterfly. The seeds are very small.
I have been investigating whether growing the Wild Lupine in a soil with a high capacity to produce protein would produce a more nutritious plant that the Karner Blue Butterfly caterpillar feeds on with the expectation that a better nourished caterpillar would produce a better butterfly. At present, both the butterfly and the lupine are in decline in nature.
A beautiful creature, and very worthwhile work, well done you.
You may be interested in the video I posted below regarding why insects can’t eat healthy plants, tho the plants in question are generally food crops, lupins being part of the legume family put them firmly in the higher order plant species group, so may have relevance.
The lupine I am growing suffers no damage from insects or disease. In the 90’s I read Albrecht’s report on an experiment growing spinach in pots. The soil in the pots was treated with various amounts of calcium and nitrogen in 5, 10, 20 and 40 milliequivalent amounts. Unplanned in the experiment, thrips, a leaf eating insect, showed up but they only did significant damage to the plants in the pots with the two lower nitrogen amounts. The calcium only had a secondary effect compared to the nitrogen.
Albrecht’s position was that the cause of insect damage and disease was deficiencies in the soil in which the plant was growing.
Albrecht was probably unaware of the microbial popuations effect on nutrient availability (some of which has only come to light in the last 10 yrs)
my point was that by increasing the health of the wild lupin, you may inadvertantly effect the catepillas ability to feed on it, or the adults choice as an egg laying site.
My point was that in improving the ability of the soil to produce protein would result in changes to the microbe population without adding any microbes and it would create healthier, more nutritious lupine that would better nourish Karner Blue Butterfly caterpillars as well as pollinators collecting pollen from the plant’s flowers.
Albrecht said, “All biotic strata other than man are gifted in assaying their food intake according to different plant species and different degrees of rock development into soil in which plants grow.”
Speaking of being unaware, I find that any butterfly or bumblebee scientists that I have contacted are unaware of Albrecht’s evidence.
Organic farming only works well with land reform. If you farm your own land with low overheads, then the extra burden of weeding from using compost, manure, no weedkiller etc is accepted. Industrial farmers of today are not going to recycle nutrients and work with nature. Land reform is the one thing that old rich [saxe coburgs etc] will not accept.
Weeds are lower order plants that do well in high nitrate soils with no microbial/fungal competition, if you correct the microbiology and the Fungal:Bacterial ratio, you get minimal weeds. e.g. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) convert nitrates into long chain amino acids readiy taken up by higher order plants, removing the nitrates weeds prefer, LAB solutions for spray or irrigation application can be made on a large scale very easily using fermentation techniques adopted from Korean Natural Farming (see JADAM)
EM-1 the expensive trademarked “effective microbe” fertiliser sold all over the US is mostly LAB, with some additional microbes added, it’s very easy to make your own on farm tailored to you individual needs.
Pesticides are another issue, here’s an interesting lecture highlighting the pest load on more nutritious plants grow with biological farming techniques is extremely low:
Why insects do not (and cannot) attack healthy plants | Dr. Thomas Dykstra | Regenerative Ag
Thanks for this article! Your view on Sri Lanka is very clarifying.
Your alternative update on #COVID19 for 2022-07-11. Pilots taking poison can’t fly because they have been poisoned. No off switch. DNA altered. Ignoring protests (blog, gab, tweet).
Th organic industry and the global UN Gates supported OECD are at war,
The conventional farmer is targeted and forced to take sides.
The problem is that again Governments are entwined with industry and have been promised big payments for loyalty. No different from the Big Pharma VIC.
Big Harma has to go. It is as simple as that. Tptb don’t leave anything to chance.
Catchy song, Nice girl, Utter satanic bollocks
The big payments are for approving the fake claims for industrial farming, pushing the dud products through the civil service, legalising land grabs instead of land distribution, redirecting subsidies, censoring poor viability, censoring harm to health, etc.
Greetings from Germany!
“I’m going into politics”
“I’m going to study business management”
“I’m going to lecture and write books on how to be successful”
Three reasons to write off a person as unsalvageable, let alone allow them to be our ‘representatives’…
It’s not the “vulnerability of a fossil-fuel dependent food system” its the planned destruction of the economy by those in power. Quit trying to wiggle that B.S.
No, it IS the vulnerability of a fossil-fuel-dependent food system that’s bringing poison-swilling industagri to its knees. It’s been doing that, slowly but remorselessly, since long before the current, deliberately economy-crashing NWO swindle by the gangsters behind the covid scam launched their – doomed – bid for power.
This mad f-f dependency, with its inevitable, ultimately-fatal outcome, has been foreseen and expected for several decades now, since long before the covid scam; and now, here it is:
The Limits To Growth have the fossil-hydrocarbon industry in their teeth (along with everything else) and the briefly-dominant era of hitech, subdue-nature-at-all-costs, war-mentality industagri, which was always dependent on huge floods of cheapo fossil-fuel to be viable at all, is on the skids; it’s finished; it’s an ex-parrot!
