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a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Posted by elisa_Z5 none (My Page) on
Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 3:30

FYI -- this looked like a respectable meta analysis of studies, followed by some results of cropping systems trials.

Is organic productive enough?
2001. Bill Liebhardt. Get the facts straight: organic agriculture yields
are good. OFRF Information Bulletin, Summer 2001, #10.
Reviewed replicated research results from seven major state universities:
Corn: 69 total cropping seasons compared, organic yields were 94%
of conventionally produced corn.
Soybeans: Data from five states with 55 growing seasons of data,
organic yields were 94% of conventional yields.
Wheat: Two institutions with 16 cropping year experiments,
organic wheat produced 97% of the conventional yields.
Tomatoes: At the University of California, 14 years of comparative
research on tomatoes showed no yield differences between conventionally
and organically grown crops

Is organic productive enough?
2008. J.L. Posner, J.O. Baldockand J.L. Hedtcke. Organic and Conventional
Production Systems in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials: I.
Productivity 1990�2002. AgronJournal, v. 100, issue 2, pp 253.
In 1989, a large-scale, long-term study entitled the Wisconsin Integrated
Cropping Systems Trials (WICST) was initiated at two locations in southern
Wisconsin to compare the productivity, profitability, and environmental
impact of a range of grain and forage-based cropping systems.
Corn:Compared across years and systems, organic corn yields were 91%
of conventional corn yields.
Soybean:Compared across years and systems, organic soybean yields
Were 92% percent of conventionally grown beans.
Forage dry matter:Organic system yielded 10% more than conventional.
Is organic productive enough?
2008. J.L. Posner, J.O. Baldockand J.L. Hedtcke. Organic and Conventional
Production Systems in the Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trials: I.
Productivity 1990�2002. AgronJournal, v. 100, issue 2, pp 253.
Conclusions:
Crop rotation and manure seemed to be the determining factor.
Combining years masked the impact of weeds�
In roughly 34% of the site-years, weed control was such a problem,
mostly due to wet weather, that the relative yields of the organic
systems were approximately 74% of conventional systems.
In the other 66% of the cases, where mechanical weed control was
successful, the yield of the organic crops was 99% of conventional
systems.

This post was edited by elisa_Z5 on Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 4:05


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Dr. Bill Liebhardt is a bit controversial to some, but to me he's on the low end of the scale so far that it's not worth considering his bias and occasional finger-pointing at larger growers, institutions, and corporations. He's a huge proponent of mixed polyculture farming systems as well as a big organic management advocate while occasionally crapping on other methods outside his preferred organic stance. He's also rubbed a few scientists the wrong way by calling out other researchers while ignoring his colleagues at UC-Davis who are engaged in similar/same activities. He can be quite political at times.

One thing that needs to be said about yields, though...is yields aren't everything. Cost in vs profit out is everything to most farmers growing 1000s of acres. Machinery, labor, time spend in the field vs out of the field, fuel, nutrient/pest/disease control + application, etc...these things are what makes a crop for a farmer more than yield. Searching for the intersection of best possible yield for cheapest amount possible is the goal. Getting 2-3% better yield may be possible with the addition of more potassium at planting time, but if the cost of that addition isn't going to bring a profit then most farmers will sacrifice that yield gain.

Also, there's some areas where it's impossible to crop 50,000 acres of organic corn...or 10,000 acres, etc...because of what's available as a source for organic inputs. Some areas have great access...some don't. There is corn/soy being grown in some parts of some states where organic cropping of the land isn't an option on a profitable scale unless land values drop to the point where fallow years are reasonable and/or access to organic manures become available in greater amounts.

If you can imagine what it would take for Iowa to continue to plant 14,000,000 acres of corn every year organically...and where those sources would come from...well, it's pretty much impossible. The resource grab would be impossible to meet...especially with the neighbors (MN, SD, IL, MI, NE, MO) cropping 34,000,000 acres combined.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

I know, we've gone over the whole corn thing many times -- the bio fuel, meat, and processed food corn syrup end of that crop. I wouldn't want to wake Michael Pollan so early in the morning, so I won't go there :)

I was quite tired of the numbers being thrown around here that come directly from a propaganda pamphlet put out by a think tank that is funded by big AG, and thought that these university studies balanced that out a bit.

Liebhart's article is not the only one above, though his is the first. And it is an analysis of seven university studies-- are you suggesting he chose the seven that fit his agenda?


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

"are you suggesting he chose the seven that fit his agenda?"

...not at all. I'm not familiar with the 7 he chose for his rebuttal, but I respect him enough to believe it is a fair sample. The issues some people have with him lie outside of that information you shared. I don't have an issue with him, myself, though I think he can be unnecessarily hard on "big agribusiness" without good reason sometimes. Sometimes he's nice to them...sometimes he uses them as a scapegoat...sometimes rightly...sometimes wrongly.

Dr. Liebhardt is a very important soil scientist...and one of the main reasons you rarely see N tests on soil reports anymore. He blew holes in N lab testing many decades ago which has led to better use and application of N in cropping systems by not relying on lab reported N rates (which were inaccurate at the time, and so volatile most labs shouldn't be measuring for additions to begin with unless it's going to be immediately amended).


