Sri Lanka Protest. AntanO, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Claim: Cuba Shows We can Grow Food Without Fertiliser

Essay by Eric Worrall

According to Carbon Brief, the success of organic farming in Cuba and the USA demonstrates the Sri Lankan failure was caused by incompetence, not by a lack of agricultural chemicals.

Q&A: What does the world’s reliance on fertilisers mean for climate change?

11 July 2022

The global production of fertilisers is responsible for around 1.4% of annual CO2 emissions, and fertiliser use is a major contributor of non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.

Now, scientists and farmers are faced with a new dilemma: how to feed a still-growing population while reducing agriculture’s impact on climate and the environment. 

Some are trying to end their fertiliser use altogether, while others are looking at how to reduce the amount of nutrients lost by optimising fertiliser application and management. And others are trying to recover lost nutrients from waste, where they can be recycled back into the farm.

Over recent decades, several countries have attempted to make the move away from synthetic fertiliser use. Some can provide a roadmap for doing so successfully, while others act as a cautionary tale. 

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the island nation of Cuba – still under blockade from the US and without another source of agrochemicals or mechanised equipment – was forced to find a new way to farm. In the decades since, Cuba has adopted agroecological farming methods at scale. Meanwhile, the water quality of its rivers and waterways has improved significantly since agroecology became the norm. 

However, the attempted transition away from synthetic inputs in Sri Lanka went markedly less smoothly. Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced a ban on the import of agrochemicals in spring 2021 in an attempt to make the country’s agriculture more sustainable. The Sri Lanka Agricultural Economics Association warned the president that yields and farm income would drop precipitously and food insecurity would rise as a result of the policy, and the decision was met with widespread protests. Rajapaksa soon walked back some of the provisions in the ban, but protests have continued as a result of rising food prices and food shortages, along with a national economic crisis.

But Nina Prater, a livestock farmer in Arkansas and a soil scientist at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), tells Carbon Brief that farmers that she knows and works with who have switched to organic farming are seeing comparable yields to those who farm using conventional methods

Read more: https://www.carbonbrief.org/qa-what-does-the-worlds-reliance-on-fertilisers-mean-for-climate-change/

The claim that Cuba is an organic agricultural miracle in my opinion is a dangerous fiction. Even The Guardian admits Cuba uses lots of imported agricultural chemicals.

Organic or starve: can Cuba’s new farming model provide food security?

Roger Atwood
Sat 28 Oct 2017 20.00 AEDT

Cuba has never been able to feed itself. It currently imports 60-80% of the food it consumes, at a cost of about $2bn a yearTwo-thirds of its corn is imported and a similar amount of its rice, the latter mainly from Vietnam and Brazil. At markets around the country, sacks of rice can be seen piled to the rafters. Cubans love bread, but wheat doesn’t grow well in the tropical climate, so that has to be imported as well — mostly from the United States, which, in an exception to the Cold War-era trade embargo, sells food to Cuba for cash.

“It’s sad that the immense majority of farmers in Cuba still use pesticides and chemical fertilisers. They’re poison, and they enter our food,” says Pimentel, who raises 45 different crops on four hectares in an isolated valley in western Cuba. He’s proud of the fact he never uses chemicals of any kind. Yet he’s not sure his farm could ever gain certification as organic. The land, in Pinar del Río province, was once planted with tobacco, which has a reputation for high reliance on pesticides. Chemical residues from other crops wash in from neighbouring farms with the rain. 

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/28/organic-or-starve-can-cubas-new-farming-model-provide-food-security

Notice the pattern. Communism isn’t a failure, it has just never been done right. Climate models are correct, but the predicted rapid warming is masked by natural variation. And now, the claim that organic farming failed in Sri Lanka because the Sri Lankans followed the wrong roadmap.

It was bad enough when the academics promoting such ideas were just driving up the cost of home heating and gasoline with their climate alarmism. But now they are focussing their attack on the foundations of global food security, and rejecting the abundant evidence they are utterly and catastrophically wrong.

Update: h/t Speed – More confirmation the claim Cuba is an organic farming success story is nonsense. 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. …”

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Shoki Kaneda
July 12, 2022 2:02 pm

Maybe they just got the messaging wrong. That’s what Democrats say when they fail.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Shoki Kaneda
July 12, 2022 2:20 pm

Brandon’s doing a great job; the media is just not reporting it correctly.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Dave Fair
July 13, 2022 12:12 pm

They will offer and then order a vaccine for hunger.

OldGreyGuy
Reply to  Shoki Kaneda
July 12, 2022 10:21 pm

Or they say that we (the public) were just not educated enough to understand the brilliance contained in their policies and messaging which resulted in our failure to deliver the successful outcome.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  OldGreyGuy
July 13, 2022 1:53 am

That’s the standard response from any dictatorship of whatever colour

Tom Halla
July 12, 2022 2:08 pm

Organic farming, biodynamic agriculture, arose out of the German rejection of conventional science that also gave rise to the Nazis. Biodynamic agriculture is as much a rejection of science as Ariosophy, that Aryans out of Atlantis are responsible for Culture.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Tom Halla
July 13, 2022 3:04 am

funny thing is?
biodynamics works
like all basic systems not involving fast harsh chem it takes time and planning

HotScot
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 3:43 am

Farmers are a canny lot.

You can be damn sure that if biodynamics worked, was cheaper, and better for the environment, they would have been beating a path to its door.

Many farms across the world have been in ‘the family’ for generations. They are quite capable of planning long term and usually do. You can be sure farmers know about biodynamics and don’t do it for very sound reasons.

Imagining they don’t do it because they are incapable of planning is insulting.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 8:57 am

Crap.
You need to add crap.
Large amounts help yields, but urea, phosphate, potash are better. Geoff S

John the Econ
July 12, 2022 2:08 pm

I generally ignore what people say when I can just as easily study what people do. When people start hopping on makeshift boats to cross shark-infested waters from Florida to live in the abundantly fed worker’s paradise of Cuba, then I’ll start to believe.

HotScot
Reply to  John the Econ
July 13, 2022 3:46 am

My late Father in Law was, for some years, the UN appointed Senior Forester in Cuba in the 60’s. His dealings were direct with Fidel and his brother Raul.

He maintained, until his death, that there is nothing good about Cuba.

john harmsworth
Reply to  HotScot
July 13, 2022 12:16 pm

I’ve been there and seen some of it. Not a lot of arable land Some of the valleys can grow, but most of it is hilly, rocky and jungle on top of rock. They’ve been trying hard for 60 years to feed themselves and they haven’t figured it out yet.

Gerard O'Dowd
Reply to  john harmsworth
July 13, 2022 3:51 pm

Given the lack of arable land, do Cubans have a state or privately owned fishing industry or aquaculture capability?

ResourceGuy
July 12, 2022 2:11 pm

Cuba also sells its votes at the UN to Russia when called on with compensation as part of the deal.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  ResourceGuy
July 13, 2022 3:05 am

cant blame em for that.
if ussa dealt fairly then they probably wouldnt.

MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:07 am

And there you go again.
Cuba is screwed up due to communism, the USA had nothing to do with it.
You’re just upset that communism has failed.

John Bell
July 12, 2022 2:16 pm

How does Cuba pay for anything? What do they produce? Okay, cigars…

ResourceGuy
Reply to  John Bell
July 12, 2022 2:30 pm

They get tourism dollars from Canada and Europe where the beachgoers apparently don’t mind the slave labor attendants or regional defense issues or occasional boat lift immigrant floods or Cuban export of thugocracy to central and south America producing millions more refugees.

MM from Canada
Reply to  ResourceGuy
July 12, 2022 3:06 pm

This is one Canadian who will NEVER go to Cuba as long as it is a Communist country. Decided that decades ago.

Nick
Reply to  MM from Canada
July 12, 2022 6:38 pm

Hasn’t Justin Castreau brought communism to Canadians?

Reply to  Nick
July 12, 2022 9:32 pm

No need to travel. Justin has brought Cuba to Canada.

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  Allan MacRae
July 13, 2022 4:45 am

Yes he has ….genetically and ideologically

Gordon Pratt
Reply to  Nick
July 14, 2022 6:55 am

Justin Castreau a.k.a Fidelito Trudeau

Robert MacLellan
Reply to  MM from Canada
July 12, 2022 7:18 pm

I know several repeat tourists who load their suitcases with toilet paper and memory sticks as trade items/gratuities when planning their trips to Cuba….not for me either.

Sparko
Reply to  Robert MacLellan
July 13, 2022 9:35 am

And pens and paper

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  ResourceGuy
July 13, 2022 9:01 am

Money from cigar sales?
Be careful of mega-lawyers using cases from climate change as precedents, that cigar makers knew about dangers of smoking but failed to act for better health outcomes. Geoff S

Kelvin Duncan
Reply to  John Bell
July 12, 2022 2:33 pm

Do the autocrats in Cuba “hire” out workers (i.e., slaves) to other countries, as source of external income? I do know that some countries have had to reject Cuban doctors because of their poor training.

Richard Page
Reply to  Kelvin Duncan
July 12, 2022 3:26 pm

Usually those ‘workers’ will arrive in military uniform with guns and tanks; Cuba’s biggest export over the years since 1966 has been military intervention forces. For the services of those forces Cuba has received large amounts of money from the Soviets ostensibly for a hugely overpriced sugar cane crop – a fig leaf for the proxy warfare.

Scissor
Reply to  Kelvin Duncan
July 12, 2022 4:01 pm

Cuban doctors, nurses, dentists are farmed out to the Congo, Venezuela, etc., and if they don’t go, well they miss out on that $25/month pay.

Patriot mom
Reply to  Kelvin Duncan
July 16, 2022 10:07 am

Yes, they do…but not like manual workers. They send doctors, nurses, dentists to other countries. The medical people are paid a pittance of what the country itself gets for these “workers”. They also generally send them without their families to make sure they will return to Cuba. It is NOT a good situation. So many broken, hurting families.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  John Bell
July 12, 2022 3:16 pm

Sugar, tobacco, nickel, doctors—in that order.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 12, 2022 3:57 pm

Cuba sent security forces to Venezuela to help Maduro control the situation in exchage for oil.

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  Anti-griff
July 13, 2022 5:04 am

Fidel Castro was the arch villain in the egregious United Nations motion equating Zionism with racism . he sent tank regiments to fight against Israel in the 73 Yom Kippur War and more troops and military advisers to assist Mengistu’s cruel dictatorship , driving the Somali’s from the Ogaden and helping to enforce the Derg orchestrated famine that killed tens of thousands of recalcitrant ethnic tribespeople ….Cuban soldiers were involved in the food blockades ..I never learned this in the 1980’s when Bob Geldorf and our favorite musicians got together to form the ‘ Live Aid concerts to feed the starving in Ethiopia ..Castro is romanticized as a liberation caudillo in Africa because he was on the opposing side that defeated the South African apartheid regime in the Angolan and Namibian bush wars but that is not what he was ..