Colin has it exactly right.
And, just in time, regenerative ag, and permaculture, are demonstrating by practical results that they can match, and actually outgo, industagri’s production levels.
“Only hitech industagi can feed the world” is a lying canard of the big-ag huckster-crooks; a canard which is now about to die, as fossil hydro-carbon supply gets tighter and tighter, costs a lot more in money to produce; and – much more importantly – cost ever more in the falling EROEI ratio (energy returned on energy invested) with every passing year. (In brief, it’s called depletion of a non-renewable resource; pretty obvious truth, for anyone who wants to open his/her eyes to it…)
Everyone should know that famous basic comparison: Industagri requires ten calories of fuel energy input for every calorie of food energy output; whereas traditional Chinese peasant agriculture (and it’s modern equivalents, regen-ag and permaculture) reverse that ratio.
That’s to say: more energy out than in, because sane, Earth-respecting agriculture is simply the best way we have – by far – of capturing incoming solar energy. And it does it by revering and going along cooperatively with the natural ecological processes – Taoist fashion – rather than seeing nature as a recalcitrant slave, to be beaten into submission. The sooner that utter idiocy dies, the better.
On these principles, I’m just now harvesting my crop of potatoes, grown in un-tilled, undisturbed, and comprehensively un-poisoned wild-flower-meadow turf (sic! directly in the turf), cultivated with minimum work input (me being pretty infirm with age now), and no chemicals of any kind.
The little bit of work I have done, all by hand, no power tools of any description, was done with a sickle and a pitch-fork, to cut and gather mulch material from the meadow, and with long-handled shears, to keep the turf around the potato-plants clipped back a little as they grew. Absolutely minimal effort; nice substantial crop of organic spuds in return. Something which fuel-, artifert- and chemical-soaked industagri can’t remotely match.
Spot on. I don’t see near enough of this discussed here. We are witnessing the collapse of our fossil-fuelled industrial-technological civilisation. I do not fear the digital panopticon / technocratic control grid – simply because the energy and resources necessary to enclose us are diminishing, and soon to be exhausted.
The 2010’s sucked, too much computers not enough living (The irony is not lost on me using one right now), the future looks very intriguing for better or worse.
Tori,Peak Oil’s a hoax. There’s a century’s worth– and more– of both oil & gas.
The link below covers just one megafind. I’ve about 20 of them in my file. The big oil companies are not developing them because they want the NWO, and the Global Warming Hoax calls for reducing hydrocarbon use.
Penny, you really need to get rid of that ‘lots of oil still to get’ illusion. Even if there really were ‘lots’ still in the crustal rocks, our chances of raising and using anywhere near all of it are nil. We’re just not going to be able to do it.
When you’re ready to face that reality, Gail Tverberg at her blog ‘Our Finite World’ – amongst other clear-seers – can help you to see why. Prof. Charlie Hall on the subject of EROEI – energy returned on energy invested – is a must study too. EROEIs below about five to one are just not feasible to yield both a net energy profit, and at the same time to supply enough spare energy to sustain all the absolutely basic essentials of life as well.
No chance of wishful thinking our way past these geophysical realities with simplistic equations such as: ‘lots of pools still down there, so we’ve got plenty still left to use.’
Right! And whilst we’re at it, we can begin tapping into that great core of nickel-iron, thousands of miles down in the centre of the Earth… can’t we…? Solve the similarly-growing problem of shortages of metal ores. Simple! 😉
Doesn’t matter how many untapped pools there are, if you just can’t get at them they may as well not be there. And for all practical purposes, they’re not. Peak oil is already here, since 2005 on some definitions. We’re already on the downslope. “Slowly at first, and then all at once.”
Blame it on Vlad, if you like. He’s the excuse de jour. After him, it’ll be some other handy pretend proximate cause. Makes no difference. We already at or past peak.
no, we are not “witnessing the collapse of our fossil-fuelled industrial-technological civilisation” monopoly power still has active humanity under its thumbs. Instead <=we are witnessing an active attempt by the western Oligarch to blackmail into seduction<= all elements(nations and corporations) who actually or potentially might challenge western oligarch owned global monopoly powered corporate hegemony over every economic system that tradition, expediency or rule of law might have brought into existence.
Since 1865<when Lincoln was assassinated, The wealthy and powerful oligarch have used the law-making power and military-might of the nations (256 nations constitute the nation state system) to engage in private domestic and foreign economic imperialism and economic colonialism.
The Oligarch have done this by using fictitious entities (corporation, partnerships, etc.) because the corporate fictions insulate the oligarch from financial liability and risk of failure( bankruptcy) and because the stock market allows the oligarch to use other peoples money to make his or her wealth grow and expand.