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Good, I'm glad you think it's a fair sample, because personally I like the numbers because they fit my agenda :)


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Nc-crn, you said "One thing that needs to be said about yields, though...is yields aren't everything. Cost in vs profit out is everything to most farmers growing 1000s of acres. Machinery, labor, time spend in the field vs out of the field, fuel, nutrient/pest/disease control + application, etc...these things are what makes a crop for a farmer more than yield. "

My response is that you make some valid points here and it is with a healthy amount of pragmatism that they stay in business. I would like to add a couple more criteria for consideration however. There is the matter of quality of harvest not just bushels per acre. In other words food which is free of chemical residue as much as is possible given modern realities. And then there is the matter of long term sustainability. Which is most helpful for the long term health of the soil?


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

This just appeared. It is not an analysis of gmo versus organic. it is an example that because of Nature's and society's adaption a study from past years may no longer be applicable to this year's or next year's results.

“Five years ago the traits worked,” says the strongly built Huegerich, who followed in his father’s footsteps and planted GMO seeds. “I didn’t have corn rootworm because of the Bt gene, and I used less pesticide. Now, the worms are adjusting, and the weeds are resistant. Mother Nature adapts.”

http://thenutrifarm.com/the-post-gmo-economy-farmers-save-money-the-environment-by-planting-non-gmo-crops/

H.Kuska comment: Since this last report is GMO versus non GMO (both used same amount of pesticide) it does not say anything about the unknown long term health cost to the farmer, his/her family, and to society of pesticide use. i.e. I do not understand why the title includes "save the environment".

Here is a link that might be useful: Dec 29, 2013 report


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

When it comes to long-term survival of people on the planet, neither bushels-per-acre nor profit-per-acre are of any serious consequence.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

In those various studies, I wonder how much of the organic-vs-inorganic differences were in fertilization and how much in pest and weed control.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

It is probably not news to any of the learned contributors to this conversation, but all living things adapt to their environment, if given adequate time to adjust before they are destroyed. It should therefore be no surprise that GMOs will probably be less effective over time unless the genetics are modified to account for the adaption of crop pests. For a farmer this is a never-ending battle to adjust their farming methods to produce a more profitable outcome. For a backyard gardner such as I, we have the luxury of being able to pursue organic methods regardless of profitability. We should not bash farmers for focusing on profitability nor big AG for trying to solve farmer's problems in order to profit from that solution.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

CharlieBoring stated: "We should not bash farmers for focusing on profitability nor big AG for trying to solve farmer's problems in order to profit from that solution."

H.Kuska comment: I feel it is everyone's responsibility to leave our planet in a better condition than when we arrived. i.e. we all have a responsibility to society and the environment.

"Social responsibility is an ethical theory that an entity, be it an organization or individual, has an obligation to act to benefit society at large. Social responsibility is a duty every individual has to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystem. A trade-off always[citation needed] exists between economic development, in the material sense, and the welfare of the society and environment. Social responsibility means sustaining the equilibrium between the two. It pertains not only to business organizations but also to everyone whose any action impacts the environment.[1] This responsibility can be passive, by avoiding engaging in socially harmful acts, or active, by performing activities that directly advance social goals."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_responsibility

Here is a link that might be useful: links to responsibility to society and the environment.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

"H.Kuska comment: I feel it is everyone's responsibility to leave our planet in a better condition than when we arrived. i.e. we all have a responsibility to society and the environment."

I agree!


"In those various studies, I wonder how much of the organic-vs-inorganic differences were in fertilization and how much in pest and weed control."

I also wonder how many of the organic fields have the proper biology in their soils like they should have, that would probably skyrocket the nutrients in the organic.

Also, how about the bioavailability of these nutrients? Is there any difference between GMO and organic corn nutrient bioavailability?


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Nauture's Nature -- I just posted this link on another thread, but it fits here as well, and some of the research on this list speaks to some of your questions above.

Hope it's helpful

Here is a link that might be useful: studies - og vs non-og


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

I agree, Henry.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

The idea that all conventional fields are simply barren dead zones only kept alive with chemicals is as ignorant of a line of thinking as thinking all organic fields are teaming with life and ready for anything.

...and on social responsibility...that is in the eyes of the beholder. I know a lot of people who think it's socially responsible to grow the amount of corn/wheat/soy we export to other nations who can't support the level of agriculture (both for food and for meat production) for their population so they don't die off by the hundred of thousands every year from starvation...amongst other points. There's no need to raise yourself on the cross and nail yourself in just because you place your socially responsible view as more important than someone else's valid point on social responsibility.

...also on social responsibility...just because a field is being grown organically doesn't mean it's being done right. We got organic farmers improperly applying manures causing excessive phosphorous leaching into the water table. We got organic farmers planting too early after manure application causing disease spread.