Richard Page
Reply to  Stuart Hamish
July 13, 2022 9:29 am

Bob Geldof got frustrated with the various established ways of supplying the region with aid so just handed out the Live Aid money to local leaders. He is single-handedly responsible for increasing the size of the local warlords military forces and did bugger all to help the people of the region.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Anti-griff
July 13, 2022 12:19 pm

Great handle! Lol! Pretty much like Mensa membership!

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 12, 2022 7:00 pm

A lot of Latin Americans go to Cuba for medical treatment as well as cosmetic surgery.
Chavez went their for his cancer treatment. Foreign patients are treated on the top floor of a
hospital so the locals can’t see the differences in quality of care. If a Cuban wants aspirin, band-aids, towels, sheets, …, they have to bring them with or go without.

Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 12, 2022 8:27 pm

Thanks to communism, Cubans are so wealthy that they invest their savings in 1950s US classic cars. Unlike Americans, who can’t afford the leaded gasoline for their classic cars, the Cubans not only can afford gasoline, but they maintain their classic American cars and still use them. No newfangled electric cars for them. Cuba became the worker’s paradise that communists always wanted. And they drive those cool classic 1950s American cars too.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  John Bell
July 13, 2022 3:06 am

american pharmas setup there to save taxes and get cheap labour and all sorts of financial dodges

MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:10 am

Do you have any evidence of that? Or is that just more of your, if it’s bad, the US must be responsible, ideology?

ResourceGuy
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 14, 2022 7:39 am

So, Puerto Rico is now Cuba in troll land.

Slowroll
Reply to  John Bell
July 13, 2022 7:49 am

Even their cigars are now crap. Dominican are far better. BTW, that’s where most of the Cuban cigar makers went after Castro took over.

Mr.
July 12, 2022 2:26 pm

It could work Eric.
If all we wanted to eat was sugar cane, which grows well in places like Cuba.

AndyHce
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 12, 2022 3:44 pm

Years ago I read a history of California’s Lundberg Farms. No doubt it was self promoting to some extent but it detailed years of trial and error they persisted through to achieve profitable commercial scale rice production without use of synthetic chemicals, without sterilizing the soil as so many farms do. They applied scientific principles of experiment, data analysis, and changes of hypothesis to explain real world evidence.

Whether or not Sir Lanka could have been successful, a very major problem was what we see in western governments, such as at Glasgow with all the idiots saying
‘We will do it in 5 years less”
“We will see your five years and raise you five years faster”
and so on, into total stupidity, without having any idea how to do what they claimed they would do.

If Sri Lanka had followed the original plan of phasing out chemicals over the next 10 years, instead of suddenly going cold turkey and expecting a miracle from on high, there might have been a chance for a markedly different outcome. They could have run trial acreage plots to see the results and look for solutions to problems. Maybe there would not have been any acceptable solution, maybe there would have been. I know from experience that 10 years of efforts can make an amazing difference in the soil.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
July 12, 2022 4:37 pm

Organic farming can be profitable, since there are always fools who will pay a premium price for inferior goods, so long as it will allow them to show off their virtue signalling.

If Sri Lanka had spent 10 years to go full organic, that would only have given the population more time to get used to starving. Organic farming always produces less food on more land.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  MarkW
July 12, 2022 4:44 pm

You nailed it!

It’s hard enough to get a good crop using fertilizer and insecticide. Too many other vagaries to have to contend with, the more you can control the better the crop.

AndyHce
Reply to  MarkW
July 12, 2022 7:11 pm

Evidence from various sources says “always” is not true. I can’t evaluate that evidence; that requires considerable data and unbiased comparison of results from both sides of the street, not arguments based on beliefs.

Besides, the rational approach would have been, as I wrote above, to do test plots so real data would have been available. I have no doubt that problems would have been observed and changes in practice would have been necessary to reach whatever optimum is possible. From there, if results were favorable, there could have been a plan for how farmers were to phase in the new practices. One such phase, almost certainly, would have been to restore soil life, which in itself would have taken some years. (Does that resemble an approach that should have been done for wind and solar electrical generation?)

Also, no matter how successful trials were, there would always be a fraction that would decide they knew better, based on their personal beliefs. Those would go they own way into oblivion doing what was previously found to be detrimental. (Again, resembling western electrical generation practices of the past several decades?)

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
July 12, 2022 8:44 pm

At no time has “organic” ever come close to producing as much crops as standard farming. There’s no need for fancy evaluation, it’s just a basic fact.

Yes, doing test plots might have slowed the crash, but it would have still crashed.

AndyHce
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 1:13 am

Since here are claims to the contrary from research groups, I wonder what evidence you are depending on to make you statement?

They may be easier, perhaps they are mostly cheaper, but synthetic fertilizers are not necessary to provide optimum nutrition to plants. The vegetable kingdom was doing fine before humans invented the Haber process and the Birkeland–Eyde process.

Insect and weed pests do have other successful treatments, and are often minimal under good conditions, as I found with my 10 years of gardening.

I can’t say what intelligent, unbiased research would show but I suspect you have only an opinion with no real world data either. The fact that Sri Lanka had so many problems under the stupid, imposed conditions they suffered in complete ignorance, says nothing what so ever about the possibilities.

Stuart Hamish
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 5:10 am

What happened in Sri Lanka was another tragic chapter of Green Lysenkoism Andy Hce…….Another was the banning of DDT

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 7:14 am

I prefer data from actual farms rather than papers from research groups and modelers.

As to nature doing fine, that’s true, however output from farms increased dramatically when fertilizers are used.

And yes, there are other methods to control insects, however none are as efficient as modern chemicals.

There are reasons why farmers world over spend their own money to buy fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides. It’s because they work and have been proven to be cost effective.

Just because some hobbiest manages to grow something in his backyard is not proof that “organic” farming is better.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 10:10 am

My grandfather on my father’s side told us stories about growing up on the Kansas prairies in the late 1800’s. Still used horses for some farm tasks. Hand hoed corn, cutting wheat with a scythe and using a steam thresher, canning and drying food. Life was hard. Wasn’t enough food every winter, let alone surplus to share. Wasn’t unknown for fathers to die in their 40’s. Needed large families to help with the farm. Shoestring budgets, had to sell enough corn and wheat to buy seed for next season.

This was *all* organic farming. I don’t call it “organic” farming. It is subsistence farming.

rxc
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 14, 2022 7:20 am

^^THIS is the situation that Progressives are working to create. Many fewer people, happily singing as they plant, harvest, and process fruits and veggies by hand. Guided by a small number of SMART people from wise institutions, with a wise, empathetic queen as their leader. Preferably one who is strong, trans, and able to both sire and bear offspring at the same time. Lots of hand-made, artisanale objects, nothing mass produced. And everyone walks, everywhere, except, maybe for the SMART people.

ATheoK
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 6:38 pm

I fully back MarkW’s claims.

I spent several years with my father and brothers trying to make a small farm organic produce pay a profit.

It never did. Nor did it ever come close to paying a profit.
None of us earned any cash from all of that “organic” effort.

During that period of time, early 1970s, I attended several presentations by Pennsylvania’s Extension services as they pushed USDA’s “Organic” marketing program.

The term “Organic” is nothing but a marketing term, meant to take advantage of people who allegedly are willing to pay more for “organic” produce.

USDA’s claim was that small farmers could charge higher prices for specialty niche products.

I did pick up a lot of tales about dealing arrogant greedy and ignorant people who stopped to purchase vegetables from us.

Since then, I’ve seen many people claim to raise organic foods. Most go out of business within a few years.

Especially, since giant ag-companies now own “organic” food production and market.

I find it amusing that many of the commercial greenhouses are big into producing “Organic” foods using hydroponics.

I’ve yet to see any hydroponics setups use manure solutions to grow their small leaf lettuce, greens, tomatoes and peppers.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 3:14 am

funny how you call chem farming standard?
ALL farming was organic until the chemcos needed to find a use for the toxic waste after the wars. sort of like Fluoride IS toxic waste until they use it in water supplies, then suddenly its “science” and a good thing and sells for decent money instead of having to pay to dispose of it

Last edited 2 months ago by ozspeaksup
MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:18 am

And we find out even more things that you are absolutely ignorant of.

So the only reason why companies developed fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides was because they wanted a way to dump their wastes? Really? The fact that work and farmers want to buy them is just corporate propaganda?

LIke everything, flouride is toxic in large doses. However it is very useful in small doses.

Perhaps if you get over your paranoia of CIA agents under your bed and gave up you belief that the free market is evil, you might finally manage to learn something.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 10:16 am

Three major innovations made farming what it is today. Gasoline/diesel implements, man-made fertilizers, and usable insectisides.

Those three things let a minority of the population feed all the rest. Lose those and you go back to 80% of the population farming on 40-80 acres wondering if they’ll harvest enough food to make it thru the winter. Major cities depopulated by 80%.

My guess is that those advocating for organic farming have *never* used a hoe on a 1 acre plot of corn to keep weeds down. They would literally lay down and die after three days of trying to take care of a 40 acre farm, including the livestock you need to survive.

Doug B
Reply to  MarkW
July 14, 2022 1:07 pm

There is nothing wrong with being paranoid about the CIA agent under the bed. I solved that problem by putting the mattress on the floor! Problem is the stealth cloaking device he has now. Sigh…

ATheoK
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 6:49 pm

ALL farming was organic until the chemcos needed to find a use for the toxic waste after the wars.”

Rubbish.

Bat guano and bird guano were harvested and sold as fertilizer long before the “wars” you allude to.

Graham
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 12, 2022 6:56 pm

You nailed it Eric .
Farming has become quite scientific in the last 60 years .
Many trials have been undertaken by agricultural scientists growing many crops (including pasture ) with a range of fertilizer inputs after initial soil testing in small plots and then in paddock sized trials .
Fertilizer is a huge expense, most farmers and growers do not throw it around and the majority know that they will only waste money using more fertilizer than is required with out soil testing .
Just a comment on using waste .Poultry manure from broiler and egg farms makes good fertilizer although the analysis is N3 P2 K1 so cartage and spreading costs are higher than with NPK manufactured fertilizer say N12 P10 K 8.
You would think that organic farms would line up to use poultry manure but the can only used Certified Organic on their farms if they are certified Organic .
Organic dairy farms in New Zealand are producing 30% to 50% less milk than there neighbors and I challenge any one to tell the difference of the milk or cheese or to even test the milk for from non organic and find any difference or traces of contaminants .

Joao Martins
Reply to  Graham
July 13, 2022 3:12 am

I totaly agree with you.

