By H. E.
Food is the current topic of concern, as what is on our plates affects us all each day. The synergy of war, harvest, energy costs, and economics is adversely affecting global food price and availability. Drought impact on the last soybean crop in South America’s 1st, 3rd, and 4th export producers has production down 10% or more, wheat production and exports from Europe’s Ukraine and Russian breadbaskets are disrupted by war and sanctions. For the US the growing season is now beginning and whether there will be dry hot conditions impacting production remains to be seen. There are realistic concerns about near-term food availability and price that has attracted comments and solutions from the political class with one of the most stunning misinformed proposals coming from Samantha Power who was UN Ambassador during the Obama era and is now leading the US Agency for International Development under President Biden. On ABC News This week she stated:
“Fertilizer shortages are real now because Russia is a big exporter of fertilizer. And even though fertilizer is not sanctioned, less fertilizer is coming out of Russia,”https://www.foxnews.com/media/biden-official-says-food-shortages-will-push-farmers-green-energy-never-let-crisis-go-waste
And Power said:
“As a result, we’re working with countries to think about natural solutions like manure and compost. And this may hasten transitions that would have been in the interest of farmers to make eventually anyway.”https://www.foxnews.com/media/biden-official-says-food-shortages-will-push-farmers-green-energy-never-let-crisis-go-waste
From the time that people first aggregated into cities and nations the scourge of famine and starvation has followed. It has only been in the past few decades that global food security has finally lifted this historic threat. Modern food security largely derives from two of the most important scientific accomplishments of the last century, the Haber-Bosch process to convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia fertilizer presently using about 1% of global energy and 3-5% of global natural gas production.
The second is Norman Borlaug’s effort to breed high yielding field crops. These both were Nobel winning science accomplishments and the positive impact on human health and global political stability in recent decades is beyond measure. It is high yield agriculture that permits the current population to be fed compared to the challenges that have occurred throughout all of human history. The political controversy is that feeding the world at the cost of its huge energy and fossil fuel footprint is already problematic and now more so with much of the production centered in sanctioned Russia.
For this a simplistic solution has been proposed that agriculture must move from a dependence on fertilizer into a sustainable future where the energy and fossil fuel use would no longer be necessary. Power stated that the current is an opportunity not to waste and one of her solutions is to move forward to the past centuries of using compost and manure much as her Irish ancestors did in the generations before to supplant the current global consumption of industrial fertilizer
Plants and all life around us need nitrogen most of which is destined for proteins and nucleic acids (DNA for example) in living systems. The nitrogen cycle of life has operated for billions of years on Earth and the rovers on Mars are in part looking to see if Mars once had a similar system. Making biological usable nitrogen from the atmospheric nitrogen takes energy, for instance lightning, or the function of an enzyme in a capable bacterium.
Although some plants such as a soybean “fix” nitrogen from the air it is not actually the plant but rather bacteria the plant sequesters and cultivates in its roots. Once atmospheric nitrogen is converted by physical or biological processes it can be used by other living systems. Because how nature converts atmospheric nitrogen to fixed nitrogen is both sporadic such as lightning and volcanoes or relatively low-density biological fixers usable nitrogen is not concentrated into the areas that humans use for growing crops. Of all the new nitrogen available for all uses in the biosphere over half of this global nitrogen is made by humans using the process pioneered by Haber-Bosch.
Quite simply there is not enough natural nitrogen available to maintain current global food production. There is no free lunch, to feed humanity requires massive energy that has adverse environmental impact hence the concerns of the sustainability advocates who then look to the past for the future.
Consider the implications to cease the use of fossil fuel sourced fertilizer. It will not work that once we have a quantity of sustainable food as a starting point that when harvested and used to yield compost and manure that can be recycled to regenerate same amount of food on next and subsequent years to never again to need the inputs of industrial fertilizer. Green dreams of feeding all current
9 [7.9] billion people and many more to come with a light environmental footprint, if it only worked this way, unfortunately, this is the agricultural version of a perpetual motion machine. It would be like placing a fly wheel generator on an EV (electric vehicle) hooked to battery to generate energy while driving and to expect to be able to refill the battery each trip to its starting level and then to be able to drive the same distance day after day never again needing another plug-in recharge.
The losses inherent in any system makes this impossible and so the EV has a socket for new energy input. It is the same for agriculture which can never be a closed system with each year’s crop enabling the next in perpetual production. This is the reason why the Haber-Bosch process fossil fuel driven fertilizer is essential for world agriculture. It provides the means for massive new nitrogen input for each new crop production and thereby feeding the world at a level not otherwise possible. Fertilizer, better genetic varieties, and better control of pests and weeds feeding the world is why the global collapse predicted by 1970s futurists did not happen.
Returning agriculture for instance to the Ireland of early prefamine 1800s is a dangerous politically correct illusion that is contrary to all that has been learned and experienced at great human cost, especially from a diplomat who comes from the place of one of history’s famine horrors. The consequences of a world without fertilizer will be borne by unseen millions most often an ocean away. As a diplomat she more than most should know of the history of human grief and an empty stomach yet unless we have a bountiful yield of unicorn manure to fortify world agriculture this will result in food shortages, conflict, and migration. While this might well be a new work opportunity for a top diplomat to manage the conflict the rest of us might well want to avoid this nightmare, history has seen the results and it does not end well. As George Santayana said in 1905 ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it”.
Addendum from Charles Rotter.
H. E. is being kept anonymous as he is still teaching at a university and doesn’t need to deal with insane academics attacking him.
We have already had a preview of what will happen under Power’s suggested course of action.
Here’s an excerpt from another article on Power’s ignorant statements.
Sri Lanka made a sudden change from chemical fertilizers to manure and compost last year. How did that work out?
- Foreign Policy: In Sri Lanka, Organic Farming Went Catastrophically Wrong
- The New York Times: Sri Lanka’s Plunge Into Organic Farming Brings Disaster
- Modern Farmer: Sri Lanka’s Organic Experiment Went Very, Very Wrong
- Ag Web: We Must Learn From Sri Lanka’s Man-Made Organic Agriculture Disaster
- Al Jazeera: Sri Lanka to pay $200m compensation for failed organic farm drive
Sri Lanka is the future.
I strongly suggest reading the second article from Unprepared
And yes our current head of USAID actually said the vile words:
Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
Sri Lanka is the exemplar of going organic. The NSDAP was very much into biodynamic agriculture, with Himmler being a noted fan. They were also noted for severe food shortages, despite looting other countries.