There's conventional farms over-applying N doing harm...there's organic farms using manures too much every year causing harm. Organic isn't a short cut to always-awesome and good, nor should it be assumed it's dirtier than a conventional farmer who precisely applies fertilizers at the exact amount needed rather than blanket applying a mixed bag of sourced manures with varying nutrient values...not to mention metals and other things commonly found in manures.

Besides that, it still won't make chemical agriculture go away. There's so many reasons it's not going to happen...especially for fertilizers.

We're not talking about growing 10s of thousand acres of tomatoes...we're talking about growing 100 million acres of corn and near the same of soy and wheat.

Like it or not, there's not enough organic resources to grow like we currently grow...especially concentrated in the areas where we grow it...especially when a lot of these areas get organic returns to the soil, but not enough to bring a strong crop to market every year anyway

This post was edited by nc-crn on Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 19:39


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

"Besides that, it still won't make chemical agriculture go away. There's so many reasons it's not going to happen...especially for fertilizers."

The main reason is profit.

"We're not talking about growing 10s of thousand acres of tomatoes...we're talking about growing 100 million acres of corn and near the same of soy and wheat."

We should not be growing that much corn in the first place. It's amusing when people really think you can't grow organics on a big scale. You have to try it to believe it, i suppose.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

"We should not be growing that much corn in the first place."

Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

The privilege of being in a nation that produces way more food than it could even think of eating doesn't mean there's not a world market beyond the borders that is in need for food for people and animals.

Also, you can grow organics on a big scale...but can you grow 50 million acres of it within a 6 state radius? No. Seriously, the math's been done on that one. We'd have to relocate our entire meat supply to Iowa just to meet the demand of that state and it's immediate neighbors.

This post was edited by nc-crn on Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 20:02


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

The following was stated: "The idea that all conventional fields are simply barren dead zones only kept alive with chemicals is as ignorant of a line of thinking as thinking all organic fields are teaming with life and ready for anything."

H.Kuska comment: Who presented that idea in this thread? Please put in quotes the exact statement you are challenging (the date posted also will help the other readers). As it is, it appears that a "straw man argument" is being introduced.

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The following was stated: "Also, you can grow organics on a big scale...but can you grow 50 million acres of it within a 6 state radius? No. Seriously, the math's been done on that one. We'd have to relocate our entire meat supply to Iowa just to meet the demand of that state and it's immediate neighbors."

H.Kuska comment: No reference(s) given. Without documentation, how can this point be discussed?

Here is another viewpoint: "Conventional meat production is inefficient and unsustainable, severely diminishing freshwater quality and using prime agricultural land. It is the leading cause of loss of biodiversity, causes more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector and is undercutting international grain resources and staple food reserves. Today’s escalating population, combined with rising affluence and the resultant unparalleled rise in meat consumption, (particularly in developing countries), is causing severe damage to the environment."

The above quote is from a 2013 New Zealand Master's Thesis:

http://otago.ourarchive.ac.nz/handle/10523/4101?show=full

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Here is a link that might be useful: link for above


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

"Here is another viewpoint: "Conventional meat production is inefficient and unsustainable, severely diminishing freshwater quality and using prime agricultural land.""

Once again...give Google a rest.

Your "viewpoint" you dug up doesn't represent US farming on any realm. We are not growing meat on prime farm land at the expense of crops.

Then again, you only care about your Google searches and what you can cut/paste from others rather than actually learning something about a topic you wish to be an expert and spokesman about.

Source: Me, (c) 2013


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

I have enjoyed reading about farming and gardening from medevial times and through the past hundred years. I suppose that the crops were 'more' organic then. Still, there were crop diseases, insect problems, and crop failures. And it is kind of frightening how things like lead arsenate was sprayed on crops..perhaps several times in a season.

So things were not perfect then either. Farmers today do use some chemicals that are not what might be pure and holy. Still, they are learning some better practices. Just to be organic isn't enough either. There is so much to be learned about soil health. Healthy soil builds healthy crops which help build healthy bodies.

It is easy to be cynical today and certainly sin abounds, but I know who is in control when day is done.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

One of the main reasons that I selected a Thesis to introduce the concept of:
"Conventional meat production is inefficient and unsustainable, severely diminishing freshwater quality and using prime agricultural land. It is the leading cause of loss of biodiversity, causes more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector and is undercutting international grain resources and staple food reserves. Today’s escalating population, combined with rising affluence and the resultant unparalleled rise in meat consumption, (particularly in developing countries), is causing severe damage to the environment."

is that a Thesis normally does a much more thorough job of presenting the historical background (with documentation) than a published research paper.
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So far the only reply is: "Your "viewpoint" you dug up doesn't represent US farming on any realm. We are not growing meat on prime farm land at the expense of crops."
H.Kuska comment: I do not understand how the thesis was interpreted to be mainly saying the opposite of your rebuttal.

Here is one example of the meat versus grain question written by scientists at Cornell University:

Title: "Sustainability of meat-based and plant-based diets and the environment".

"The meat-based food system requires more energy, land, and water resources than the lactoovovegetarian diet. In this limited sense, the lactoovovegetarian diet is more sustainable than the average American meat based diet."