In some crops there may be (I wrote “there may be”!…) two optimum ECONOMIC optima: one at low or very low productivity per area, in this case you do not spend money in chemicals, machinery, etc. and your productivity is so low that the manpower for carng and collecting it is much reduced; the other optimum would be the application of the best of our knowledge, reaching high or very high productivity per area (in some cases, less than that will be very profitable) with all the fertilizers, pest control and machinery tha reduces manpower. I made this study in my country, in wine production and apple and pera production. But the conclusion (two optima) cannot be generalized to each and every crop plant.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Graham
July 13, 2022 3:21 am

yes sadly the organic movement also has its commisars and those after profit providing approvals. I grow organic when I am well enough to do so, but would NEVER join the organic mobs, theyre as regimented as pharma farmers are controlled by their own setups.

ATheoK
Reply to  Graham
July 13, 2022 6:55 pm

Amen!

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 12, 2022 7:08 pm

Like every other business that is lucrative, enough people will shift to it until the
profit is wrung out of the business & it becomes commoditized. This is
especially true in the West where borrowing is almost assumed to be necessary
to start a business. With agricultural products, the more that is produced in
aggregate, the less that total amount is worth because of the product’s
negative elasticity.

AndyHce
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 12, 2022 7:13 pm

A great deal of “fertilise” is wasted every day. Organic does not mean starving the plants.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
July 12, 2022 8:46 pm

Do you have any evidence to support this belief?
Of the fertilizer that is wasted, do you have any evidence that it is coming from farms?

AndyHce
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 1:15 am

Visit your local sewage plant.

Last edited 2 months ago by AndyHce
AndyHce
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 1:16 am

another damn “edit” that gives absolutely no access to the comment. Word Press or whatever this is has frequent failures.

HotScot
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 3:59 am

A bit like organic farming then?

You can be damn sure that if organic farming was an optimal route to go, farmers would have done it without government intervention.

Many farms are generational and farmers are often as scientifically qualified as any other profession.

Frankly, it’s insulting to this highly capable, intelligent, hard working community for others to tell them what’s best.

Which is precisely what happened in Sri Lanka and what’s about to happen in Holland. Know nothing politicians who should be listening to their populace, deciding they know better.

The sooner we kick these left wing scum out our politics the better. And yes, many so called Conservative politicians are no more than left wing, would be dictators.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 7:20 am

Works fine for me. Perhaps Word Press is just out to get you.

paul courtney
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 10:11 am

Mr. Hce: Frequent failures?! Wonder if wordpress uses only organic pixels. It’s works half as good every time!

ozspeaksup
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 3:26 am

yes! tonnes day wasted to effluent to oceans and a small amt saved for solids handled badly and treated worse sold at stupid prices forced paperwork and regimentation if used. been there trying to encourage and use it from SAwater and it was a lousy product no biolife and full of rocks and debris that ruined users spreaders, a costly and epic fail as far as we were concerned. product in a jar from Qld water stored for years had more biological life after soaking!! go figure?

MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:22 am

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that this hash made sense to you while it was still in your head.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 7:19 am

So farmers are dumping fertilizer into their toilets?
BTW, the storm run off in sewage plants is coming from cities, not farms. You are so eager to support organic that you don’t even bother to examine the data you use.

ATheoK
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 7:14 pm

Farms and farmers do not send water/sewage to sewage plants.

PCman999
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 9:52 pm

My local sewage plant is in the city as are most sewage plants! Rural areas don’t have sewage plants, just individual septic tanks.

The whole N issue is just a bunch of wanker politicians trying to look busy so they get the votes and donations from the green useful idiots.

ih_fan
Reply to  AndyHce
July 14, 2022 11:06 am

Visit your local sewage plant.

Why?

Joao Martins
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 3:22 am

Re: my previous comment to Andy’s: yes, I have evidence. Not published: obtained in several enterprises for routinely adjusting their fertilizer inputs. They are a technological routine in the best enterprises.

Doonman
Reply to  AndyHce
July 12, 2022 9:16 pm

Nonsense. Farmers are in business to make a profit and they waste nothing. The crops they plant are well known as to their nutrient requirements and soils are tested regularly for nutrient levels. Nobody applies more fertilizer than is required, it harms the plants and wastes the profit margin.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Doonman
July 13, 2022 3:28 am

your crop grains go off farm so does hay etc, little is returned to soils thats useful stubble left to rot is NOT useful its a hazard. allowing grazing of stubble produces more useful byproducts, and keeps some of the uptaken minerals etc BACK to the soils and allows worms and dungbeetles to do GOOD. chem fertiliser kills worms and beetles

ATheoK
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:34 pm

chem fertiliser kills worms and beetles”

Nope! More nonsense.

If it did, farmers wouldn’t need insecticides and Japanese and June beetle, flour beetle populations would be forgotten memories.

Somehow, you seem to believe that farmers routinely pour toxic levels of chemicals all over their farms…

Farmers care intensely for the health of their farms. The only place a farmer might handle a toxic concentration of fertilizer is as they measure it into a tank of water. Usually a very large tank, so the farmer can spread it efficiently.

As sprayed from the tank, there is noting harmful in the spray to kill anything.
Not beetles, worms, earwigs, click beetles, aphids, birds, dogs, cats, etc.

You are having problems with your farm and farmer gross assumptions.

I’ve seen suburbanites burn dead patches into their lawns by using too much fertilizer. Contrary to the beliefs of the ignorant, more fertilizer will not make plants grow faster/thicker.

Sewers are components of suburbs and population dense centers. Not used by most farms, unless the farm is surrounded by suburbia/urban centers and they were forced to pay sewer installation fees.

Katio1505
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 8:33 pm

It’s a pity that ozspeaksup never learned to punctuate. The contributions might make more sense if s/he had.

Joao Martins
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 3:17 am

No, Andy: if fertilizer is lost, then you have bad scientific management of the crop: you are losing money. Good agronomy aims (and achieves!) the application of the right amounts of fertilizers so that all will be uptaken and losses reduced at a minimum (usualy, caused by specific weather conditions very different from the short term forecasts).

ATheoK
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 7:11 pm

A great deal of “fertilise” is wasted every day.”

Not on farms. It costs far too much to spread the right amount, according to soil tests, over many acres.

The larger the plot, the more $thousands it takes to spread just enough fertilizer.

The same goes for insecticides and herbicides.

Where too much fertilizer/insecticide/herbicides are spread, are on lawns in suburbia and urban areas.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 13, 2022 3:17 am

theres these thing called chickens and ducks they worlk killing bugs n slugs etc for free pretty much provide ongoing fertilising and soil turning as do worms who like their poop inputs as well, and a light mist of copper sulphate or iodine kills fungus and so for that does teatree oil for a safer garden and food.

MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:25 am

It never ceases to amaze me how people who’s only experience with growing things is limited to not killing the flowers in a window box consider themselves more knowledgeable about farming than are people who have been doing it for generations.

PCman999
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 10:01 pm

It also never ceases to amaze me that he considers himself so much more intelligent than the farmers, and yet can not put together a short comment that has a coherent idea and is free from grammatical and spelling errors.

Esmerelda
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 8:12 am

So, by your estimate, how many birds would be needed to police the fields we need to feed everyone, and how much backup technology and staff would be required to manage this livestock humanely and efficiently? A rough estimate is sufficient and do no forget replacement animals, veterinary bills and how to manage the explosion in predators, and the required bio security.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Esmerelda
July 13, 2022 10:22 am

You took the words right out of my mouth. Turn a couple hundred chickens/ducks loose in a field and then try to keep the foxes, coyotes, owls, and hawks from killing them all!

ATheoK
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 13, 2022 8:20 pm

Roosters will kill each other every chance they get.

Katio1505
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 13, 2022 8:42 pm

A little off-topic. Years ago in China I saw a rice farmer have his rice paddy cleaned out of snails and other delicacies by a professional duck owner who brought in dozens of ‘trained’ ducks to move through the paddy in a wave. A win for the farmer and the duck owner!

TonyG
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 9:36 am

“theres these thing called chickens and ducks they worlk killing bugs n slugs etc for free”

How many chickens per acre are needed? How many of them for 100 acres?

Oh, btw, how much do chickens cost, and what is the cost of feeding them (you going to let them live off what they catch?)

And what do you do with all those chickens when the harvester comes along? How much work to round up 100 acres of chickens?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  TonyG
July 13, 2022 10:23 am

You won’t have to worry about rounding them up. The coyotes, foxes, hawks, owls, bobcats, etc will have winnowed them down to nothing by the time you harvest!

TonyG
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 13, 2022 11:30 am

Good point, Tim.

ATheoK
Reply to  TonyG
July 13, 2022 8:27 pm

Oh, btw, how much do chickens cost, and what is the cost of feeding them (you going to let them live off what they catch?)”

It’s not just the cost and feed and housing effort. One must keep in mind that chickens are harvested at specific stages for food; 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks depending on whether one wants Cornish hens, fryers, roast chicken or soup stock.

Chickens older than 8 weeks are soup stock, often still chewy even after pressure cooking.

Meaning that the poor farmer must keep track of all loose birds and their ages.

ATheoK
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 8:16 pm

Really!?

You mean you buy these chickens, ducks and weeder geese from suburbanites and city dwellers? They teach people to use these ‘new’ labor saving critters?

I believe you will find the majority of these critters, along with pigs, sheep, goats, cattle, cows and even rabbits are sold by farms.

Nor is it worth a large farm’s efforts to spread chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits and even cattle willy-nilly across their lands.
Because, unlike the beliefs of small growers, these small animals are much less selective about what they consider food than is claimed by the organic mags.

Ducks, chickens, and geese love berry crops. They’ll clean up all ripe and semi-ripe berries in a twinkling and they’ll ignore insects while chowing down on the berries.

I’ve had my ducks eat my azalea’s and rhododendrons.
During Japanese beetle season, ducks are the best eradication method I have seen.

Usually, we collect and eat the duck eggs. When the azaleas and rhododendrons vanished, we didn’t eat duck eggs for several weeks.
We also abstained from duck eggs when they were siphoning up immense numbers of Japanese beetles. JP beetles are quite bitter tasting.

I had to stop raising ducks when a distant neighbor complained that my ducks were eating his daffodils, tulips and lilies.

A neighbor’s goose liked to sneak up on people and bite their butts. A goose can bruise a lot of flesh quickly.

I’ve had chickens peck holes in people’s sandaled feet. It’s surprising how many people run from a chicken rather than kick the bloodthirsty critter.
For a dumb bird, chickens are quick to learn who kicks them. It’s kind of amusing watching educated birds try to sneak up on the feet of a person who will kick them.

Then there is the problems, that there are many weeds, none of the alleged weed eating animals will touch. e.g., thistle plants.