But if you go fully organic you will have to go back to open pollinated seeds since Hybrids suck the soil of elements needed for growth at a much greater rate depleting the soil more rapidly which is WHY they use fertilizer a lot to compensate but soils are still getting depleted anyway if at a slower rate which is why land rotation is necessary to allow soils to bounce back.
Soils getting too much nitrogen can damage soil health and slow down plant growth that is why they use slow-release fertilizers a lot.
Organic gardening is GREAT for home gardens and quite easy to do with a lawn mower grass catcher on grass that doesn’t have weed killer in it and pick up fairly fresh alfalfa hay bales for overwintering composting in the garden beds but NOT practical for large farms.
First of all, organic & sustainable agriculture, for the most part, don’t work
well enough to become the mainstay of any viable agricultural system. Farming is
both VERY labor & capital intensive & these costs along with fuel & fertilizer
will eat you alive. In situations with large families & cheap labor, you may be
able- at least for a time until you can afford to expand- make it work. This
may work best with high value crops (No- not that kind of “high”) where you don’t
need a lot of land & better equipment doesn’t increase productivity that much.
You may be able to stay competitive or at least eke out a living.
I grew up on an organic farm when farmers started using sprays, commercial feeds &
fertilizers, etc. Farmers produce a lot more using new methods in commoditized
crops/animals so trying to compete with old ways is very hard. You could do it
over many years having a good paying main job if that’s your life dream.
Farmers are very creative looking for new ways to make more money. So a lot of
your ideas may not be that new & some may already be more widely used than
you realize. Since farmers are independent business people, they’ve always had
to think for themselves as the “Buck stops” with them. So two farmers talking
will come up with five different ideas. Some work is repetitively boring so that
time is spent thinking about other things. They’re always busy doing something!
My mom ploughed behind a mule,** Old Man. She had time to think about things. She would have laughed at the ‘tribulations’ we poor schlubs are about to face.
She taught me a trick or two, so I’ll be OK. Inconvenienced as all hell, but OK.
P.S. Being a sharecropper’s daughter in south South-Texas wasn’t exactly the path to riches, but they always had something to eat. Try that in a hi-rise condo. Nobody ploughs behind a Tesla.
**Hey! Mom was into hybrids before Priuses were a thing. Way to go, mom!
I lived in Abilene for 4½ yrs- it’s one place you definitely NEED A/C!
Organic methods (as opposed to organic farming) can be an effective way to increase yields when used in conjunction with chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Many farmers already do this. Manure is rarely wasted. Methods such as no till that improve the structure of soils are common. Rotations with nitrogen fixing crops or green manure are also common.
Of course much of this requires an extensive livestock industry, both to provide manure as a by-product and to provide a market for rotation crops.
Growing biomass for fuel does not fit well in this scenario and may lead to widespread degradation of agricultural soils
My comments are probably leading to exploding heads in both the organic farming, vegan, and anti fossil fuel camps so I will let others expand on this..
or you could say weak hybrid high demand crops created to use chemical will fall over, and the older low demand NONgmo fiddled ones will be ok
You write as if there is some grand conspiracy forcing farmers to use products that make their life harder.
Farmers – for the most part as I am sure there are exceptions – are not paid to grow, they are paid by what they can sell at the end of the growth. To maximise the profit they have a vested interest in minimal cost and effort.
They are aware what gives good results and what is a pain in the tractor to have to deal with and structure their choices accordingly. Farmers are not some quaint little experiment with a petting zoo on the side for passing kids, they do this for a living and have a considerable personal investment.
If it doesn’t work they are going to drop it. Ethics and feeling will have little to do with this decision.
So, to circle back to your point, if NONgmo products were actually lower demand and still gave good yield then they would be all over them like journalist at an open bar.
It’s not even practical for my small family farm. A LOT more work.
Food supply concerns from mid-March 2022: 20 years ago we predicted food shortages to start now due to cooling weather.
We also predicted in 2002 that solar-driven global cooling would start ~now, and that seems to be happening. There was a major crop failure across the Great Plains of North America in 2019 due to cold and wet weather, but good harvests elsewhere and lots of grain in storage meant prices were stable.
This year there may be grain shortages – I’m going to research this further in the next days. What I think now:
Nino34 SST’s are still quite cold so spring on the Great Plains should be late, cold and wet.
Nino34 is a good predictor of global average temperature ~4 months in the future.
Nino34 Index below -0.5 indicates a “la Nina” condition. It is now about -1.0.
Cold, floods and droughts have reduced crop yields around the world. Grain crops in Ukraine will probably be greatly reduced by the war.
The only remedial measure I can see now is to switch planting of the huge USA corn crop for fuel ethanol to edible corn – but politicians think at “the speed of dark” so this is unlikely to happen in time. Fuel ethanol from corn never made sense – I inherited a corn ethanol plant in the USA in the 1990’s.
Here is more news on crops – NAILED IT.
AMERICA’S PLANTING DELAYS
May 3, 2022 Electroverse.net
Planting delays south of the border are also compounding global grain shortages and sending prices higher.
Iowa, for example –America’s largest corn growing state– suffered historic lows last week, and this week isn’t looking much better:
The Grand Solar Minimum is also delaying planting across the Dakotas, too.
“The weather has been a little bit strange,” said Paul Thomas, a farmer in north-central North Dakota.
“We were looking at a really early spring. In fact, we actually had our drill hooked up, ready to sow seed [in mid-April] before the snowstorm hit … We got hit with 40 inches of snow and it sure changed the outlook for spring work,” explained Thomas.
That Easter blizzard wasn’t a one-off, either — it was chased by additional snowstorms, an incredibly rare feat for April.
“The thing about this April storm compared to some in the past is we’ve stayed so cold since we’ve had the snow,” added Thomas. “We’re going on 12 days now, and we’re still looking at major snow banks and fields that are 60% to 70% covered with snow yet.”
Water-logged and/or snow-buried fields are still common sights across North Dakota, and with the calendar now showing May, Thomas is calling it a race against time before the planting window closes: “We’ll plant corn all the way out until about May 25,” said Thomas. “That’s kind of our drop dead date, but we try and get it all in by May 10 to May 15.”
However, a frigid weather outlook for the next two to three weeks is dampening any remaining hopes.
