Ann, thanks. I don't know that governmental funding is going for the short-
term more than in the past or that the long-term has been cut more and
therefore the short-term is proportionately greater. In my opinion, the
emphasis on the economy is part of it but also the difficulty of anyone in
the media or Congress to spend enough effort to understand the more complex
and difficult is the greater. I think looking at our current congressional
actions indicates almost the complete inability to consider longer-term
aspects whether ag, space, health, welfare, environment, or whatever. For
me, it is interesting that the major foundations aren't more interested in
the longer-term questions, particularly in ag - or maybe I should say the
lower tech stuff involving more "management" and interaction with social
systems and societal needs.
Jonathan, thanks for your comments. I've probably missed some of the
previous discussion as I'm not quite sure what some of the commments have to
do with the viability of a biodynamic farm. I was inferring the "farm"
success or viability rather than chemical mechanisms.
Let me also pose a question. Where is the evidence that ten years (maybe 5
years on some soils) of composting on a field will not increase the
availability of potassium and phosphorus, improve the soil nitrogen dynamics
for better plant growth, and reduce soil pathogens? Whether composting
improves the bioavailability of nutrients from the plant material is an
additional question or could be a component of the same question?
I believe that some of the work done by Sharon Hornick and others on
bioavailability raise some very interesting scientific questions that can be
addressed in the more traditional ag research manner or as regularities in
nature. Some of the work that Parr, Papendick, and others have done on the
organic side also raises unanswered traditional research questions.
I'll be out for a week, but thanks for the interest.