Over time changes in domestic nation state laws coupled with the tyrannies imposed by Oligarch arranged international treaties have transferred ownership of nearly all of government and 100% of the public domain into the private ownership of one type or the other. ( what used to be government owned and what used to be public for everyone to use is now owned by a fictitious person (corporation, partnership, trust, etc). The use of fictions to do business protects the Oligarch from liability, and allows the wealthy oligarch to grow his/her wealth without risking his\her own capital). So in simple words, rule of law, removed wealth from the public domain and remove large parts of government itself from public to private ownership.
The result has been certain of these Oligarch owned fictions (corporations, partnerships, trust, etc.) have grown stronger, become larger and richer and more powerful than the nation states that gave birth to the them.
Corporations have grown into global monsters<=because of the rule of law; and now the span of control and reach of influence of these fictions, are regional, global, and international. These fictions don’t recognize national boundaries, and nation states don’t view these stateless global corporate ventures as infringements to local nation state sovereignty. The ventures of these Oligarch owned fictions are global; the Oligarch power is derived from the monopoly powers stored in copyrights, deeds, patents and trademarks and government contracts, and government-industry partnerships, and Oligarch wealth is stored in stocks, bonds and derivatives.
All of this because the Oligarch has captured the law making power of government and used that government power to create from hot thin air, monopoly powers (deeds, patents, copyrights, trademarks, government contracts) and to create fictitious entities suitable to protecting oligarch wealth from downsizing from failure or taxation.
Over time the continuous growth of global monopoly power in fictitious form has allowed the Oligarch to control the entire 256 member nation state system (except that Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Chile, Cuba and a few others who refuse to give up their sovereignty or who refuse to become vassals to western hegemony). So in the west, politicians now answer to the Oligarch and the Oligarch use the governments ( as slave drivers) to make those the nations govern [the slaves] do what the Oligarch wants done.
The food supply has been completely privatized by, and is now owned by oligarch by and through their fictitious persons. city ordinances are being enacted that prevent city residents from grown their own food in their own back yards. Its a matter of time before access to food and potable water will be used blackmail your into something (if not vaccinated, cannot eat).
That’s it in a nutshell: we are ruled not only by fictions but by legal fictions (eman’s Fictitious Corporate Entities) which create the fictions that rule our behaviour:
“Over time the continuous growth of global monopoly power in fictitious form has allowed the Oligarch to control the entire 256 member nation state system (except Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Chile, Cuba and a few others who refuse to give up their sovereignty). So, politicians now answer to Oligarch and Oligarch use governments as slave drivers to the nations to make the governed [the slaves] do what the Oligarchy wants done.”
Exactly so, Tori. The real future is the Long Descent away from hitech industrial-civ. That’s what’s going to floor the techietechie nightmare which the gics – the gangsters-in-charge – think that they’re foisting on us; but that will be like dew on a hot morning, as The Limits continue biting down on us…
Quite right Rhisiart. At least organic– or even better, biodynamic. When I was a child of three we moved to the farm, and I still remember the grass well over my head wherever a field wasn’t planted. I don’t know if grass even grows that tall anymore. I still remember every tree, and the taste of sour cherries.
To expand on “production levels”: even if industrial agri ever produced more than small-scale organic, it certainly poisons (farmers and consumers) and pollutes far more. The Green Revolution was a great con and tragedy.
Oh look! Two pillocks (at time of writing) think my post is a bad idea. I wonder what they (think they) know…? 😛
Mined (“fossil”) fuel is a major tool for imperial domination through the petro-dollar. But it is relatively unimportant. The core is insane capitalist speculation and profiteering.
During the “covid pandemic”, major businesses in USA increased profits by 25% before taxes and 37% after taxes, simply by raising prices. -Bureau of Economic Analysis (USA) quoted by Prof. Michael Hudson, 2022-03.
farming has been the life blood of humanity. Industry has turned farming into the oil industry of tomorrow and potable water into a luxury..
Someone better come up with a way to get humanity out of the we own all the farms and everything farms can produce trap! In America the government pays private owners of productive farms not to produce food crops.. Humanity should make a law no government employee, contractor, or politicians can eat foods produced on a farm owned by industry..
Sri Lanka is a fine example of how effective farming without chemical fertilizers and pesticides can be.
I think he’s attempting irony: “When you grow food without artificial poison chemicals, it leads to shortages and riots.” If that’s cloudius’ meaning, then clearly he doesn’t know his arse from his elbow when bloviating about organic ag.
I suspected something of the sort, but I like my irony a little more “in your face”, crude person that I am…
Makes you wonder what sort of animal would even dream of going into politics today. Only the seriously psychotic, methinks…
And these dynasties all over the world need to be stopped.
“Dallas” was no more an instruction manual than “1984” was, but nobody bothered to spread that piece of information in some quarters.