Ending ethanol subsidies would be immediate, substantial, politically suicidal, and wise fiscal policy. All reasons why it won’t happen.
Yup – probably. But that ethanol-corn is really difficult to eat and digest.
Cows like the residual – called distillers grain – probably gives them a bit of a buzz – “Contented Cows” aka “Kiboshed Kine”.
See this item on Kansas re the April 29-May 1 storm especially the section:
“possible consequences to the wheat crop”
Does not look good for the wheat crop in West Kansas. Good luck!
My friend Cap Allon at Electroverse.net is getting more pessimistic – and he’s always been ahead of the curve.
I/we predicted this cooling in 2002 – all I want to be is wrong!
YUKON FLOOD RISK AFTER RECORD SNOWPACK; EUROPE’S COLDER-THAN-AVERAGE APRIL; + GLOBAL COMMODITY PRICES CONTINUE TO SOAR
May 5, 2022 Cap Allon
The house of cards is collapsing. Prepare.
ALL OF FINLAND DROPS BELOW ZERO, AS ANOMALOUS COLD PERSISTS IN EUROPE; + FIELDS REMAIN UNPLANTED ON VANCOUVER ISLAND, SIMILAR PICTURE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA
May 6, 2022 Cap Allon
“I’ve been farming for 34 years and I can’t remember any time that it’s been this wet and cold for this long.”
Sri Lanka cannot feed its population, thanks to choosing organic…
Not all “organic” agricultural techniques means we shall starve. OTOH…
Back over two hundred years ago we colonists growing cotton learned the benefits of crop rotation. Not only help from legumes “fixing” nitrogen, but reduction in bad insects that might be able to winter over and attack the next year. Down in southern Bama, Geogia and Florida Panhandle the famers rotate between cotton and peanuts. We even have the world peanut festival in Dothan, Al every year. ‘sides that, peanuts are great for protein and some fats you don’t get from peas and beans. All is not lost, and the helpful bacteria is not hard to accumulate, just like sourdough starter.
Way I see it, is the large scale use/dependency of fertilizer made by industrial methods is gonna take a hit and we will not see the huge harvests that have become the norm. The current Uke problem is both the supply of raw grain harvest and the industrial fertilizer as well.
So we have to prepare and adapt, just like for a 1 degree change in gorebull temperature within 50 or 60 years, well, maybe.
Going “all organic” does mean starvation for many. And a doubling (at least) of land under agriculture.
“Organic” has no saving grace except as a boutique food for monied urban liberals.
Back in the early 1970s, I attended several presentations put on by the state extension corps.
The topic presented was their ‘great’ idea for how small farmers could charge more for the same food.
That is, organic crops.
There were some legislated hurdles to getting Organic certified, and occasional follow-up testing.
My dad turned his small farm into organic strawberries, tomatoes and peppers.
If he didn’t have five large sons, he’d have gone bust in the first few years.
Fortunately, he never gave up his day job. All of us involved in that venture have a very sour taste when people laud “organic” anything.
Those days were long before big commercial corporations learned they could sell less product for higher prices.
Now, organic food supplies are controlled by giant corporations, not by small farmers.
First of all, I don’t know of any farmer who DOESN’T use obvious methods like crop
rotation, strip farming, terracing. no/ridge/…./till farming already. If it ACTUALLY works
they’d be SMART enough to use it. You make it sound like farmers are idiots Most have
forgotten more than you’ll EVER know! You’ve earned the BeeEss, I mean, cowpie of the
day award. Enjoy! 😮
not sure who the reply is directed at.Mr Winter.
I do not think most farmers are idiots, and I feel they are smarter than 95% of the folks that crow about “organic” farming.
I realize that cutting back on the manufacture fertilizer will reduce yields, as will less insecticides.
But I also believe we human farmers can still grow enuf to feed ourselves and trade/barter excess produce for others.
I apologize for being so harsh. It just sounded like you weren’t giving
farmers credit for all they know. If there’s a way to squeeze more blood
out of a turnip, they probably tried it already! Next time I’ll wait 20 minutes
if my post sounds harsh.
I agreed with what you restated here. You do have that independent thinking spirit. Again, I apologize.
Yeah, that is true when I was studying Agriculture in college 40 years ago, I was in classrooms with real farmers increasing their knowledge about farming.
We were also taught good irrigation practices as that matters a great deal for keeping topsoils and fertilizer to stay on the land which did me well when I became an Irrigation Master years later.
Here’s a list of Alabama’s top 10 exports:
Not big on ag-exports.
Chemical woodpulp comes from…
Guess what those enlightened, crop-rotating cotton and peanut farmers use for fertilizer…
Chase, the organic scam was one of the early eco ones. Has any one analyzed, say, a green pepper raised organically and one grown by a professional farmer. Heck, they’re really both CxHxOx and trace elements. Your stomach simply attacks it with industrial strength hydrochloric acid. Throw one of each in a beaker of acid and analyze what you get – that’s exactly what your intestines get to work with.
Gary, I can accept that there could be a difference with “organic” fruits tasting better than non-organic (how are they NON-organic when they’re plants?) But that would be due, perhaps, to the selection of specific varieties bred less for perfect looks than for flavor – much as any home gardener is likely to do.
I seem to recall reading about some tests several years ago having people compare, and when they didn’t know, they couldn’t tell the difference.
Produce grown to full ripeness in fields or greenhouses taste best and sweetest.
Sun ripened peaches, nectarines, plums do not travel or store well. Some of the finest ripe peaches bruise badly just carrying them to the house.
Sadly, a lot of ripe produce does not ship well.
Much of the produce is shipped and stored in cold storage until needed for a local market.
At which point, the produce that ripens when exposed to ethanol, are ripened enough and shipped to stores.
None of the ethanol ripened vegetables has the sugars or full complement of compounds found in sun ripened produce.
While I grow some tomatoes indoors, a few tomato plants don’t produce very quickly. So, we augment with greenhouse tomatoes (High CO₂ levels and ethanol ripened).
Good point on the storage and ripening – that would be another factor. “organic” tends to be more local and probably (I wouldn’t know) doesn’t go through those stages, at least not as much.
Those who say organic tastes better are likely not accounting for such matters. Maybe it DOES, but not because it’s “organic”
Tony, I had an organic farm in the 1970s-80s (raised six kids there) and I agree with all your points. We let our chickens, pigs, dairy cow and sheep loose on the pasturage where they ate weed seed, clover, dandelion, bugs, etc. Now the have big commercial spreads and ‘organic’ has been expanded to include certain pesticides, etc.