"In the United States, more than 9 billion livestock are maintained to supply the animal protein consumed each year (11). This livestock population on average outweighs the US human population by about 5 times. Some livestock, such as poultry and hogs, consume only grains, whereas dairy cattle, beef cattle, and lambs
consume both grains and forage. At present, the US livestock population consumes more than 7 times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire American population (11). The amount of grains fed to US livestock is sufficient to feed about 840 million people who follow a plant-based diet (7). From the US livestock
population, a total of about 8 million tons (metric) of animal protein is produced annually. With an average distribution assumed, this protein is sufficient to supply about 77 g of animal protein daily per American. With the addition of about 35 g of available plant protein consumed per person, a total of 112 g of protein is
available per capita in the United States per day (11). Note that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults per day is 56 g of protein from a mixed diet. Therefore, based on these data, each American consumes about twice the RDA for protein. Americans on average are eating too much and are consuming about
1000 kcal in excess per day per capita (12, 13). The protein consumed per day on the lactoovovegetarian diet is 89 g per day. This is significantly lower than the 112 g for the meat-based diet but still much higher than the RDA of 56 g per day."

I would like to copy more, but this post is already long. I recommend that the reader continue in the following link to the full published paper.

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/660S.full.pdf+html

Here is a link that might be useful: link to full published paper


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Henry, you dug up a "thesis" pertaining to the island nation of New Zealand and you want to blanket apply it to the United States for some weird reason...one nation with a scarce supply of land and resources...another with an over-abundance of land and resources.

...and then you follow it up with a new piece of Google'd copy and paste without even "getting" what was wrong with the initial Google search result you found to copy and paste to begin with.

...and what do you know....we have another thread that your copy and paste Google searches in a quest to be always right has lead us far away from the initial subject of the post. Give it enough time we'll be talking about the pros and cons of chicken production in Mali and whether the World Bank should be funding it. I look forward to discussing it.

Seriously...I start with raising an issue about the availability of organic resources in a chunk of the US where a majority of our corn/soy/wheat are grown and you link a paper as a "counterpoint" (which it isn't) about the scarcity of resources in New Zealand to produce meat (actually a paper about how lab grown meat can solve NZ's issues)...then follow it up with another cut/paste paper about the sustainability of meat in the US in the future?

AT WHAT POINT DO YOU NOT REALIZE YOUR "COUNTER-POINTS" HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH MY POINT OF THE AVAILABILITY OF ORGANIC AMENDMENTS IN THE AREA WHERE MOST OF OUR CORN/SOY/WHEAT IS GROWN?

DO YOU NOT SEE HOW YOUR LOGIC IS HARD TO FOLLOW HERE?

ONE PERSON TALKING ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF ORGANIC MATTER NEEDED TO SUSTAIN ORGANIC FARMING IN ONE AREA OF THE UNITED STATES...ONE PERSON TALKING ABOUT NEW ZEALAND'S FARMING RESOURCE CONCERNS PERTAINING TO MEAT PRODUCTION AND THE SUSTAINABILITY OF MEAT PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES DECADES DOWN THE ROAD?

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

(c) 2014, Capital Letters Productions

This post was edited by nc-crn on Wed, Jan 1, 14 at 4:58


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

  • Posted by pt03 2b Southern Manitob (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 1, 14 at 8:54

H.Kuska comment: I feel it is everyone's responsibility to leave our planet in a better condition than when we arrived. i.e. we all have a responsibility to society and the environment.

Lloyd comment: Good luck with that.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

counterpoint and another viewpoint are 2 completely different concepts. My "counterpoint" to your statement was not a counterpoint at all as you provided no documentation for your statement:
""The following was stated: "Also, you can grow organics on a big scale...but can you grow 50 million acres of it within a 6 state radius? No. Seriously, the math's been done on that one. We'd have to relocate our entire meat supply to Iowa just to meet the demand of that state and it's immediate neighbors."

H.Kuska comment: No reference(s) given. Without documentation, how can this point be discussed? "

Present comment: please notice that I stated that I felt that your lack of documentation prevented further discussion of your point.
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I then went on to something that should of been obvious - "another viewpoint". The Thesis was produced in New Zealand but the topic had to do with feeding the world. Even the title should have made that clear: "In vitro meat: protein for twelve billion?"
To restate the part of the title pertinent to your interpretation - the earths' population is projected to reach 12 billion, how are we going to provide protein for that size population?


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

I hope that many of you will decide to read/skim the thesis as food for the world is one of the big challenges of our children and grandchildren's generations. This thesis could serve as a motivation for their selecting their life's work to be in one of the agricultural/biological sciences.