Once again, a human has to crawl along and hand pull every freaking thistle plant along with other central root weeds like dandelions, plantains, etc.
Weeding a few acres this way means limping for a few days until the knees recover. Meanwhile, one tries to de-thorn one’s gloves from the thistles.

Then there is the issue that herbivores must be fenced in to control them. The smaller animals, chickens, ducks, geese, etc. must have their wings pinioned to prevent them from flying over fences or leaving the area entirely.

Raising quail, pheasants and similar animals requires a permit from the state and irregular visits by wildlife officials to ‘inspect’ the premises, pens and hutches.

Pigs not only need a strong fence, but prudent practitioners of husbandry, bury the bottom of the fence at least two feet deep.
Pigs will root under shallower fences.

Loose pigs mean irate neighbors.

Unless a farm specializes at raising large numbers of fowl, rabbits, goats, sheep, it is much too hard for farmers to set up winter and summer housing, then have to constantly pay attention to where and what their animals are eating.

Doug B
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 14, 2022 1:16 pm

That’s going to require a really big flock of chickens for the millions of acres (hectares) farmed! I would enjoy the videos of the chicken roundups before harvest.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Mr.
July 13, 2022 2:56 am

No, not even sugar cane! It grows well in that “climate”, but plants need a lot more than (un)clean (ie, with CO2…) air and warm temperature, so does sugar cane: without fertilizers it would become in a few years a thin fragile weed (would be too long to explain here the complexity of the roles and interactions of calcium, potassium and silicium and their chemistry in soils).

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Joao Martins
July 13, 2022 3:29 am

banning burning of cane for greentards happiness factors meant more bugs and less nutrient returned to soils as well as more rats etc again

Joseph Borsa
July 12, 2022 2:50 pm

Repeat anything often enough and eventually some people will believe it.
Thank heavens that “you can fool some of the people some of the time, but none of the people all of the time”.

Rick C
Reply to  Joseph Borsa
July 12, 2022 4:24 pm

Joe B. > Not quite true. In the US you can apparently fool some of the people all the time. We call them Democrats.

Speed
July 12, 2022 3:03 pm

“They’re poison, and they enter our food,” says Pimentel, who raises 45 different crops on four hectares in an isolated valley in western Cuba. He’s proud of the fact he never uses chemicals of any kind.”

It’s nice to know that he raises 45 different crops but more interesting and useful is how much of each does he raise. Diversity is interesting but volume is important.

FYI. Four hectares is about 10 acres. I had to look it up.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Speed
July 12, 2022 4:02 pm

He likely barely raises enough to feed himself

jeff corbin
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 13, 2022 10:35 am

on 10 acres… if he knew what he was doing he could produce 20 tons of produce. but he would still have to go to the store to buy flour, butter, meat, eggs, fish, milk etc. or he could trade produce for those things in the local market, which I did easily in the Philly farmers market where I sold my produce.

jeff corbin
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 13, 2022 10:52 am

Eric I am aware of apple orchards in PA, who benefit from the pesticides sprayed on vast fields of grain and corn. Beautiful “no spray” apples. All the other fruit grower have a constant battle with Curculios and coddling moths and other pests.

but with produce gardens…. dead zones are real. I have a large garden on my property which I produce food for the family because it just makes financial good sense for me . the guy next door put in a field of corn and sprayed it with herbicide and pesticides. Practically killed my fruit trees. There was a lot of run off that crossed my property into a nearby under the road culvert…within 10 feet of half my garden. The next year we were inundated with bean and potatoes beetles because all the lace wings and small sucking wasp where killed off by the pesticides and there was nothing to feed on the beetle larvae. It took 2-3 years for things to return to normal.

Organics non-organic….the story is a red herring.

50,000 acres of wheat cannot be compared to a 10 acre market garden in Cuba or PA. Organic is a no brainer for the market gardener, it’s simple cheap and profitable, for the 50,000 acres of wheat, you simply have to do what is needed to get that crop safely into market at the lowest cost possible. If organic culture advances to the point it works for the 50,000 acre wheat farm,,,, then it’s a no brainer, until the greenies just need to get a clue.

PCman999
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 13, 2022 10:05 pm

He’s getting free fertilization and weed control and yet he’s worried about the organic certification – but of course with his tiny farm he needs that to guarantee inflated prices for his undersized produce.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Speed
July 13, 2022 3:31 am

done well he would feed his own families and a few locals as well as some to sell to buy things he needs

MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:27 am

Amazing how you know exactly what this farmer needs, despite not knowing anything about him or his farm.

paul courtney
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 10:23 am

Mr. W: There’s a reason his screen name is not “ozlistens”.

PCman999
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 10:07 pm

Done intelligently with modern technology he could feed thousands, not just his neighbors.

Are you really looking forward to millions starving? Or are you just looking forward to inflated food prices?

Patrick B
Reply to  Speed
July 13, 2022 7:19 am

“45 different crops on four hectares” Yep that’s when I knew this guy was an idiot and not a competent farmer. The only reason you would grow that many “crops” on that small of a plot is to feed yourself. The fact the author didn’t question it means the author is an idiot.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Patrick B
July 13, 2022 10:19 am

That’s about 400 acres. How are you going to farm that with no gas/diesel implements, no fertilizer, and no insecticides?

You would have to have a large family just to manage 160 acres!

PCman999
Reply to  Patrick B
July 13, 2022 10:10 pm

10 acres is about 50 times the size of my urban plot – basically it’s a city block sized hobby farm. He should be growing rare boutique crops or …or you know what… to make his tiny farm truly useful on a global scale or else he’s just wasting the land.

jeff corbin
Reply to  Speed
July 13, 2022 10:32 am

I have 3000 feet of 4 foot beds and I grow about 45 crops (potatoes, garlic, onion, leeks, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes. Lettuce, peppers, Tomatillo, ground cherries, cabbage, apples, cherries ,grapes, peaches, elderberries, eggplant, rutabaga, radishes, turnips, parsnips, melons, bean, String beans, beets, blueberries, blackberries …and so on). If he knows what he is doing and has labor and a good water supply, he could produce18-20 tons of produce a year on ten acres, potatoes, turnips, carrots, onion, pumpkins etc are heavy. If he does companion planting and has a good culture he could avoid pesticides and doing so would save him money. If he has enough labor and a good garden culture he would not have to use herbicides If he also raises chicken, pigs and other live stock he would not have to buy fertilizer. He he has enough grazing land, he would not have to grow a lot of hay and grain to feed them. The guy could do quite well if he has access to a high end farmer’s market and cheap labor. When I did the farmer’s markets in Philly, I made $3 a lbs for my produce 10 years ago. Small produce farming, it make sense to do it organically because it’s cheaper and you get the organic premium in the market. No brainer. Great option for local market farming and families. But try to provide enough grain for the world… forget it.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  jeff corbin
July 13, 2022 12:03 pm

Ten acres simply isn’t enough to raise crops to feed a family while also trying to feed livestock. Chickens will do ok if you supplement their feed. So too will a couple of hogs but you’ll need far more than ten acres to have enough pasture to keep them fed. Bigger animals? Cows and horses? Depending on where you live you’ll need five to seven acres unless you supplement their feed. Growing subsistence food plus on ten acres won’t leave enough room for very much livestock and their food supplements will eat away at any profit you might get from selling excess crop harvest.

That’s why minimum farm sizes used to be 40 acres when *real* organic farming was done.

MM from Canada
July 12, 2022 3:05 pm

Hmmm. I recall reading somewhere recently that there isn’t enough manure in the world to cover the needs of farmers for fertilizer. Furthermore, since the Western world is now trying to shut down animal husbandry as well as the oil and gas industry, the natural result of that is even LESS manure available.
So what is their plan – to starve 90% of the world’s people to death in order to “save the planet”?

Last edited 2 months ago by MM from Canada
Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  MM from Canada
July 12, 2022 3:08 pm

Yep. That’s the feature, not a glitch.

Mr.
Reply to  MM from Canada
July 12, 2022 3:16 pm

Well there’s no shortage of batshit from the crazy lefties at the moment.
Maybe that could be used as fertilizer?

alastair gray
Reply to  Mr.
July 12, 2022 10:19 pm

And Wuhan Flu as a featured by product

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Mr.
July 13, 2022 3:32 am

sign on a truck locally
save the environment plant a greenie

PCman999
Reply to  Mr.
July 13, 2022 10:12 pm

No, it would poison the ground.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  MM from Canada
July 12, 2022 3:30 pm

Of course plants can grow with less than optimal soil chemistry. Crops will then also be sub-optimal.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  DMacKenzie
July 13, 2022 3:33 am

normal plants wont be
gm modded ones may well be

MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:29 am

Normal plants grow just as well no matter what the soil conditions are?
And to think, actual farmers never knew this. They’ve been wasting money on expensive chemicals and seeds for years. However, you, who have never been near an actual farm have managed to figure it out.
What a world class genius you are. Have you applied for a Nobel yet?

TonyG
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 9:42 am

“Crops will then also be sub-optimal.”
“normal plants wont be”

Have you ever actually grown anything? With a statement like that I find it difficult to believe that you have.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  TonyG
July 13, 2022 10:24 am

Where do you get seeds for “normal” plants today?

TonyG
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 13, 2022 11:43 am

What IS a “normal” plant?

My best guess would be heirlooms. Most of them tend to have a lot of insect and disease susceptibility. That’s one reason for many of the hybrids. They’re not doing very well in less-than-optimum conditions.

Hybrids may do better, but are still impacted significantly by soil conditions.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  TonyG
July 13, 2022 12:09 pm

You’ll still find it difficult to find enough heirloom seeds for a farm. It’s not like the little packets of heirloom tomatoes at the local Tractor Supply will suffice.

TonyG
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 13, 2022 1:54 pm

No argument on that, Tim.

PCman999
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 10:16 pm

Optimal means “at a level to feed thousands”. You seem to think it’s ok to just grow enough food for the neighbors, while of course they grow enough of other needed crops to feed you – so basically just subsistence farming. What about the other %95 of the population that lives and works in the city, who’s going to grow their food while you gentlemen farmers pretend it’s 1776?

rxc
Reply to  PCman999
July 14, 2022 7:36 am

As someone else has said, they just die, along with all the services and supplies they produce, a lot of which are important to even a subsistence farming existence. Such as metals for tools. When the metals go away, you are reduced to wood and stone. Not a pleasant subsistence..