Dallas by who? I can’t find a book/movie/playwrite with the same name as a city so easily…
I think he is referring to the TV series https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_(1978_TV_series). revived in 2012, apparently. The key word is his use of the word “dynasties”, as Dallas revolved around a dynastic feud.
Ah, what it is to be young…
Does “Who shot J.R.?” ring a bell?
For decades the Big Ag Lobby, aided by Bought and Paid For Media, have been carefully working to convince the public (especially here in the US) that ONLY chemical fertilizers/pesticides/herbicides can feed the world. And that hundreds or even thousands of small family farms cannot possibly feed humanity.
The result being the almost complete degradation of soils, resulting in the removal of almost all nutrients from crops.
A good rule of thumb is this: let no one with a Business Plan anywhere near farmland.
” … let no one with a Business Plan anywhere near” your children with a syringe!
U.K – saw a account with The Government Cost Of Living support payment which everyone will get. iT comes up on every one accounts as COL LITERALLY pronounced CUL. DWP CUL.
U.K – saw a account with The Government Cost Of Living support payment which everyone will get. iT comes up on every one accounts as COL LITERALLY pronounced CUL. DWP CUL.
Klaus is going to make everyone hungry and angry to the extent they will accept the terms of the Great reset….its that simple
We will own nothing and be miserable, the elite will own everything and be extremely happy.
What if more people turn on Klaus Scwab, or remove his puppets ruining us?
Anal Schwab is only a middle man.
How will Anger help? I see the “Bow down to us if you want food” part though…
“Russia and Ukraine produce more than half of the world’s supply of sunflower oil and 30% of the world’s wheat. Some 45 African and least-developed countries import at least a third of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia with 18 of them importing at 50% or more.”
With most of Ukraine’s wheatland now back in Mother Russia, I think these African countries are in a better position than we are. Putin has promised to keep on delivering Russian agricultural produce to friendly countries; and the Liberation of East Ukraine shows he is a man of his word.
Of course shortages in the West are deliberate Plandemic Stage 2 aka Con-Bcubed, “When you will own nothing and owe everything”.
How many German Government Green Girls does it take to open a gas tap?
“My salad days, when I was Green in judgment, cold in blood” — Shakespeare
Wheat and processed oils are some of the worst foods to eat. They have been GMO long before there was a word for it. Might be a good thing, based on my last visit to Walmart.
But wheat is excellent to drink. Provided is has been processed by breweries that know their busines.
Alcohol is one of the many ways the banksters control the sheeple.
Wheat and vegetable oils have sustained human life for umpteen millenia, so I bet they will survive the present keto diet fad.
Wheat is not GMO, but like a number of other crops, gets dosed with glyphosate just before harvest to simplify the operation.
“The industry is determined to undermine the EU’s strategy, which also aims by 2030 to more than triple the percentage of EU farmland under organic management (from 8.1% to 25%).”
A rare treat, to hear a sensible strategy from the EU.
Nothing sensible about the EU.
Well, nobody’s imperfect. I don’t see why the Brussels bureaucrats shouldn’t occasionally slip up and a good move get through.
Doesn’t the EU plan get dumped in Nl and Belgium, because of the greater WEF plan? Reports say they seek to appropriate the farmland in order to construct a megalopolis for migrants.
RE: “…no one is advocating an immediate shift to organic cultivation methods.”
Isn’t that exactly what happened to Sri Lanka? Some commentators are describing Sri Lankan farmers as the “canary in the coal mine” for Great Reset agriculture.
Dutch farmers believe that the government (who they also believe are following the diktats of the WEF) by requiring the massive reduction in soil nitrates is really a Trojan horse to steal their land and create the food shortages Globalists and the MSM are “predicting.”
I wonder to what extent the organic food movement will be subsumed by globalist Big Ag, that is, that organic food will become a catchword for Globocap agriculture?
What is happening in Sri Lanka has all the hallmarks of a psyop in my mind, this one to show the world what will happen if we forego the poisons created and sold by the agro-fossil-consumer-industrial part of the corporate globalist octopus and opt for organic methods instead.
There is already examples eg. Cuba. When there was no more oil they had to shift to organic and their health improved. I gather this however involved people planting gardens since there was no oil for tractors and stuff. It was a real emergency. You wouldn’t be able to just willy nilly get farmers to find organic material for vast amounts of land out of nowhere whilst the rest of the population went about as before. It would require a lot of labour from most all of the population to get the gardens going.
Interesting how one’s opinions change. When I was young I approved of the rapid decrease of agricultural workers in the U$A from, say, 70% down to 1% due to mechanization on large farms. But now that we have too many people doing nothing, and so much food that we pay farmers not to produce it, I reverse my opinion and approve of people going back to growing their own food on small holdings.
Color revolution …
Fantastic resource and thought provking to boot. What’s not to like.