An interesting tibit from the thesis:
"Cultivated insects would be many times more efficient than conventional meat production with a much smaller environmental effect (Roelen, 2012). A Western acknowledgment of the significance of insects as a food source could generate enormous ecological advantages (DeFoliart, 1999). In many regions insects are plentiful and can be bred with little effort and in limited/small spaces. Also, in contrast to livestock, where offal, bones and other organs are nearly inedible, the whole insect can be utilized for food (Meyer-Rochow, 2010). Cultivated insects would only release approximately 1% of the greenhouse gases of an average cow per kilogram of bodyweight acquired. The production of one kilogram of farmed crickets emits around 1.5 grams of greenhouse gases, whereas cows produce almost 3 kilograms of greenhouse gases per kilogram of bodyweight obtained (Hodson, 2012). However, a disadvantage of insects is that up scaling is difficult (Roelen, 2012)."

Here is a link that might be useful: link to thesis


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Just spreading the news: Because this is the organic garden section, we can only talk about organic gardening.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

I decided to put this link here because I already introduced the idea of crickets as an organic food of the future in this thread. If my pensions start yielding less, perhaps I should start an organic cricket garden (plus I would be raising my own bait for fishing). Unfortunately I doubt that I can patent the idea as "organic" cricket utilization has been suggested many years ago (http://biblehub.com/leviticus/11-22.htm).

Here is a link that might be useful: link to earlier organic cricket utilization suggestion


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

  • Posted by pt03 2b Southern Manitob (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 1, 14 at 16:33

There is nothing that can be said, or enough studies quoted, that will change the mind of a zealous conventional proponent.

There is nothing that can be said, or enough studies quoted, that will change the mind of a zealous organic proponent.

Pragmatists understand there are truths to both sides, the subject is incredibly complex and not always, a black and white issue.

The polar opposites will go round and round and round on this, posting study after study, that supports their particular view point ad nauseam. It is not difficult to recognize these members. Been like that for as long as I've been reading this particular forum. I suspect it will always be thus.

Having said that, it is often quite entertaining, so there can be value in these threads if one is capable of a smackeral of objectivity and possesses a decent sense of humour.

Lloyd

This post was edited by pt03 on Wed, Jan 1, 14 at 16:48


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

"Organic isn't a short cut to always-awesome and good, "

True.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Lloyd made the statement: "There is nothing that can be said, or enough studies quoted, that will change the mind of a zealous XXXXXXXXXXXX proponent."

H.Kuska comment. I feel that that is an extreme not generally correct statement as, hopefully, there are (and always will be) those who are zealous and who are willing to examine facts and change their positions if the facts warrent a change; i.e. one can be zealous and still open to examining/accepting new information.

I feel that important functions of the Organic Gardening Forum include the following: 1) To present and discuss what scientists consider as important considerations / possibilities / benefits of organic gardening, 2) to expose the dangers that scientists have reported that may result from non organic gardening (so that those interested can exercise the Precautionary Principle) and 3) to expose what are "not documented anti organic facts" but propaganda from a special interest group. This does not mean that an anti organic poster (who refuses to document) is necessarly a member of a special interest group, it may just mean that that person has fallen for their propaganda and does not recognize the importance of documenting controversial issues in an open forum.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Henry, your circle-running of topics, changing of topics, and over-all Google searching for information you more-than-occasionally don't have the knowledge to understand...yet insist it's somehow relevant...muddies your points.

You're too busy searching Google for your next cut/paste rather than learning about something you want to be a spokesman about.

You just put yourself on the cross in the post above talking about your quest for knowledge...yet you're not on a quest for knowledge...you're on a quest for Google searches in order to present "different viewpoints" which are too-often so off-mark or misused by source that it's poison to the discussions you're derailing.

...yet you see no wrong because you do no wrong. You are NEVER wrong...you never admit to going astray...you are never incorrect, just misunderstood...every single time.

...and this...

"3) to expose what are "not documented anti organic facts" but propaganda from a special interest group. This does not mean that an anti organic poster (who refuses to document) is necessarly a member of a special interest group, it may just mean that that person has fallen for their propaganda and does not recognize the importance of documenting controversial issues in an open forum."

1- You NEVER...EVER...make a post about organic gardening or help others with their organic gardening problems/questions whereas I do. You want to believe some of your posts about politics musings, Round-Up, and GMOs are about organic gardening, but that's only if YOU get to define it. A search of your post history in this forum shows you NEVER want to talk about people's gardening issues/questions.

2- You ONLY make political/news/musing posts in this forum...and once again you NEVER help others with their organic gardening problems/questions whereas I do.

3- In the past when you demanded documentation and I've given it (multiple times) YOU'VE DISMISSED IT.

4- You are a retired chemist with no experience in this field...I am an active biologist/botanist/geneticist/soil scientist THAT WORKS IN THIS FIELD. I have worked with farmers on 4 continents and about 2/3rd of the states in the US. I can say off-the-cuff that I have visited more farms and talked to more farmers than you've ever read about. I've been to the conferences, I've presented at the conferences, I've been published, I've written for the magazines. ONCE AGAIN, I WORK IN THIS FIELD.

5- READ #4 AGAIN. YOU ARE NOT AN EXPERT OR SPOKESMAN OF THIS FIELD. YOU ARE A BORED GUY WITH AN AGENDA THAT KNOWS HOW TO USE GOOGLE.