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  MM from Canada
July 12, 2022 4:02 pm

Never talk about fight club

Old Man Winter
Reply to  MM from Canada
July 12, 2022 7:37 pm

My guess, is what Klaus Schwab said- we’ll be eating bugs (& I’d add plants & fish) as they
have much, much better feed conversion ratios (FCR) than the animals we’re eating now. This also
follows from the ESG stuff the libs are pushing. Limit the supply of normal meats & the prices will
skyrocket. Offering bugs, plants, & fish at a price you can afford vs the option of starving & you’ll be
marching to their tune ASAP. (BTW, I ate armadillo lung, rattlesnake & lemony ants as part of two
different survival experiences. It sure beats having a blah taste in your mouth & a growling
stomach!)

Wiki- Feed conversion ratio (FCR)

Larry Fink- forcing behaviors

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIBlha7LF7s

Larry Fink- markets like totalitarian governments

Last edited 2 months ago by Old Man Winter
ozspeaksup
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 13, 2022 3:34 am

blackrock would know, theyre buying a lot of fertiliser suppliers up and land etc

MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:30 am

How long have you had this hatred towards anyone who has more than you do?

PCman999
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 10:21 pm

Bingo! They’re not called ‘green’ because of their alleged concern for tree and the rest of the biosphere, but because they are green with envy of other people’s stuff especially big pickups that block their view driving down the road, and the big delicious meal of steak and vegetables.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  MM from Canada
July 13, 2022 3:31 am

yes

Patriot mom
Reply to  MM from Canada
July 16, 2022 10:13 am

Yes, I think that IS the plan. The Left elite wants to starve people (& kill many with vaccines or viruses) so they can reduce the earth’s population. They lie and say it is because of the environment, but mostly it’s because fewer people are easier to control when they take over the world. All they will need is enough for themselves. It is a sick, evil world & time we find ourselves in. There is only ONE who can fix it.

aussiecol
July 12, 2022 3:07 pm

if there were a better way other than using chemicals, I’m sure farmers would use them. But apparently big government knows best.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  aussiecol
July 12, 2022 4:00 pm

The propaganda is the farmers are sold a bill of goods

Just like all of us using oil and gas, we are so stupid, being force fed by evil oil companies, because otherwise we would insist on solar powered cars.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  aussiecol
July 13, 2022 3:35 am

a lot of banks will refuse to loan for NON approved big chem farm product even with good data to prove benefits.

MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:31 am

And you know this, how?

PCman999
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 10:25 pm

That’ll be the next step, the woke disease spreading to the bank loan managers who think they can farm better than the farmers. But it’s ok, when the farmers go bankrupt the banks will be left with all those farms, perfect for mining subsidies and carbon credits with wind turbines and solar panels.

HotScot
Reply to  aussiecol
July 13, 2022 4:09 am

The world would be a better place if we replaced politicians with farmers.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  HotScot
July 13, 2022 9:49 am

Our politicians used to be farmers, when being a politician was a part-time gig.

Rud Istvan
July 12, 2022 3:08 pm

There is a small (about 40 acre) farm near my dairy farm, on Hwy 23 going south to Dodgeville. It is supposedly organic, at least that is what the sign out front by the farm stand says. It is all fruits (apples, pears, strawberries, melons) and vegetables, no row crops. They fertilize with cow manure bought from bigger operations (milking barn manure is a mixture of poop and urine, so significant urea N). The vegetable patches always look weedy, so yields probably not good.

My half acre farm garden up behind the farmhouse (back when we planted it every spring before the kids grew up and I moved to Florida), was really organic—fertilized by spring rototilled horse manure from our winter stable store (at one point we were up to 6 horses and I had to boat teeth, frog hooves, and saddle/bridle them for the family) and fall mulched by rototilled leaves from the yard. We also spread all the winter wood stove and firebox heater ashes on it for K and P. Works for a family of 4, not for even a small country.

Since Cuba imports most of their row crop cereals, it is NOT a good example of large scale ‘organic’ farming. As Sri Lanka has discovered, that cannot be done. On my farm, despite abundant milking parlor manure, we just spread it on pasture grasses. The row crops (Roundup Ready corn, soy) and alfalfa/oats all get synthetic NPK.

A lot of people writing this ‘back to nature’ farming stuff have probably never been on a real farm, let alone run one for decades.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 12, 2022 3:57 pm

The vegetable patches always look weedy, so yields probably not good.”

They don’t have to be weedy. Just takes a lot of backbreaking work to hoe or pull the weeds! Still organic, right? A good reason to have lots of kids!

Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 12, 2022 6:41 pm

Don’t be foolish. Successful “organic” farmers certainly aren’t.

Kids, a minimum of five years until they’re producing as much as they consume – and five or six more before you break even on them. Then, as soon as you have them at full productivity, they up and leave!

No, the smart way is to get “undocumented” from your nearest friendly Federal Government compound and pay them $25-$30 a day, but only when you need them. Other people’s money keeps them going when you don’t have a use for them.

AndyHce
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 12, 2022 7:34 pm

My garden of 10 years had few weeds. I used the mulch approach to smother weeds, keep more moisture in the soil, and keep roots from overheating. Again, I’m not claiming the approach would work for everything. We raised no animals nor grew any grains unless you count the corn for corn on the cob in summer. Some crops, like summer squash and tomatoes always produced more than we could figure out what to do with (except compost for the next planting).

The climate was mild enough to have a garden year around (except for one winter when a most unusual hard freeze destroyed most plants) and we ate from the garden virtually every day. Sometimes dinner was completely from the garden but often times meat was also on the menu. My garden was a very pleasant pass time away from the office, not a livelihood.

HotScot
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 4:13 am

You’re a gardener, with a job, not a farmer who relies on produce for his income.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
July 13, 2022 7:32 am

How much time does it take you to mulch this small plot. Now imagine trying to mulch several thousand acres.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 13, 2022 3:38 am

they could use weedmat or other options but healthy weeds bring bees and beneficial bugs too

MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:33 am

You certainly are free with other people’s money and time.
Just because there are options is not evidence that these options are a better solution.

TonyG
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 9:49 am

healthy weeds bring bees and beneficial bugs

I have practically no weeds in my pepper field and I never lack for any of those.

ih_fan
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 14, 2022 11:13 am

they could use weedmat

Any idea how much a few hundred acres of weedmat would cost?

MarkW
Reply to  ih_fan
July 14, 2022 2:12 pm

Get the government to buy it. That way it’s free. /sarc

Patriot mom
Reply to  Tim Gorman
July 16, 2022 10:19 am

They don’t have “lots of kids”. In my 11x there I rarely saw a family with more than 1 or sometimes 2 children. They have the highest abortion rate per capita of any country. Their “organic” produce is really not that great. I was surprised. I was expecting the produce at least to be good. (Mangos and bananas are good) And now, since covid & tourism shut down, my understanding from those I know there is food….all food is super scarce. Young families have little food to feed their small kids. Gov’t bakeries bake at night, but now they are shutting electric down all night so bread rations are way down. If anyone needs asylum it is the innocent non-communists who are basically prisoners with no way out.

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 12, 2022 5:14 pm

I think you mean “float teeth”. That darned auto-correct. 😉

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
July 12, 2022 7:59 pm

Yup.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 12, 2022 5:38 pm

It has been my experience that the people who knew best how to farm are the people whose hands have never once touched dirt and whose bodies has never once been in the heat for more than 1 hour except on vacation.

That is sarcasm, of course, but it does reflect the way these big government leftists think. And the one thing that these people forget is that in government, being competent is the first disqualification.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Wade
July 13, 2022 3:40 am

my no dig permaculture garden…had me digging and weeding endlessly but it was worth it and kept me fit

Paul Penrose
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 9:57 am

Now try to scale it up so you can feed 100 people. Good luck.

jeff corbin
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 14, 2022 9:55 am

What scale is your garden and what is you produce output? No dig permaculture is a solution to the following problems: 1) soil compaction and tilth, 2)health of subsoil organisms that facilitate plant growth, 3) decrease labor and energy input into tilling the ground. Caveat’s: what if your soil stinks from the get go? You have to add organic material to the soil to get it to the point it doesn’t grow just dok and thistle and holds some water and nutrients and will row mycelium. This means tilling in compost or composting materials. Organic materials, (leaves, manure, grass clippings etc (be care grass clippings “weed and seed” is full of herbicide and will kill nightshades). Adding layers of composting materials on top of the soil means waiting years for good soil to develop. 6 inches of composting materials on top of he soil every year will add less than and inch a year and then you have to wait 3-4 years for it to compost. This is for people who love watching stuff compost. There are two types of gardeners, people who grow compost for fun and people who grow produce. . if you till in the composting materials it only takes about 8 months for them to compost in the soil and your a feeding the soil underneath. Soil is the greatest composter…why deprive it of organic materials. No one wants to see compost piles and watch stuff compost. I am all for no till….. but you have to till to get there. And if you are going to grow a good volume of produce, you need to cover the beds to prevent weed growth otherwise you will be spinning your wheels. Also, if you have raised beds…. remove the wood structures and take it to the level of the ground where the soil is. You can grow stuff in layers of compost but most likely your produce will taste a bit flat…. no minerals.. It’s not about purity, it is about solving problems on your way to excellent harvests of great tasting produce. I am a former professional market gardener from Philly. I retired from miles of 4 foot beds to 2,000 feet of four foot beds…. plastic row covers with drip tape irrigation. No pesticides, home grown fertilizer. no till…at least not since the 4th year of our current garden 2012.

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
Reply to  Wade
July 13, 2022 5:55 am

Like Eisenhower said…

quote-farming-looks-mighty-easy-when-your-plow-is-a-pencil-and-you-re-a-thousand-miles-from-dwight-d-eisenhower-8-75-87.jpg
jeff corbin
Reply to  Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
July 13, 2022 10:58 am

Where is guy like Ike when we need him. Ike should know, he grew up in Nebraska …think an ocean of corn. In his day, the corn was picked by hand.

AndyHce
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 12, 2022 7:36 pm

I say Sri Lanka did not discover anything except that being forced to do something, in the most stupid way possible, with no understanding of how to do it, did not work.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
July 12, 2022 8:48 pm

 in the most stupid way possible,

Organic farming in a nutshell

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 12, 2022 8:02 pm

First of all, they’re raising higher valued produce which they probably can sell at local farmer’s
markets** that are popular in the summertime. Secondly, one or both of them probably have other
jobs where they can get medical insurance as that is quite expensive. A job at a school would have
a lot of free time in the summer. If they have any kids, there are some extra hands that can do tasks
during the day when the parents may be at work or one of them is sleeping if they work at night.
There are many ways to make it work with outside employment.

** or at the farm which can be a part of a harvest/holiday festival which are popular on weekends.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 13, 2022 3:37 am

if your pasture grass did well then why do you say it wouldnt work for the other grasses we label crops?

MarkW
Reply to  ozspeaksup
July 13, 2022 7:34 am

So, you are arguing that all plants need exactly the same conditions?

