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Re: Round-up Ready Soybeans

Rich Molini wrote:

>         Yes, Steve the field may be clean and the cost is 2/3 of what
> you had spent previously. The question we should ask is "what is the
> real cost?". Real costs don't always show up on the farm balance sheet.
> The cost of having toxic and persistent compounds in our surface waters
> is not taken into consideration. We have a sampling station along the
> White River in Indiana where quarterly monitoring has shown atrazine in
> every sample for the last ten years. The cost of people having health
> problems from eating fish with magnified levels of pesticides is not
> taken into account. The cost of humans eating food with low levels of
> toxic compounds is not added in. The cost of the possible long term
> health effects of humans ingesting known carcinogens is not on the
> ledger. The cost of the loss of family farms and all their assets is not
> figured in when agribusiness forces the size of a farm to be 1200 acres
> to break even. And now we have the new hidden cost of genetically
> modified organisms. Where do we stop adding hidden costs and bring them
> to the forefront. I can put up with some weeds in my beans to make the
> cost accounting accurate.
>         Nathan tell your relatives about organic production. Give me their
> address and I will send them info on some of our upcoming field days in
> Indiana.
>                                                 Thanks
>                                         Rich Molini, Atlanta,INRich,
"What is the real cost?" You are right in stating that this is the question that should be asked, as it is the
very essence of being a sustainable farmer. Granted, many pesticides have been detected in water(you used
atrazine as an example), but how much "Roundup" has shown up in the White River? This was the herbicide in
question, right?  
Indeed it would be very difficult, at best, to estimate the real costs or savings that pesticides have directly
had on the health of people over the years(medical insurance, doctors fees, eating habits, etc. would all have
to be sorted out).
I am cautious about all the new technology, but even more cautious about
some of the claims coming out of the anti pesticide movement.  Life span has increased from 50 some years to 
over 70 years. I don't think we can thank the organic movement for that because organics have supplied less 
than 2% of our food in the past decades. (nothing against organic growers- I learn from them all I can!)
There is no perfect system that we as farmers can employ to produce food. Organics, Sustainable,and
Conventional methods all have there pros and cons.

"New Generation Cropping Systems": the cutting edge of sustainable agriculture
Steve Groff
Cedar Meadow Farm
679 Hilldale Rd
Holtwood PA 17532  USA
Ph. 717-284-5152