6- You've consistently Google searched "points" from sources that are not only not legit, they're psuedo-science...yet you refuse to say "Well, that's a bad one, my bad."...no, it's always "They're good, I say they're good, document why they're bad."....and when I reply (from a recent example) "That was written by an AIDS-denier who believes ionized water can cure cancer and has no training in plant biology"....you reply "That's not a source and personal attacks on her isn't fair." MIND = BLOWN

7- I am not a part of a "special interest" group...I am not paid by anyone to be here...it's not propaganda just because you don't want to believe it (this last part will be hard for you to comprehend because of your never-wrong complex).

8- You cannot tell a "controversial issue" from a fact because you are so far outside your realm of knowledge you're not aware of what's controversial and what isn't. You seem to think it's controversial because it's not what you want to hear. You seem to know how to use Google to dig out your viewpoints and counterpoints, yet when it comes to using Google to find out if something you don't agree with is true you suddenly don't know how to use your Google skills. WEIRD AND STRANGE COINCIDENCE!

8- Read #4 again. I'm sure you've already forced yourself to ignore it twice already.

Seriously, I have no idea why you're in this forum. You never help others with their organic gardening...you never have a question about organic gardening (because you obviously know everything already)...you only want to talk about and create threads about Hot Topics political/musings/news discussions about large commercial agriculture, chemical agriculture, and large commercial food production.

This post was edited by nc-crn on Wed, Jan 1, 14 at 20:03


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

  • Posted by pt03 2b Southern Manitob (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 1, 14 at 22:08

H.Kuska comment. I feel that that is an extreme not generally correct statement as, hopefully, there are (and always will be) those who are zealous and who are willing to examine facts and change their positions if the facts warrent a change; i.e. one can be zealous and still open to examining/accepting new information.

Lloyd comment: Of course you are entitled to that opinion. Zealots do not change their minds, that is why they are zealots. They may examine new information but they will never accept it. Enthusiasts OTOH, can be open minded. Zealots and fanatics? Not so much. Show me a Taliban that is "open to examining/accepting new information".


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Here is the way Lloyd used the word "zealous":

"There is nothing that can be said, or enough studies quoted, that will change the mind of a zealous XXXXXXXX proponent."

H.Kuska comment: Zealous is used above as an adjective.
This is one dictionary definition of the word "zealous":

" zealousPronunciation: /ˈzɛləs/
Translate zealous : into German : into Italian : into Spanish
adjective
having or showing zeal:
the council was extremely zealous in the application of the regulations"
The above was taken from the following disctionary"
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/zealous?q=zealous
--------------------------------------------
A second dictionary definition is:

"zealous[ zel-uhs ]adjective
1. ardently active, devoted, or diligent; full of, characterized by, or due to zeal."
The above is taken from:

http://m.dictionary.com/definition/zealous?linkid=ibc5yn&srcpage=home&site=dictwap
---------------------------------
Definition of "zeal"
"noun
[mass noun]great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective:
his zeal for privatization
Laura brought a missionary zeal to her work"
From: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/zeal?q=zeal
------------------------------------------------
The dictionary definition of "proponent." is:
"proponentPronunciation: /prəˈpəʊnənt/
Translate proponent : into Italian
noun
a person who advocates a theory, proposal, or course of action:
a strong proponent of the free market and liberal trade policies"

The above is taken from the dictionary link below:

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/proponent?q=proponent


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Henry, how awesome is it to be always right about everything no matter the subject?

I mean, it's got to be both self-rewarding and frustrating that idiots surround you.

You're brave and noble. I salute you.

SOURCE: Everything you've ever written on Garden Web.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

  • Posted by pt03 2b Southern Manitob (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 2, 14 at 7:46

I guess trying to be somewhat discreet does not work with some people. Obviously I should have just called a spade a spade and used "zealot" versus "zealous proponent". I have noted this for further interaction with certain folks that are unable to grasp nuances. I apologize to those that did not understand that I was labelling a few members as fanatics and zealots with their one-trick-pony pursuit of their agendas.

Lloyd


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Don't MAKE me turn this thread around.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

elisa,, Since you started this lively thread, it took a life of its own. This is to be expected. Many people's minds are already pretty well set about these things whether by knowledge or emotions or error. I think that there are so many facets to view the subject from. Soil science, bodily health, and spiritual health are all so deep that tons of books have been written on them.

So let's go back to gardening.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

"Show me a Taliban that is "open to examining/accepting new information"."

Show me an end-of-the-world christian cult that is, or any other cult. The Taliban is a religious cult.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Pat, I believe some deserve better than that.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

  • Posted by pt03 2b Southern Manitob (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 2, 14 at 18:39

Sorry elisa, you're right. Sometimes I get caught up in the moment.

Lloyd


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

I haven't laughed this hard in ages.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

:)
It is a spirited group, isn't it?