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 13, 2022 9:55 am

Organic farming practices work well enough on small patches, but like may things, just does not scale up well. If you talk to farmers with a large amount of acreage (>50), they will all tell you this same thing.

Speed
July 12, 2022 3:17 pm

Cuba’s emblematic sugar harvest topped out at just over half of the communist-run government’s target this year, according state-run newspaper Granma, representing another major blow to the country’s already crisis-racked economy.

That 2021-2022 harvest hit just 52% of the goal for the season, Granma said, or approximately 474,000 tons. That is nearly half of last year’s crop of 800,000 tonnes, which was already the worst since 1908.

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.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/cubas-sugar-harvest-worst-over-century-another-hit-ailing-economy-2022-05-25/

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Speed
July 12, 2022 3:57 pm

++++++

Mr.
Reply to  Speed
July 12, 2022 3:58 pm

the state-run sugar company blamed the shortfall primarily on a lack of inputs

Would those have included conscripted free labor, as communist ‘enterprises’ are renowned for?

Speed
Reply to  Speed
July 12, 2022 6:41 pm

When I originally read this and wrote the comment I couldn’t figure what part oxygen plays in sugar production. I believe it is an error by the writer and it should have been “nitrogen.” Although … I could be wrong.

Archer
Reply to  Speed
July 13, 2022 2:56 am

No, nitrogen is evil now.

Reply to  Speed
July 12, 2022 6:46 pm

In 1959, the US bought 3 million tons of Cuban sugar – and that was only 60% of their exports. So even the Communist planned economy target was not even one-sixth of production under even a thoroughly corrupt Capitalist system.

PCman999
Reply to  Speed
July 13, 2022 10:31 pm

Must be climate change… 😜

Giordano Milton
July 12, 2022 3:30 pm

Let them grow their own food that way and leave the rest of us alone. The greens have long wanted to depopulate the world of humans, let’s not help them.

Pat from kerbob
July 12, 2022 3:55 pm

I don’t recall flotillas of boats carrying people from Florida to Cuba.
I do recall boats going in the other direction, so much so that when I was there for work in the late 90’s I could have all the ham i wanted but no fish even though we were surrounded by fishing waters.
Because no boats, duh.

Here in canada we we have the sociopath David Suzuki who years ago explained that the Cuban peasant model is what we should all strive for, as they had at the time ~1/50th of our co2 emissions.
Of course they live in a place where no home heating is required to survive but I guess that doesn’t enter his mind.
I remember Cubans in winter jackets during an evening at 17C when we were sweating in shorts.

Cuba is a disaster, as humans are part of the natural world it is a natural disaster, like the Soviet Union, China, etc.

Jim Veenbaas
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 12, 2022 5:37 pm

Of course David Suzuki owns at least three homes with a value exceeding $10 mill. Not bad for an anti-capitalist.

Old Cocky
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 12, 2022 7:27 pm

Doesn’t everybody wear winter jackets at 17C?

HotScot
Reply to  Old Cocky
July 13, 2022 4:17 am

17ºC is a heatwave in Scotland.

Old Cocky
Reply to  HotScot
July 13, 2022 3:48 pm

Yes, I’ve been there in high summer. Wore a flannelette shirt, jumper and motorcycle wet weather gear the whole time.
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, though.

PCman999
Reply to  HotScot
July 13, 2022 10:35 pm

I have to turn on the air conditioning in the car when it hits 17°C here in Canada (during the day when the sun is shining brightly – real greenhouse effect!)

July 12, 2022 4:05 pm

Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot were great farmers….they killed millions so not so much food needed…..fertilized with human blood.

Editor
July 12, 2022 4:12 pm

Sure, anyone can grow food using organic methods but then you have to stop using Hybrid seed with disease resistance often built in and expect at least 25% reduced yields and non-uniform harvesting time frames.

AndyHce
Reply to  Sunsettommy
July 12, 2022 7:40 pm

I strongly doubt that avoidance of hybrids is part of “organic” culture.

MarkW
Reply to  AndyHce
July 12, 2022 8:49 pm

Then why do all the “organic” advocates demand it?

MarkW
July 12, 2022 4:16 pm

Anything short of abject failure, is a rounding success.

MarkW
July 12, 2022 4:31 pm

As to the US embargo, the US is the only country in the world that abides by it. That has always been the case.

Pete Bonk
July 12, 2022 4:58 pm

Oxygen shortage in sugar production?Any idea if this is a typo? Cuba et. al. have been growing sugar long beforeJoseph Priestley “discovered” oxygen. Is all the oxygen in Cuba tied up as CO2? Breathlessly awaiting clarification……

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 12, 2022 6:50 pm

The peroxide process has been around since 2007 – so there’s a fair chance that at least some of their plants use it.

StephenP
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 13, 2022 12:22 am

In the UK sulphur now has to be added to nitrogen fertilisers as the fall-out from power stations and factories has reduced since the 1960s. Sulphates in the soil are leached as easily as nitrates so need regular replenishment from whatever source.
Elemental sulphur has been used in the past as a fungicide, and copper sulphate was used along with lime in Bordeaux mixture as a fungicide on grape vines.

Jim Veenbaas
July 12, 2022 5:38 pm

The condescension and ignorance is absolutely breathtaking.

Kevin kilty
July 12, 2022 6:05 pm

including oxygen for sugar production

Oxygen. How the ‘h’ ‘e’ double toothpicks do people run out of oxygen? Man those commies are incompetent!

Tom Abbott
July 12, 2022 6:10 pm

From the article: “Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the island nation of Cuba – still under blockade from the US and without another source of agrochemicals or mechanised equipment – was forced to find a new way to farm.”

The U.S. “blockade” did not prevent Cuba from buying what they needed from any other nation on Earth. Cuba had plenty of sources for the things they needed, they just didn’t have any money to buy things because the communists took all the money for themselves.

Patriot mom
July 12, 2022 6:10 pm

I have been to Cuba 11x. I know for a fact that the people of Cuba are suffering very much right now. Very little food. If it was true that organic gardening without any chemicals was such a good thing, then it would be happening…of course, the gov’t doesn’t give them seeds & they have no $ to buy any. They have a year round growing season and are running out of food…then again they are a Communist island nation and they aren’t allowed to fish. There are probably many reasons why they have no food, but they don’t. Their people are getting more & more desperate. If anyone deserves asylum in the US, it should be them, but now they have no way to get here.

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 12, 2022 7:26 pm

Yoani Sanchez is a famous Cuban blogger….I used to follow her but haven’t lately…..just search her and you can find out about Cuba today….the Cubans would like to shut her up but she is very well known.

Nick
July 12, 2022 6:40 pm

Nice debunking. Now this is what I call fact-checking.

Gregg Eshelman
July 12, 2022 7:19 pm

There is a method of weed and pest control with a long history. Fire. New Holland’s Sizz-Weeder in 1946 came in a two or four row model. Firing thin flames into the crop rows and moving at a fast enough speed, the larger crop plants would barely be warmed while new weeds and insects would get burned. But letting a field go too long without irrigation before weeding could have the crop on fire.

Flame weeding almost went away completely with the rise of chemical pesticides and herbicides but there’s a new company named Flame Engineering making multi-row flame weeding systems, and of course marketing it to organic farms.

Doonman
Reply to  Gregg Eshelman
July 12, 2022 9:26 pm

What do they burn to make the flames and what do they do with the CO2 it produces. Not very “organic” thinking in my book.

Speed
Reply to  Gregg Eshelman
July 13, 2022 3:20 am

Fire ecology is a scientific discipline concerned with natural processes involving fire in an ecosystem and the ecological effects, the interactions between fire and the abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem, and the role as an ecosystem process. Many ecosystems, particularly prairiesavannachaparral and coniferous forests, have evolved with fire as an essential contributor to habitat vitality and renewal. Many plant species in fire-affected environments require fire to germinate, establish, or to reproduce. Wildfire suppression not only eliminates these species, but also the animals that depend upon them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_ecology

References at the link.

The importance and ecology of prairie (and other) fires is seldom mentioned in news reports of prairie (and other) fires.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Gregg Eshelman
July 13, 2022 5:11 am

Not long ago I read about robots that go out in the fields and can tell the difference between weeds and valuable crops, and they use a laser to kill the weeds.

I want to get one for my garden. I’ll get one of those, and a robot lawn mower, and I’ll be all set. 🙂

H.R.
July 12, 2022 7:23 pm

What the?!? The article this post was based on doesn’t show in any way shape or form that organic farming in Cuba is successful at feeding Cuba. Fer cryin’ out loud, Cuba imports about 80% of their food needs, if I read the post correctly.

Forget the facts. Just absorb what I say. Cuba good, Cuba organic farming successful. Cuba has no problems feeding itself** with organic farming, just because one Cuban farmer who produces enough extra for some decent pocket change has done it.

Suuure… um…. no.


**Please do ignore, “Cuba has never been able to feed itself. It currently imports 60-80% of the food it consumes, at a cost of about $2bn a year

Bob
July 12, 2022 7:24 pm

I’m thinking that if Carbon Brief says something, anything it must be wrong.

Robert MacLellan
July 12, 2022 7:36 pm

Ah the nostalgia, recalling my childhood and Harrowsmith magazine in 1970s Canada. This mag specialized in giving practical tips to the back-to-the-landers then, mostly overage hippies who rarely lasted a second winter. My father used to read it and point out how much better it was to do it his way than the way he had grown up. Once he explained how much time and labor was involved we agreed.

Enginer01
July 12, 2022 8:14 pm

PROM
As a life-long (relatively successful) chemical engineer, I cannot help but
make a suggestion that will help in this situation.

“Get your hands dirty with Sh*t.”  or, Phosphate Rich Organic Manure.

see http://www.promsociety.net/profile.htm

I was lucky, a few years ago, to make friends with the great Dr. D M R Sekhar
while we were both on assignment to plants in Jordan.

I’ve made lots of DAP (di-ammonium phosphate fertilizer).  In tests by Dr Sekhar
of PROM versus DAP, PROM did as well the first year, and significantly improved
the yield the second year “With No Further Addition.”

(Can you spell chelation?)

Look it up. Try it.  With no Natural gas, no ammonia and no phosphoric acid, it’s
a choice.  Especially if you are a small agricultural village, with little money,
but access to ground phosphate rock from OCP or Mosaic.

PCman999
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 13, 2022 10:46 pm

Now that you mentioned ammonia, it reminded me of all the chattering awhile ago about how hydrogen was going to save us all. Make hydrogen, and then ammonia from it, using the power from the wind turbines that can’t really be trusted to power the grid. If the green dictators who run the governments force fuels and fertilizer underground then the market for ammonia will be wide open.