USDA published a food database for decades.
A few years ago, USDA moved the database to online access and made it difficult to search.
Mostly, USDA listed items alphabetically by name and frequently by their brand name.
Nowhere, during the decades USDA published the database did they identify “organic” produce as different than fertilizer, herbicide, insecticide, fungicide grown crops.
Now, with so many companies selling trademarked “organic” foods, I expect the USDA database to list those. Identical to regularly farmed produce.
Most corporations do not care if food is raised organically. They only care that the produce does not test positive for any of the organically forbidden chemicals. Their producers know exactly how long after application it takes for the produce to test clean.
We’re not 9 Billion people, were not even 8 Billion.
According to https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ we are currently 7.9 B
Yeah, I saw that error too.
While fertilizer and crop breeding were major improvements we shouldn’t forget food transport and storage including refrigeration here. Why much of the third world starves from spoilage and wastage without satisfactory transport and storage infrastructure that relies on fossil fuel energy.
Doomberg wrote up a good overview on the food production problem. In summary:
1) fertilizers as above
2) pesticides – Roundup is apparently identical to a fertilizer except for a couple changed atoms, so high natural gas prices also drive up pesticide prices
3) propane: a lot of grain crops need to be dried out for storage – and propane is used for this
4) diesel: tractors, transport
5) semiconductors: 1st world farmers use tractors that are dependent on semiconductors. The shortage is affecting their ability to repair said tractors…
6) labor: labor shortage is affecting farmers too – particularly harvest
net net: every single major input that goes into farming, except the land itself, is seeing supply chain issues/dramatically increasing costs.
I tried (again) to buy a replacement key fob for my 2016 Ram truck yesterday. There are currently 5,528 on backorder nationwide. Surely this is Putin’s fault.
did you lose it, or did you break it ? (It’s only 6 years old).
my guess is that it is your fault.
How do educated elites who have never, ever set foot on a farm deign to declare what the best practice is for raising crops? Do these folks have even half an idea of how deep the manure and compost would have to be stacked in a 200 acre corn field to equal what liquid fertilizer provides? Multiply that by thousands of 200 acre fields in the U.S. alone.
Hopefully, this group contacts the other group that wants us to forgo meat in the diet. So where will all this manure come from if there are no cattle. Will Milorganite production suffice??
No thank you on using processed sewage sludge as fertilizer for food. Several states have learned the hard way about the risks. Sam better check with her comrades at the Sierra Club about the risks. A quick search on PFAS, PFOA, and PFOS in sewage sludge fertilizer is interesting. Philadelphia was peddling it for a while. I believe their flavor had high levels of Cadmium and other heavy metals. Seems that they used the “don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy on the risks of processed sludge for fertilizer.
Probably from their own mouths as they’re spewing a lot of BeeEss! 😮
william johnston: “So where will all this manure come from if there are no cattle. [?]”
OMG! Nail. Head. Hammer.
They are counting on CUFT (Compressed Unicorn Fart Technology), but that won’t be scaled up to commercial farming until 10 years after fusion power comes online. And we already know when fusion will be coming online.
On the bright side, there will be no insects to devastate crops because we humans who remain will have eaten all of them. Cockroach Swirl® ice cream. Katydid Karamel Korn® Yum!
HR, brilliant. Perhaps we might implement increased legume consumption and methane capture as an interim solution during the “transition.”
There would be a severe bovine excrement shortage…..besides farmers who have it available already spread it everywhere on fields to dispose of it….so Powers is dreaming….plus composting does not scale very well from you putting your coffee grounds into your shrub beds, then up to entire cities sorting trash for compostable food leftovers.
“…There would be a severe bovine excrement shortage….”
Not with our politicians. 😉
severe USABLE (uncontaminated) bovine excrement shortage, then. I wouldn’t want what they shovel anywhere near my crops
Maybe they’re expecting that to come from the eggshells they’re composting, too! 😉
One thing they never talk of is the cost of labor & equipment needed to do all this extra
work. Farming is both capital & labor intensive with both being major expenses. Maybe
they’re like AOC who thinks money grows on trees cuz banks have branches! 😮
As of January 1st, the State of California requires us all to separate food waste and dispose of it in (wait for it) green bags (biodegradable, presumably). Our trashcollecting company notified us of this, and said to hold, since the Legislature passed the law, bu the bureaucrats haven’t yet come up with the regulations. May fourth and holding.
This is gonna sound cruel and heartless, but maybe Clifornia, and San Francisco in particular, should consider composting all the homeless crack and fentanyl addicts who overdose.
Seems to me that’s a winning plank in the Dem’s midterm platform.
I’ll be looking for that in the political ads as we get close to the November elections. “Save granny? Hell NO! Plant granny.”
Kinda like Soylent Green, HR?
Well, it IS “green”
This is California’s answer to prevent the dangerous methane greenhouse gas from forming in landfills. Our garbage company says it will all go to pig farmers. Not sure there are any pig farms locally, but oh well.
We are supposed to get reusable 6 gallon plastic buckets to put the slop into. No word yet on where the buckets should be stored. But I’ll bet lots of people won’t have room to store them inside along with their normal trash receptacles.
That means storing them outside and attracting vermin while the sun and weather rots the buckets and fermentation of the garbage occurs. It will probably be great for the Argentine ants who don’t seem shy about finding their way into any food left outside. That will require pesticides which probably isn’t good for the pigs. It will also be great fun for housewives to wash the buckets each week.
Another non problem solved by California politicians who can never think past their dogma.
I’m sure the elaborate infrastructure necessary to handle this new class of residential waste already exists, and works flawlessly.
industrial scale wormfarm in Paris works rather well for them i gather using cities foodwaste
I’m shocked at your surprise over the agrarian intellect of bloviating politicians who accumulated large collections of liberal arts degrees before moving to Washington. Are you not aware that a Masters Degree in something like gender studies is the only true path to technological innovation?
If you don’t believe me, you need only look at the massive improvements they have already implemented in power generation. /sarc
You owe me, roaddog. Had to wipe the dripping sarcasm from my screen. Too slow, too late. My screen shorted out. *sigh*
I’ve never seen a fatter pitch.
There is no way to guarantee either the quantity or quality of manure and compost required to feed a modern society.