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

My experience is that organic is more nutritionally dense than conventional. This is based on years of measuring BRIX, where organic is usually, but not always, greater than equivalent conventional. Considering general levels of health, I believe that nutrition density is as important as yield. Regards, Peter.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Honestly folks, is there not any good ground between pure organics and conventional?


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

eliza, I thought this was a good one. Scroll down 3/4 of the way to Hawkfan's picture of Jesus with the loaf and fish.

http://talk.newagtalk.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=442428&mid=3568551#M3568551


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Wayne, there are many traditions between "pure" organic and "Chem Conventional" agriculture. . There are other alternative agricultural traditions that are not friends of the agrochemical industries and their allies in many of the distributorships and ag consulting businesses. Extension services and University ag research services maintained some independence until the massive consolidation of the ag-related sectors over the past 2 decades. Organic farming came under attack from such institutions as the Heritage Foundation (Avery father and son) y early because of the growing economic success of organic food production. Just about every talking point against organic food came from the Averys and based often on little or no data or data cherry-picked to fit the meme: organic food is dangerous.

Examples of alternative ag: Eco-agriculture (ACRES USA/Wm Albrecht), Biodynamic Ag, and assorted mixed agrarian systems... most of these alternative ag systems seek to reunite animal husbandry and row plant cropping in some degree in tune with natural cycles, even cosmic forces. So these agrarian traditions are not easily tested against largely monocropping chem-intensive ag. In Europe, research found these alternative systems highly productive in many services other than gross yields.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

marshall, Long time no see. Thanks for your reply. I had just watched some of the linked video....it was using up my satellite allowance too quickly to watch a lot of it, but I am interested in those in between practices that utilize the best of organic and conventional. I am a bit disturbed that 'organic' is somewhat of a cult to me if it goes 100%. ...and draws some arbortrary lines that don't make total sense to me in the present economy....and yes, I am a 'fanatic' in some ways.

Here is a link that might be useful: Healthy soil practices


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

I seen that video; you are right about its usefulness. I have to stress that at least in California there are few "fanatic" organic farmers and most of them including myself work hard at soil, crop, and water management. My operation is not certified organic.

There are quite a few non-farming fanatics who act like cult members at times. We organic farmers do hold the line between natural or mined inputs and synthetic products beyond those products that have been used historically. Even those are being mostly phased out of every-day use. Why? There is constant pressure on national and international organic standards to allow synthetics, raw manures, human manures and even genetically engineer organisms or their byproducts. We are at heart conservative, even those of us that experiment.

We operate on the principle that the soil is a living organism bound in fundamental ways to our crops and supporting plant covers through the root systems. We also believe that a well designed and managed agro-ecosystem supports a wide range of beneficial species that help to control pests and diseases. Many of the synthetic materials applied by conventional farmers raise hell with these subtle actions of micro- and macro-organisms.

True, I have learned to manage 7 acres of mixed orchard and annual/perennial cropping ground. I would not try to farm 5,000 acres of one or a few crops following my agronomic system. It is designed for maximum diversity, rapid cycling, and reliance on transplants for most annual crops.

No manure but a couple of hundred tons of compost generated on site from landscape trimmings and mowings mixed with culls and other farm waste. Soil tests show consistently adequate major, secondary and micronutrient levels. We crop year round and need to apply a bit a fertilizer (balanced organic blends) during the cold months or as preplant for heavy feeders. We also water in transplants using varying fish/kelp emulsions.

Enough for now. I have transplants soaking in trays and need to drain and put away before it gets too cold.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

"Wayne and Marshall, the link below discusses another farming model (GE is used for Genetic Engineering).
"GE and Industrial Agriculture
As the superweed crisis illustrates, current applications of genetic engineering have become a key component of an unsustainable approach to food production: industrial agriculture, with its dependence on monoculture��"supported by costly chemical inputs��"at the expense of the long-term health and productivity of the farm.
A different approach to farming is available��"what UCS calls "healthy farms." This approach is not only more sustainable than industrial agriculture, but often more cost-effective. Yet as long as the marketplace of agricultural products and policies is dominated by the industrial model, prioritizing expensive products over knowledge-based agroecological approaches, healthy farm solutions face an uphill battle.

In the case of GE, better solutions include crop breeding (often assisted by molecular biology techniques) and agroecological practices such as crop rotation, cover crops, and integrated crop/livestock management.

Such healthy farm practices are the future of U.S. agriculture��"and policymakers can help speed the transition by supporting research and education on them. In the meantime, stronger regulation of the biotechnology industry is needed to minimize health and environmental risks from GE products."

Here is a link that might be useful: Union of Concerned Scientists Statement last revised Last Revised: 11/07/13


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

There's 2 GMO herbicide tolerant corn/soy products on the market and a 3rd not far behind. More are coming. This makes herbicide rotations possible as well as killing the whole "superweed" scare issue.

There is no "superweed crisis"...just a glyphosate tolerant weed annoyance caused by a lack of rotation and overuse of glyphosate tolerant crops.

There's plenty of ways to kill these weeds...just not with glyphosate.

We could do away with all GM tomorrow and go back to spraying glyphosate, 2,4-D, Malathion, Atrazine, etc. in rotations on everything. "Superweed" worries no more!