Graham
Reply to  Enginer01
July 12, 2022 9:01 pm

Virtually all maize grown in New Zealand is planted with DAP.
I grew maize for grain for many years but now grow maize for silage for our dairy herd .
Maize silage remove a lot of potassium as the whole plant is removed from the paddock .
Grain maize only needed small amounts of Potassiium and phosphate as the stubble foliage was returned to the soil through grazing cattle if the soil was dry .
But for subsequent crops nitrogen had to be applied to grow a good crop .
Our neighbours tried to grow a maize silage crop with no artificial nitrogen because they have gone organic .
It was the worst maize crop I have ever seen in over 50 years of growing maize and it was cultivated from a grass paddock which had been fertilised for many years .
A combination of poor weed control and low nitrogen levels .

July 12, 2022 9:04 pm

The attack on food production is to be expected, after all these people decry “overpopulation”, some call for `a world population of 500 million, you know just enough so the members of the WEF can have their servants, and then enough worker bees to make sure they have whatever they want.

Mike Maguire
July 12, 2022 9:06 pm

You can’t defy the laws of photosynthesis and agronomy.

Plants MUST HAVE H2O, CO2 and certain minerals(fertilizers) for their roots.
In most cases, the more you increase those elements, the more productive the plant will be.
There’s an optimal level for all those elements for each plant that varies under wide ranging conditions.

Having less than optimal levels of any element, will cause a reduction in yield and/or reduction in the amount of something(s) in the plant that was negatively impacted by the sub optimal conditions.

Synthetic fertilizers, especially those loaded with nitrogen, allow humans to create a near optimal soil environment to grow plants.
Without them, soil conditions will not be near optimal and plants will not do as well.

This is agronomy 101.

This is feeding billions of people on the planet right now.

https://ourworldindata.org/fertilizers

Screenshot 2022-07-07 at 23-05-08 Fertilizers.png
Mike Maguire
Reply to  Mike Maguire
July 12, 2022 9:15 pm

Another secret about fossil fuels: Haber Bosch process-fertilizers feeding the planet using natural gas-doubling food production/crop yields. https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/39215/

Mike Maguire
July 12, 2022 9:18 pm

Correct link:
Another secret about fossil fuels
https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/39215/

Mike Maguire
Reply to  Mike Maguire
July 12, 2022 9:20 pm
July 12, 2022 9:31 pm

I was in Cuba when Fidel was alive – not a lot of fat people there.

MarkW
Reply to  Allan MacRae
July 13, 2022 7:44 am

And those that were fat, were close friends of Fidel.

Peta of Newark
July 12, 2022 9:32 pm

Not ‘green’
grim – everywhere, everything including the conversation here.

Cuban health.

How many people in Cuba have a diagnosable Metabolic Disorder – something that would severely disable if not ki1l them without treatment.
Compared to the US figure of 88%

Where all that’s needed is better self-care, coming from advice dispensed by doctors for example.
NB ‘Advice’ – not pills and surgery

Advice especially concerning diet,
i.e. Heavy metals, sugar, lack of vitamins & trace elements also residues of pesticides, antibiotics & hormones. ##

Randomly searched data says:
Life expectancy in Cuba (78 years unchanging ) = about the same as it in in the US.
In fact from here, we’re told that US males live one year less than Cuban males and the gap is widening.

While Cuba spends about $1,000 per person per year on healthcare, compared to about $15,000 in the US
(That 15K figure being an average of the folks who assert $3.8Trillion pa and those who say $6Trillion pa. I suspect the folks on the receiving end of such largesse are reluctant to disclose the exact amounts)

Now tell me about Modern Agriculture, Synthetic Fertiliser, GMOs and Pesticides.
Especially that there are no Free Lunches and right there (above) we have a figure on what a Free Lunch costs….

13 Dollars and 56 Cents each meal
and one year off your (US) life (increasing annually)
…..assuming 3 meals (lunches) per day for 330 million people.
And you say workers in Cuba are paid how much per day/week?

Is that what you mean by ‘never better’
Maybe and not for the first time in this crazed ‘everything is wrong’ world, maybe Cause and Effect have become confused and Magical Thinking has taken over. We all know what causes Magical Thinking don’t we.

## I’m sure we all recall Idso (father and son) recently proclaiming the benefits of CO2 induced fertilisation and the ensuant Global Greening.
*How’s that greening going. Hit the rocks has it? Hence why synthetic fert is now so essential?)

About how Idso snr had some orange trees growing in his little patch of desert near Phoenix and that the fruit had 15% more Vitamin C than normal – due of course to all the extra CO2 in the ‘fertilised air’

While Idso carefully did not mention that, since the arrival on farms of synthetic Nitrogen fertiliser, the Vitamin C content of Citrus Fruit has dropped by 85%
Also Vitamin A inside citrus fruits, down to 20% of its figure of 70yrs ago.

Idso’s oranges thus contain 17.25% (15% plus (15% of 15%)) of the Vitamin C they contained 70 years ago.

So which is it..
Did CO2 rising from 300ppm to 400ppm cause:

  • the rise from 15% to 17% or
  • the massively bigger fall, from 100% 70yrs ago to 15% now?

How’s the Vitamin A and C content of Cuban oranges?
(I do doubt its very good either, they’ll be grown on similar soil/dirt/rock to Florida)

Or did synthetic fertiliser cause the fall and if so, how did it do that?
(It absolutely did, now explain how)

Raving ever onwards….
We all know about Vitamin A (**) – hence = the ‘requirement’ for Golden Rice.
Which the people growing and eating utterly and completely hate.

Would it not have been prudent to have done some research on that first, by simply asking the people, instead of foisting that GM shit upon them and expecting their eternal gratitude?

As is happening here when The Piss is taken out of Organic Farmers and their consumers.
Patently ‘tolerance, empathy and understanding of others‘ has gone the same way as Science = down the toilet/drain.
(See now what The Real Problem in this world actually is?)

** Vitamin A, apart from being good for your eyes (how many folks wear glasses these days) is also an immensely important part of your immune system. Just as is Vitamin C
Say hello to cancer, covid and 200+ autoimmune calamities – things beyond even the wildest imaginations of 70 yrs ago.

Last edited 2 months ago by Peta of Newark
DMacKenzie
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 12, 2022 10:47 pm

Peta, did you randomize the sentences while composing or only after ?

Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 13, 2022 2:31 am

No comment Peta except this:
I observed that Cubans are rarely obese, and Americans often are, and morbidly so.

I also observe here in Canada that the obese are extremely unhealthy, often have to ride in electric carts while still in their 40’s, and age rapidly and badly.

If I could make one change for the health of the general populace, it would be to attack obesity – as opposed to all the pills, supplements, gimmicks, etc. Lose the lard! .

MarkW
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 13, 2022 7:46 am

88% of Americans have disorders that would kill them if not treated? Really?

Robert B
July 13, 2022 12:26 am

How many of these academics have down sized to donate half their trough money to Sri Lanka? I suspect if they had a conscience that there would be enough to bail the country out.

Craig from Oz
July 13, 2022 2:02 am

Also note the big thing about Marxism that is being replicated here.

Marx was an outsider. He was not a Worker and he was not an Owner. Yet he still wanted to upend the system.

Here we have grand claims being made by people who live in neither Sri Lanka or Cuba on how the people who do live in those countries should carry on making them feel better.

PCman999
Reply to  Craig from Oz
July 13, 2022 11:09 pm

He was a lazy, overeducated but unemployed self-important mooch who put his wife and family in poverty and sponged off his co-idiot but safely employed in the family business friend, Engels.

The best social welfare program is a job!

Joao Martins
July 13, 2022 2:47 am

The claim that Cuba is an organic agricultural miracle in my opinion is a dangerous fiction.

That is also what I think. It would contradict Lavoisier’s chemistry, near two centuries of agricultural chemistry, and if it were true would amount to the discovery of the “philosophers’ stone”: the transformation of thin air or other spiritual entity in the material bodies of plants. Perhaps socialism was able to achieve there somo social justice (debatable), but socialism is not able to change nature’s physics and chemistry anywhere in the universe (I recall hearing someone somewhere saying it was the very Friedrich Engels who wrote that).

guidoLaMoto
July 13, 2022 3:15 am

A few easily verified facts– Corn requres ~200lb/ac of N added to the soil each year….Manure contains ~2% N (dry weight)….A cow produces ~ 20 tons of manure /yr– ie ~ 800 lb of N…We plant 90M ac of corn/yr….We have ~18M dairy & beef cattle.

A little arithmetic and we see that cow dung, if ALL used on corn acres would only provide 1/1000th of the needed N…and that leaves nothing for the other crops, including the pasture grass on which the cattle were grazed.

There’s a reason Davey Crocket et al. kept moving west– They quickly played out the soil and had to keep moving to fresh land.

MarkW
Reply to  guidoLaMoto
July 13, 2022 7:48 am

Many of the people who claim that farmers can use manure for their crops, also want to get rid of cattle.

Lrp
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 1:33 pm

Subsistence farming is not sustainable without indentured workforce

H.R.
Reply to  Lrp
July 13, 2022 7:47 pm

Or large families, which kind of defeats the ol’ depopulate plan.

jeff corbin
July 13, 2022 6:04 am

The big motive for small vegetable farmers to grow certified organic vegetables, fruits and herb is demand and price in local farmer’s markets that market to the elite who can afford to pay the organic premium. The other reason for the small vegetable farmer is that it is cheap and easy to do it organically. This is true in Philadelphia where I did premium organic market gardening and marketing in farmer’s markets for profit and I am sure it’s true in Cuba as well.

Beyond small vegetable gardens forget organic…. it’s too expensive and risky for large high volume/value crops…..especially for Cuba’s Cigar/tobacco industry. see article

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220226-cuban-tobacco-yield-up-in-smoke-amid-fertilizer-shortages

So by example small organic veggie farmer has demonstrated in small local farmers markets to the left leaning elite of the viability of applying organics to the whole of global food production. This is dangerous ignorance and stupidity.

jeff corbin
July 13, 2022 6:13 am

Oh BTW, Cuba imports 1.7 million tons of conventionally grown grain a year. The country would starve without conventional fertilizers. Check my math (which is meager at best) that is 3.4 billion pounds of imported grain for 11.33 million Cubans.

https://www.world-grain.com/articles/10274-focus-on-cuba#:~:text=For%20corn%2C%20Argentina%20and%20Brazil,14%25%20in%20FY%202014.%E2%80%9D

TonyG
July 13, 2022 8:15 am

It’s amazing to me how often Cuba is painted as a paradise by many leftists but none of them seem very eager to move there…

(edit: I suppose it shouldn’t be ‘amazing’, it’s pretty much the norm)

Last edited 2 months ago by TonyG
MarkW
Reply to  TonyG
July 13, 2022 12:57 pm

Would these be the same leftists who promise that they are going to leave every time a Republican is elected president?