Starting with a politician’s speech would provide much fodder
Paul, I understand if it slipped by you that access to “modern society” is headed for rationing.
Don’t know if they know how high it needs to be stacked but they’re used to stacking it REALLY HIGH
Hence all the PHDs.
Piled Higher (and) Deeper?
In the US alone, are over 2,040,000 farms, that average over 440 acres each.
Total of over 900 million acres.
So not thousands, Jim, but over 4.5 MILLION separate 200 acres plots that need to be kept fertile.
In the US alone.
Yah but, Nicholas… we baby boomers are starting to age out, so there will be plenty of poop to spread on fields if they start putting up Depends® recycling centers.
As Nicholas says above you are out by many many zeros. Modern farming requires massive amounts of Natural Gas as the precursor for fertilizer production which is why the Ukraine War has had a massive effect.
Yah, I figured that, but I was too lazy to search for the real figures.
I’ve never met a farmer who wasted manure.
When the drag chain broke in the dairy barn, my brother and I shoveled manure for several months.
I fell in the shit wagon a couple of times trying to walk a full wheelbarrow to the end of the board we used as a bridge to the wagon.
Get a little off balance or go a couple inches too far and in you go.
Plays havoc with cotton sneaks and dungarees.
A couple of times is enough to learn exactly how to walk the plank and where to tip the barrow.
When the wagon is full enough, the load gets spread in the fields.
Those same elites also believe they know best about mining. They also believe, as does the EPA, that mining practice has not changed since the 19th century and that miners rape the lands then abandon pillaged mines and open mineshafts.
Their ‘education’ is lacking.
Is it any surprise that these same elites weigh in on climate, vehicles, electricity generation, smelters, refiners, industry, etc.
“As a result, we’re working with countries to think about natural solutions like manure and compost. And this may hasten transitions that would have been in the interest of farmers to make eventually anyway.”
Power is a highly educated idiot.
Manure and compost is what all of the historical agricultural districts of the world used BEFORE they switched to far superior industrial fertilizers.
I doubt Power would “get” this joke.
“What did Communists use before candles?”
“Electric light bulbs!”
Apparently, she wants to apply that same level of “humor” to the world’s agricultural science.
” Manure and compost (…) they switched to far superior industrial fertilizers. ”
I agree, they are superior in many respects. First, they have higher concentration of the chemical elements that plants need. Second (very often forgoten!), because manure and compost are unbalanced, that is to say, taking as reference the concentration of one element, then the concentration of others are FAR in excess or in deficit (Liebig’s law: they will be effective only up to the exhaustion of the element that is at lower concentration relative to the plant needs). Third, they can be formulated according to the needs of each cultivaed species or variety, and according to their needs at different seasons of the year or stages of development. Forth (last but no least), because manure and compost can only be incorporated as solids into the soil, while chemical fertilizers can be MORE EFFICIENT, as they can be applied in several forms, either solid to the soil or dissolved in irrigation water or even as sprays to the leaves.
Of the 537 people in Congress and the White House, how many do you think know the simple facts that Joao Martins so clearly elucidated?
What the the hell is it going to take to get the masses to rise up and boot the woke elites out of office?
Before that they need to stop listening to the lefty idiots in the MSM to realize there is something they can do about it.
Nothing wiil be done until it hits them personally. If it doesn’t affect them immediately, it doesn’t occur.
They have seized control of the media and most institutions over the last 20 years. Which is why they are going absolutely ape-shit over the Elon Musk’s threat to open Twitter up to uncensored dissenting views.
Samantha Power: Yale and Harvard Law. Probably never set foot on a farm in her entire life. My 350 head Wisconsin dairy farm produces plenty of manure which we spread for fertilizer on the pastures. But we still have to use synthetic nitrogen fertilizers for the row crops.
We had a partial herd (about 40) come through the slaughter house where I worked 35 years ago.
It seemed there was more wrong with their insides than there was right. More tumors and green & yellow stuff than any living thing should have … although the bile was on the verge of being more brown than green. The FDA guy segregated one of them as scary/unusable and saved it for further inspection by someone other than him.
Since then, I have always assumed that Dairy cows aren’t really fit for consumption. Did we just get a bad bunch … what do you do with your old girls?
You got a bad bunch. All of ours go to slaughter and are processed into leather, ground beef, and pet food. Too old and lean for regular cuts of beef. Usually sold after four or five milkings, so about 6-7 years old.
Whhy are we having more and more policy affected by ignorant people? In years gone by, one had to display excellence to earn leadership.
I worked in a large new fertiliser plant making urea early in my career. I was a chemist in a big lab where we tried to optimise fertiliser application to soil properties, crop type, geography, etc. This was in the 1970s, when plant nutrition was understood well enough that basic principles seldom gave the wrong result.
Any element or compound that is involved in plant growth has to be replenished to maintain the levels that were there before the crop was harvested and taken away for eating. That carrot that is about to be munched has elements like N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, An, B, No to name a few. A soil farmed for carrots year after year loses some of each until one becomes critically low and needs a supplement to be trucked in and spread. You CANNOT rely on recycling plant and human waste to do this because of losses in each cycle.
So-called organic gardening attempts this failed recycle process. It is grossly ignorant to ruin plant and soil productivity by refusing to use mined products like potash and phosphate plus synthesised compounds like ammonia and urea for nitrogen for no better reason than pagan belief. Organic farming is so funny that it is laughable – or would be if it did not kill people. Geoff S
It’s policy affected by the politically afflicted
Washington is finally taking its rightful place as the world’s leading source of manure.
“…to feed humanity requires massive energy that has adverse environmental impact…”
I see what you did there. Well played!
At least we’re now clear on which end of Simple Sam it flows from: both.
To Serve Man…It, it’s a Cookbook
“As a result, we’re working with countries to think about natural solutions like manure and compost. And this may hasten transitions that would have been in the interest of farmers to make eventually anyway.”
When we’re all vegan where’s the manure coming from? Night Soil?
Won’t most of what would be compost be used as biofuel?
Simple Sam’s statement that “…we’re working with countries…” clearly reinforces the disdain bureaucrats hold for farmers. The UN will only work with other bureaucrats, not with the deplorable people who are the actual agricultural experts. Agricultural experts might have dirt on their boots.
That’s not dirt.
The organic content is high.
Powers is just parroting Marie Antoinette: “Let them eat shit.”
