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Re: [nafex] FW: organic works - the evidence

Wow!  Treacherous ground.  This could turn into a lively thread.

I have read commentary about US farmers complaining about "unfair"
competition from Argentina, etc.  They do not have the same input
costs.  They accept lower yields by having more acres in rotation.
They make their money by producing commodities at the lowest possible
costs.  All those chemical inputs cost cash-money.  In hard currency.
They avoid buying N by growing alfalfa for a few years.  Grow one or
two years of maize.  Then a year or two of small grains.  Then
soybeans.  Then back to alfalfa.  The rotation reduces disease

US farmers cannot afford this approach because he/she has high fixed
costs (property, equipment) and debt that he/she must service.

> from todays "Nature"
>   Although Reganold's study finds that this is certainly not the
> for growing Golden Delicious  in Washington, it does not necessarily
> imply that organic farming is more environmentally and  economically
> sound for other types of agriculture in other regions, he admits.
>                             Dennis Avery, director of the Center for
> Global Food Issues in Churchville, Virginia argues that  this is a
> persistent problem with research hailing the benefits of organic
> systems.
>     "The real issue of sustainability doesn't have a lot to do with
> intensive fruit and vegetable    production," says Avery. He argues
> that it is the large-scale production of staple crops like  wheat,
> corn, rice and wood that have the greatest impact on whether or not
> agriculture is environmentally and economically sustainable and that
> organic methods cannot produce sufficient  yields in these crop
> systems to compete with conventional methods. "Organic field crops
> are 50 to 60 percent less productive per acre," says Avery.


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