This will not make the UoCS happy, though, because it's not in their mission to have things solved this way.

Also, I don't think anyone in this discussion is farming any GMO corn or soy...or any other GMO crops.

...and about UoCS's "Healthy Farm" approach...it's just something many farmers are not interested in. Not every farmer owns their land...many lease it.

Not every farmer (not many) actually wants to grow crops that need different harvesters as well as raising pasture animals (if they even have the proper land for that) and growing orchards. It's nice for those that can, but most of those people are working small (less than 40-50 acres) acreage or running specialty farms.

We already have programs in place in the US to pay farmers to conserve land (aka, not plant on it and let it go "wild") and it's still not used to it's full advantage because of the world-wide demand for grain crops.

This post was edited by nc-crn on Sun, Jan 5, 14 at 1:11


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

The following was stated: "Also, I don't think anyone in this discussion is farming any GMO corn or soy..."

H.Kuska comment. The part of the link that I cut and paste had to do with the subtopic discussed by Wayne and Marshall as indicated in my lead in sentence: "Wayne and Marshall, the link below discusses another farming mode." This subthread is about alternate farming modes. The distinction between farming and gardening is a blurred one. I feel that some/many? of the readers interested in this forum are interested in reading about other possible agricultural practices especially if they find that some of the suggestions could be applied to their organic gardens (with zero or very little modification). The Union of Concerned Scientists actual detailed statement was linked to in the last link that I gave. In case some missed it, I now give the actual link below. The quote below should give the reader an idea of their suggested direction.
"Healthy Farm Practices
How can farmers turn all this theory into practice? Our experts have identified four key healthy farm practices:

A landscape approach. On a healthy farm, uncultivated areas are maintained as a resource, providing a home for beneficial organisms as well as a buffer to help keep farm nutrients from polluting nearby waterways.

Crop diversity and rotation. Using long, complex crop rotations, and expanding the farm's repertoire to include fruits, vegetables and/or energy crops, can yield multiple benefits, including healthier soil, reduced need for pesticides, and even higher profits.

Integrating crops and livestock. Well-managed pastures help maintain biodiversity, while the manure they produce is a valuable resource for soil fertility. And animals provide a market for some alternative crops, facilitating complex crop rotations.

Cover crops. Planting cover crops when soil would otherwise be bare reduces erosion, improves soil fertility and water-holding capacity, and helps keep weeds under control.

Healthy Farm Benefits
Together, these principles and practices add up to a healthy farm��"and the benefits are many. For instance:

Reduced need for chemical inputs. By increasing soil fertility and pest resistance, healthy farm practices enable farmers to greatly reduce their reliance (and expenditure) on chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides.
Drought resilience. A healthy farm's soil is better at retaining water, so the farm is less susceptible to the devastating impacts of drought.
Increased biodiversity. A healthy farm is a far more welcoming home to pollinators and other beneficial organisms than its industrial competitors.
Reduced environmental impact. Common environmental impacts of industrial agriculture, such as nitrogen runoff and toxic pesticide residues, are greatly reduced on a healthy farm."

http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/solutions/advance-sustainable-agriculture/healthy-farm-vision.html

Here is a link that might be useful: actual statement


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Wayne -- that's hilarious!!

Very interesting that this Cheerios thing is being discussed so many places. It's a harbinger of the coming age, I tell you.

I'm going to call Unilever tomorrow and ask them to follow suit with Hellmann's mayo.

Wait -- how did GMO's and Cheerios get on my OG vs conventional research thread??


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

Marshall -- very interesting that you would bring up the Averys because the reason I posted this thread in the first place was to balance out a raft of Avery-isms that had recently been spread around the organic forum, and I needed to balance them out before my head exploded. (I was also testing to see if the Avery-isms had stopped -- they have.)

I knew they were industry spokesmen, and I knew that the Sr. Avery is known for reporting data that he made up, but I didn't know they were so fundamental to the talking points.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

I am glad that I just have my own gardens to worry about for the most part. I grew up on the farm and remember how painful bitterly cold mornings and days can be out in the barns and outdoors. It has been forecast to have about 8-10 inches of snow with drifting and super bitter cold....I hope and pray for mercy.

It was good to hear from Marshall as he is very experienced and knowledgeable. I don't toe all the organic line, but have learned a lot of useful ways from it. Having grown up on the farm in the '40s and '50s, I remember the plowing, disking, cultivating, and cultivating so I have some sympathy for what the problems and roadblocks are for greater soil and crop health are.


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RE: a good meta-analysis of organic vs conventional outputs

@elisa: The old man Avery was a fanatic; his son less so but also with lesser credentials. Every few years they would have published outrageous attacks on the health and safety of organic farming and animal husbandry with attention also on how terrible organic practices were for the environment. Cooking data and cherry-picking data were hallmarks of the Avery project. There were never industry spokesmen, but employees of the Heritage Foundation and active on the talking circuit.

@wayne: Thanks for the kind words, friend.


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