Meanwhile ..in the UK: ‘Defra aims to prioritise investment in new technologies to manufacture more organic-based fertiliser products, and to rediscover techniques such as using nitrogen-fixing legumes and clovers as an alternative to fertiliser.’
Maybe Putin is dribbling some strong hallucinogenic material into their water supply?
They are introducing those elements into their systems voluntarily.
Beef and dairy doesnt need fertiliser, pesticides, tractors, diesel, ploughs, etc etc etc. Cows, sheep, sequester CO2, they fertilise the soil, their muck is used to fertilise arable fields.
Their CO2 foot print is negative. They are sustainable and have been for thousands of years.
Soybeans are common cattle and pork additive to provide the protein to their diet. Fortunately, as the article notes, soybeans are nitrogen fixers and do not need as much fertilizers. But planting harvesting, processing are all still very fossil fuel intensive. No amount of windmills or solar panels will change that.
Incorrect. If you think of a piece of beef. It is NOT pure sugars and starches and a touch of nitrogen which can all be derived from the atmosphere. Every other element in the meal has to be provided from the soil. The sulfur for the protein is a good example. If you keep taking 600kg beef cattle off the farm, the sulfur level in the soil must be depleted.
If you don’t replace the farmed products the soil degrades. Simples.
You clearly aren’t in the beef or sheep industry because you need a massive amount of fertilizer to farm them at industrial scale excluding feed lots (which have a whole other pile of costs).
I would be curious what the stocking rate per acre you think you can run on a sort of natural field. Want to guess what an average industrial stocking rate per acre is?
We bale hay only because we need the exercise.
I see no one has answered. The rule of thumb where I grew up was 4 acres per cow. That didn’t include hay or grain acres.
It varies dramatically by region. Here I’d guess it is 20 to 40 acres per cow.
Without fertilizer it can be 1 cow to many acres so you need large farms such as happens in parts of texas
How many cows per acre in Texas? – Texas Landowners Association (landassociation.org)
It’s actually a fairly straight forward formula
Step 1 – Determine how many grazable acres you have
Step 2 – Determine how much forage your land produces
Step 3 – Run the calculation above with known animal unit consumption rates.
The thing is step 2 is highly dependent on what is added back into the soil which is where fertilizer comes in.
What else would you expect from an Obama retread? Her’s is simply more engineered, purposeful abject failure covered with copious Big Lies to promote a bigger agenda of One World governance.
Samantha Power is doing exactly what she is paid to do, that is, lie on consequential issues and commit the West to catastrophic societal failures. Samantha Power, like all the liberal elites she socializes and equates with, does not see herself or her family personally being harmed by her policy views. The coming harm is for the little people, you know, you and me, because this won’t be contained to the distant Third World populations like the disaster in Sri Lanka. These massive policy failures are by design going to work their way up the affluence ladder, inducing poverty and hunger via energy scarcity, until the West’s middle class is reduced to subservience and serfdom under the Socialist’s boot, in a true Hunger Games style society.
The one thing that the Green Socialists did not see coming was the Russian War on Ukraine and the devastating, amplifying impacts it is having on energy, and agricultural output. These are synergizing with the climate scam’s War on Fossil Fuels, and greatly accelerating the deprivations, famines and societal upheavals the elites had intended to happen over the next 30 years into about 2-5 years.
Non-linear, unintended consequences indeed.
Of course they saw the Ukraine-Russian War coming. And the devastating impacts. Those are Great Reset features, not bugs. The consequences are intentional. Rule 1 when being attacked: don’t think it’s by mistake.
Joe Biden only sees a nap coming anymore.
It was late January when US intel started reporting that Putin had committed to his invasion decision and given the go-ahead for the invasion, the only limitation was that President Xi of China had told Putin he had to wait until the Beijing Winter Olympics closed. Putin’s invasion started 48 hours after the Olympics closing ceremony per Beijing orders.
Go back and review the historical timeline.
Late January is when the US start telling Americans to leave Ukraine and for the US embassy in Kyiv to downsize a nd move all non-essential personnel out.
Until that January iuntelligence, the entyire Biden Admin was still selling the “Putin can be detered with sanctions” PR line to the press and the public.
The Russian build up started in mid-late August after Putin, flush with oil and cash cash from Biden’s War on fossil Fuels and Europe’s summer gas squeeze, saw the Biden-run debacle in Kabul, Afghanistan and knew he had a weak US President.
Everything, both directly and indirectly about this energy inflation, food crunch and energy price run-ups, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent world food supply disruptions lay at the feet of President Joe Biden.
“I strongly suggest reading the second article from Unprepared”
You linked the same article 3 times. I checked the website home page, which has lost of really interesting stuff, but I did not see any other articles on food supply.
Where is the manure coming from after we kill all the farm animals?
Did you ever watch Soylent Green? That movie, like Orwell’s 1984, are the Left’s playbook, not merely a warning.
As Ben Vorlich mentioned … ‘Night soil’.
Haber-Bosch was estimated to fix around 100 megatons of N in 2010
If night soil is about the same strength as other livestock manures, say 4 percent, then we need about two thousand million tonnes of night soil moving out of the cities each year.
.. And not the diluted stuff that comes out of urban lavatories.. it needs to be the undiluted material.
Oh what a Pile-O-Carp
Watermelons do NOT want to feed the present population of humans. They want a great culling. By robbing this year’s crops of essential inputs, they’re looking to foist a fait accompli on us.
A pro death cult is on the loose and hard at work. Its members are not hard to find – they just had their sacrament threatened by SCOTUS, so many of them can now be found raging in the streets.
You need to eat less beef, but we need more manure. Yep.
Proof being smart is not a qualifier.
Sam Power is proof education does not guarantee intelligence.
This article from Harvard, that bastion of educational excellence, caused me to conclude that education actually reduces intelligence.
The US could readily gear up and manufacture the nitrogen fertilizers Russia is now withholding. In past years, that would probably have happened. Russia would have lost its market share.
But the current DC regime is hostile to fossil fuels, to cheap energy, and to America itself as we and past generations have understood it. Their stand-in policy is suicide.
Samantha Powers probably thinks of herself as a caring person. And yet she is in service to misery and death.
When I see her I’m reminded of that old joke…”Why the long face?”
The theme song of caring…
I don’t get the flying dog. And it’s much better at 1.5 speed. 🙂
A nod to PETA, I suppose.