TonyG
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 2:05 pm

You know, that’s why I can actually have a little respect for Johnny Depp – he’s the only one who actually followed through. (granted he DID come back but at least he kept his word)

Agamemnon
July 13, 2022 8:56 am

So, if I follow correctly: Sri Lanka was perfectly competent at running modern agriculture but became all of a sudden incompetent at grasping the essence of biological agriculture….right.

MarkW
Reply to  Agamemnon
July 13, 2022 12:58 pm

It’s not that they were incompetent, it’s that “biological” agriculture is simply not capable of feeding large populations.

Agamemnon
Reply to  MarkW
July 13, 2022 6:51 pm

Yes, that was my point. My sentence was ironic.

MarkW
Reply to  Agamemnon
July 13, 2022 7:05 pm

We have one poster on this thread who is making the claim that the only problem in Sri Lanka, was that they didn’t implement the organic program correctly.

paul courtney
July 13, 2022 9:28 am

Dems and their friends in the news media learned some time ago- making up a success story that fits is much easier than actually finding one.

MarkW
Reply to  paul courtney
July 13, 2022 12:59 pm

Ignoring anything that doesn’t fit their agenda, is also easy. Hunter Biden laptop for example.

Sparko
July 13, 2022 9:34 am

Cuba also has one of the best “official” infant mortality rates in the world…….

Terry
July 13, 2022 11:14 am

I was in Cuba about 15 years ago and watched a farmer plow his rock strewn field using an Ox to pull the plow. Never occurred to me to think about fertlizer – it seemed a remote concern

Mike Maguire
July 13, 2022 11:40 am

With regards to increasing yields using better hybrids and genetics.
This has been effective now for many decades, however it eventually runs into a brick wall.
The energy in a plant used for animal consumption was acquired while it grew.
Where did all the energy come from:
Photosynthesis!
You can improve a plants ability to perform photosynthesis by altering genetics and creating new hybrids but a key, non negotiable factor will always be inputs. You can cause a plant to be more effective at making energy but that also requires giving it the input tools(like fertilizers) to increase the components/parts of the plant that generate more energy(from photosynthesis).

LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICShttps://www2.estrellamountain.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/biobookener1.html
First Law of Thermodynamics: Energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed. The total amount of energy and matter in the Universe remains constant, merely changing from one form to another. The First Law of Thermodynamics (Conservation) states that energy is always conserved, it cannot be created or destroyed. In essence, energy can be converted from one form into another.

                   
Plants are made out of something. The material to make up plants has to come from somewhere. That something is fertilizer(minerals in the ground), CO2 and water.

One of the more profoundly absurd things about these proposed cutbacks to the use of synthetic fertilizers in the soil is that they are also trying to reduce fertilizer in the air……….CO2. 
For instance, where will plants get their materials/inputs for making leaves(mostly nitrogen) to gather sunshine and collect CO2 if you cut back on nitrogen?

Where will they get the rest of the minerals that are deficient in almost all natural soils if you don’t add them with fertilizers?

Answer………..there is no magic source. There is no green fairy dust that we can sprinkle on plants to replace fertilizers. You either add fertilizer or the plants can’t optimize their growth and yield/food production. There is no refuting or altering this indisputable law of agronomy. Legislation to greatly reduce the amount of fertilizer/nitrogen in the soils WILL reduce food production. Not an opinion. That’s a physical law as explained above.

We can do a better job managing run off from excessive fertilizer that does significant damage to our surface water systems/ecosystems but plants have always needed their nutrients and WILL always need their nutrients, which will almost never be optimal in unfertilized soil.

https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/86882/#87072

photosynthesis.png
Mike Maguire
Reply to  Mike Maguire
July 13, 2022 12:04 pm

An exception to this would/will be when we engineer MORE plants to extract their nitrogen from the atmosphere(actually, convert N2 to NH3 in the soil-even though the are trying to reduce NH3 in the soils)…..nitrogen fixation (atmosphere is 78% nitrogen).

Until that happens, we’re stuck with giving them the essential nitrogen via the soils and when this is replaced by nitrogen fixation…………it’s still nitrogen they are pulling from the air. In some places, where synthetic fertlizers are NOT used, this will actually INCREASE the amount of nitrogen/NH3 in the soils. Great for the plants there but is the opposite of the absurd objective.

https://www.wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2014/02/21/how-do-plants-get-their-nitrogen-from-the-air/
Bacteria and archaea in the soil and in the roots of some plants have the ability to convert molecular nitrogen from the air (N2) to ammonia (NH3), thereby breaking the tough triple bond of molecular nitrogen.

https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/biological-nitrogen-fixation-23570419/
https://www.ruralsprout.com/nitrogen-fixing-plants/

nitrogen_cycle.png
john harmsworth
July 13, 2022 12:11 pm

Take down the names. I’m sure since they are so sure of future organic abundance , they are all fine with being the last to be fed.

jeff corbin
July 13, 2022 1:06 pm

Sorry for the tangent. Bill Gates is also considered the largest private owner of farmland in the U.S., holding upward of 260,000 acres in dozens of states. I wonder if he is growing anything on that land and. No grain reported. Just carrots, onions and potatoes on 260,000 acres?! There is no report that these are grown organically.

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/mcdonald-s-french-fries-carrots-onions-all-foods-come-bill-n1270033

Even scarier is the report today that he is giving virtually all of his wealth to the Gates Foundation!!!

Geoff Sherrington
July 13, 2022 8:04 pm

It is easy to show that a plant can or will grow naturally without people adding fertilizer to it. Every plant grew like that before people started adding fertilizers.
There are barriers to the growth of all plants, like nutrients, adequate water, enough sunshine, not too much competition, ways to cope with pests and more. Plant yields can be increased until they meet a barrier. Fix that barrier, you get better yields until you meet the next barrier, fix that, etc.
The same is true with added fertilizers. Von Liebig in 1855 wrote about fixing successive barriers. If you have a potash deficiency, you need to add potash, not nitrogen or phosphorus fertilizer, until your fertilizer plan reveals the next limit. (Much discussion involves N, P and K because they are major players in nutrient plans, but there are dozens on nutrients that are barriers to growth until they are added and corrected.)
Farming involves a harvest stage, where plant material is taken from the field for consumption. Each carrot that you eat has its lot of those dozens of nutrients that are processes by the body and/or wasted. Their NPK has to be added back to the farm soil if farming is to continue. If you harvest without fertilizing you will deplete your soils so yields will reduce until nothing of use will grow.
This depletion process takes time. Sometimes, a rich soil will seem to go on producing year after year with no help, but it is inexorable that when you harvest and remove, you will eventually have to replace. Some farming enthusiasts have been blessed with rich soils that are still going well, which can lead to false claims that farming can succeed without added fertilizer. So, eventually, the story telling can involve whole countries like Cuba as noted here.
Most farmers, the ones with poorer soils, have learned to cope by various means. Some are scientific, others are folklore. Organic farming is folklore based and it is a danger to global food production efforts. There is simply no purpose in wasting time and effort with organic farming when superior methods have been demonstrated on huge scale time and again. There is no value from mindsets whose logic is based on kindness to Nature (e.g. so do not kill pests with chemicals) when the objective is to prevent human deaths from starvation.
Organic farming is based on silly beliefs as stupid as the noble savage view of ignorant past cultures. You and I, as scientists, have a duty to fight it. Geoff S

Graham
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 14, 2022 12:24 am

One of the largest applications on farm land is Calcium Carbonate .
Calcium Carbonate was formed millions of years ago from minute sea creatures that died over millions of years and sank to the bottom of the sea .
These formed layers on the sea bottom and have been uplifted to become part of the land as limestone and chalk’
Calcium carbonate is quarried and ground very fine to be used as agricultural lime .
It is the calcium in the lime that raise the PH .That is that it reduces the soils acidity.
Acid low ph soils will grow very little except blueberries .
The doomsayers are against cement manufacture as CO2 is released during manufacture of limestone into cement .
How long will it be before they start calling for a halt to using lime on farms ?
Our peat soils in New Zealand were not very productive as applications of a tonne of lime to the acre was far to little to raise the PH ‘Researchers found that applications of up to 4 tonnes an acre were needed and the lime had to be incorporated into the soil down as far as the plant roots penetrated .
Our peat soils are now very productive but we have the green loons saying that as the peat is drained it releases CO2 .
They want to turn them back into peat bogs .
Limestone was formed from sea creatures that absorbed CO2 and peat bogs are formed from living plants that have absorbed CO2 .
What is the problem ?

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 14, 2022 6:02 am

Farmers used to rotate fields between row crops and alfalfa. Alfalfa fixes nitrogen in the soil plus its deep roots (up to 12 feet deep) break up the soil and improves its water retention and mineral retention. The big issue with doing this is the amount of land that is taken out of production for food grains, anywhere from three to seven years. When you had a lot of small farmers with small livestock herds the alfalfa could be used for livestock feed. As the small farmer has disappeared in favor of thousands of acres of food crops and cattle herds in the thousands so has crop rotation like this.

There are always pro’s and con’s in how society proceeds. If the greenies want to maintain their urban lifestyle, including plentiful and cheap food, then they are going to have to begin to recognize the *entirety* of what that takes. You can’t arbitrarily define good and bad without recognizing the trade-offs that go with it.

Jorge Fernandez
July 14, 2022 1:20 pm

What a load of crap from Carbon Brief. I’m Cuban BTW, born and raised. Calling any economic endeavor of the Cuban government a success is a lie. In the 70s and all through the 80s the bulk of the agricultural output in Cuba (except for sugar cane) was in the hands of the School to the Countryside program, which put a high percentage of middle and high schoolers in boarding schools in the countryside to basically work for free in the fields. I was, like most kids of my generation, one of those students spending half of the day, 5 days a week, doing the job of a farmer, most of the time not knowing what the heck I was doing. Only by using enormous amount of fertilizer was the country able to compensate the lack of productivity of the work force. So right until the 90s Cuba was effectively overusing fertilizers. The fall of the communism in Europe forced Cuba to grow food without much fertilizer. The country has never been able to supply its own population with enough food and it needs to import millions of dollars’ worth of food from international markets every year and it relies more and more on donations from the UN and some “friendly” nations. The only reason Cuba doesn’t end up like Siri Lanka is because it is a terrible dictatorship, where the smallest sign of dissent can land you in jail. Cubans unfortunately would rather risk death by jumping in a raft and cross the Florida stretch than protest and spend many years in jail. Just search the web for what happened to many of the participants in the protest on July 11, 2021.

MarkW
Reply to  Jorge Fernandez
July 14, 2022 2:15 pm

The sad things about most leftists is that they believe the ability to lock up dissidents is one of communism best features.