Agreed. A large urea plant can be built and tested in under a year. Key ingredients are a natural gas feedstock, a couple of well-known catalysts and about 20 acres of industrial land near rail lines. No new technology is needed.
In normal times, I would expect to find several big companies going flat out to be the first to fill the market gap we now have.
Anyone here know of such planning? Geoff S
If Biden finds out he’ll issue an executive order … banning it. The administration re-opened a ridiculously small portion of federal lands to drilling, and is clamoring for oil from dictatorships. Apparently we are to import everything, because dependency makes us STRONG.
I’m told that 81 million people voted for misery and death. Mileage will vary.
Sam Power is one of those ignorants who have no idea where her next meal came from.
just go to Sri Lanka to find out where her idiocy would lead.
Oh, but this time it will be different.
Powers and people like her are pure evil, to recommend policies guaranteed to produce poor health outcomes and starvation is nothing less than criminal.
39 comments so far nad a few people have latched onto Soil Erosion, without using the actual words.
Agricultural Nitrogen fertiliser does NOT need or have to be Nitrate, Ammonia or Urea.
All the soil bacteria want/need (they are the primary recipients/consumers of the farmers’ largesse) – all the soil bacteria need is any variation on water soluble nitrogen = any oxide of Nitrogen dissolved in water would be perfect for them.
Make Nitrogen Oxides inside any internal/external combustion engine – but none too efficient.
Make Nitrogen Oxides with spark gap chambers powered by windmill or solar panels.Suck air in, run it through the electric discharge and then spray water onto what comes out.
Some will be Laughing Gas (not = water soluble) but no matter, just run it through again
A few weeks ago I followed an online soil regeneration series and on there it was demonstrated how organic farming could/would and actually did work without fertilisers or pesticides.
Two main parts to doing it:
That is The Problem here with Ms Powers (and Sri Lanka) – where is all that stuff coming from?
And no ‘Robbing Peter to pay Paul’ allowed as Powers and others are suggesting. i.e. No ‘other countries’
To get a measure of the weight of stuff, get your biggest bath-towel just after you’ve used it and fold it repeatedly until you get a 2 inch thickness.
Note the area it covers and bung it on the kitchen scales, see what it weighs.
Then scale that up to 20 or 30 million square kilometres
PS Please please please do not be hanging ANY store by Soya.
It is hideous stuff, chock full of (fake but effective) Oestrogens.
It can turn a male rock into female rock – that’s where a lot of your babies are going – boys just ain’t boys any more and what little testosterone the girls have (puts them ‘in the mood’) is totally swamped – so they are rarely if ever ‘in the mood’
Also not least the protein in Soya drives your immune system crazy. Then, what does get ‘escorted off the premises‘, destroys your kidneys on its way out.
340 people in the US, every day, are carted into hospitals as new cases of serious/fatal kidney failure.
They then are put on dialysis for the rest of their lives, at $95,000 per year each person.
Makes Biden’s green deal start to look cheap ….
There are some spares bits for the arc job (Birkeland Eyde process) lying around in Norway.
Or maybe have a go at running some N2 through some ball bearings 😉
Do read my earlier words about crop nutrition.
Another job I had was with CSIRO Division of Tropical Pastures working on the very effective program to introduce new pasture grasses and especially new legumes into huge areas of northern Australia, to obtain more animal yield, particularly beef. Main Legumes were Stylosanthes spp.
It is not often realised that nitrogen fixation in crops is dominantly in the root system. If you grow legumes to harvest what is above ground for spreading elsewhere as compost, you gain very little because most of the leguminous nitrogen stays in the soil where it grew.
Also, additions of synthetic nitrogen will usually increase yield of composted crops. In common use, compost takes you part of the way but urea/ammonia chemical give more advantage. Nitrates like sodium nitrate have their own problems and have historically not been preferred. Geoff S
What about Potash? Canada has a billion ton reserve of the stuff I believe.
Potash is simply potassium supplementation. Reduced Nitrogen is the energy intensive supplement that can’t be mined that all plants need. It must be made from N2 gas extracted from the atmosphere, either biological microbes or synthetic (Haber-Bosch).
Amazing how few people know that Natural gas can be made into fertilizer.
Amazing how few people know how much land is needed to grow the the crops needed by humans to get sufficient proteins that the body needs and not an inadequate substitute. Livestock are very efficient at producing the best protein for humans. Think of the vegetable based Baby Formula and the problems they cause. I can still remember when I was 12 years old and my oldest brother had to take his daughter to the hospital because of Baby Formula problems 65 years ago. They are still trying to find and use something else.
I’m sure that the “Just Stop Oil” loons we have in the UK think the only things we use the come from oil are petrol and diesel. Their mentors may know better but aren’t going to say anything.
Electric cars made from wood, that’s the ticket!
Can remember the first time I discovered the Plastic window crank lever in my new car, Oct. 1965. Today a large portion of every automobile is plastic. Even the gas tank is being made from plastic. The majority of plastic comes from fossil fuels, and the refinery byproducts. Son works at a facility making products for GM from plastic. They only use “Virgin” plastic. He claimed it only takes about a pound of the wrong type of plastic in a ton of the pure material they use to destroy the entire batch and take weeks to clean up the equipment. “Recycling is only good for those “Fake” wood decks.” And that process is not exempt from contamination with the wrong type of plastic.
Farmers, if left alone, will do okay. The one thing that would be a total disaster for all of us is if
whatever they grew would start rotting when it’s 50%-60% ripe before they could harvest early to
salvage whatever food they could & they couldn’t find a way to stop it. The other’s persistent
animal diseases that are even more highly contagious & deadly than avian flu/PED. Unlike climate
change, those are things that could cause a lot of real harm.
Bill and Hillary’s win-the-day courtroom style statements and deflections have morphed into win-the-day international policy frameworks with disaster for the country participants. When it blows up, it’s of course your individual problem and not the promoter.
Ah, the mistress of the political mulligan, “At this point, what difference does it make?”
I doubt there is a single residence in Australia that does not have a refrigerator/freezer. Refrigeration is vital to the current food security achieved in Australia. One of the consequences of power outages in Australia is food loss. A single outage can cause massive financial loss for supermarkets where freezer contents must be disposed of if the temperature rises beyond a safe threshold.
Refrigeration is vital to getting the best food value from any food production. That fact is widely recognised:
And I am not in the refrigeration industry but have owned a few fridges and freezers and know how important they are to modern food security in Australia.
Since this same crowd also wants to get rid of cows I guess we will need to turn to unicorn manure…
#ClimateScientology at its finest.
The climate news cabal, Covering Climate Now, is already preparing to create the illusion of a new climate crisis: “From June 27 to July 1, Covering Climate Now and our news partners will undertake another of our signature joint coverage weeks, focused this time on an aspect of the climate story that unquestionably concerns us all: food and water.
Why food and water? Already, climate change is taking a tremendous toll on the world’s food systems. Environmental disasters and erratic temperatures have laid waste to crops, and rising seas are salinating coastal soils. The consequences for farmers and global food supplies are obvious, as are the knock-on effects for hunger, security, and the cost of food. As usual in the climate story, it’s those who are already disadvantaged who will be hurt the worst.”
“It wasn’t us what done it, gov, it was Climate Change.”
“never let a crisis go to waste” + The Big Lie + a naive populace + a complicit media = Agenda-enabling Socialism
If you’re a political class elitist or an ensconced oligarch, who doesn’t love Socialism and its caviar and champagne perks?
Like the Lolita Express.
Mark Hertsgaard and Covering Climate Now is the heart of darkness.
In my charitable moments, I assume they’re simply ignorant and innumerate fools.
In my less charitable moments, …
Saw a photo of Sam Powers recently. Not looking too healthy. Probably from promoting all the evil crap she is being told to spout. Or, meth.
As for her statements on the state of food supplies, etc. “can’t fix stupid”.
we’re working with countries to think about natural solutions like manure and compost
And just like that, icky methane-farting cattle are the Left’s grand plan for food production shortages. Is anyone else bewildered by their Through-the-Looking-Glass world?
We long ago went down the rabbit hole. The lies are everywhere around us.
After all the replies I’m surprised that no-one has mentioned the current obesity and overweight pandemic due to advertising, the constant availability of cheap and tasty food, and the general ignorance of the population about what constitutes a healthy diet.
If one considers the amount of food that is wasted each year due to lack of refrigeration and transport in poor countries, excessive buying in rich countries which results in discarding food that has passed its use-by date, restaurant meals not finished, and fruit and vegetables that are discarded by the farmers because they don’t pass the ‘cosmetic’ test, and so on, then the amount of food wasted each year amounts to a Billion Tons, or 125 Kg for every man, woman and child on the planet.
But that’s only part of the wastage. There are estimates that 39% of all adults in the world, aged over 18, are overweight. In rich countries, the percentage is 60% to 70%. This means that huge numbers of people are eating far more than they need. This is not only a wastage but is harmful to health, which can result in even greater expenditure on medical care than the cost of the excess food that has been eaten.
In reality, we probably produce about twice the amount of food, globally, that we need, and that food is often lacking in nutritional value and is contaminated with pesticide residue.
These facts should be taken into consideration when discussing Organic Farming.
The greatest institutionalized waste of agricultural effort is what goes into the production of corn that is then used to produce ethanol. The worst environmental and human tragedies are the results of government policies.
Was looking through the US National Archive of online photos for a photo of a steam engine. stumbled on a section of photos taken in and at the train station taken back in the 1940’s . It seemed as if there was not a single person with a BMI greater than 20. I even tried to find an overweight person could not find any pictures, and these photos did not appear to be staged, They also did not look like “Twiggy” the pop singer back in the early 70’s, Average weight has definitely increased, dramatically.
hell of a lot of human manure and feedlot and chookfarm waste could be used to advantage and rockdust
I suggest reading the Albrecht papers people
You don’t want to eat food grown in chicken, hog, horse, human, and cow shite. Think salmonella, hepatitis, dysentery, e-coli, any disease transmitted in poop.
uSSa didnt slap sanctions on stuff they wanted…but Russia did
case of serve you right
as for theft of private citizens homes boats and the rest?
pity that didnt apply to YOUR criminal rich as well
Our “elites” are idiots. You do NOT want manure used for many human crops. Anything grown in the soil or harvested just above the soil will be susceptible to microbiological contamination. Manure must be composted for a long time and turned frequently to reduce the risk. However, that risk is still so great most farmers are wise to avoid it. Plus, many audit schemes forbid animal and human derived compost with no exceptions. I’d rather eat my lettuce without any E. coli. thank you
Some think it was deliberate.
“to feed humanity requires massive energy that has adverse environmental impact hence the concerns of the sustainability advocates who then look to the past for the future.”
It seems clear that she’s ok to be part of a group that are potentially the biggest mass murderers in human history
More than ok, I think they have uniforms and cheerleaders. They are also looking to the past for guidance on reducing access to healthcare, transportation, home heating, and to reduce the (deplorable) life span.
“would have been in the interest of farmers to make eventually”
Right, because farmers have never used compost in the past?
Or they decided to stop using compost in favor of less-efficient chemical fertilizers?
I doubt these people have ever grown so much as a house plant.
…Because the plants wilt when they walk into the room.
The same people who think they have the solution to energy generation, and that men can have babies now have the solution to fertilizer shortages?
“Fertilizer, better genetic varieties, and better control of pests and weeds feeding the world is why the global collapse predicted by 1970s futurists did not happen.”
The totalitarian history adjusters will correct Ehrlich’s failed major famine. This is what they do with their whack a moley science. Temperatures, sea level, sea ice (at this moment they are working on new satellites and metrics to interrupt sea-ice recovery), they’re now naming ordinary rainstorms, changed the Saffir- Simpson scale for tropical storms, and tornado metrics… Tom Karl famously erased (Karlized) the 18yr Dreaded Pause and retired from NOAA!
From the look of things to date, warming with business as usual will see temperatures struggling to actually reach +1.5°C by 2100 because CO2 appears to not be the T control knob after all. However, they will claim their efforts were responsible for “saving us”.Time to start betting on this meme.
Another completely daft delusional urbanite.
Now that North Ireland has been told to exterminate much of their grazing animals, just where does Power expect them to find much more manure than they use today?
I would think the next logical step would be intensive research into giving field crops the ability to get nitrogen directly from the air. Of course this would require GMO methods which activists would rigorously oppose in order to facilitate mass starvation or other anti-human goals.
A transference of this ability from legumes to corn and wheat seems possible. It may even be necessary as the cost of fossil fuel feedstock increases.
I have seen watered down urine used very affectively on small acreages