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Posts tagged ‘corn’

Are pesticides changing of climate or of planet?

December 11th, 2009

Dear friends, an incredible thing happenned this week, on the side of the Copenhagen Climate Conference, a true mental climate change, heart warming, a real good news : the very respected Routhamsted Center for Research is communicating on the fact that there you dont need pesticide and fertilizer to produce corn.

Yes, you are not dreaming, the news is coming from one of the most advancedhigh tech agro lab in Europe, heir to the 2nd world war effort, to the tradition of the inventors of the Orange Agent, the GM crops, etc. Prof. John Pickett chief of the Pesticide and fongicide department, recently renamed “Biological Chemistry Laboratory” of the centeralso renamed “sutainable pest and disease management centre”, those who have invented the synthetic Pyrethrum, as welle as many other products that we find in the end in our plates, that we fix little by little in our body while eating vegetable and fruits. And suddenly without notice this package of pesticide and fertilizer is producing toxic algaes on our shores, killing the animals which eat them. we would like to transform this biomass but it is not yet a priority, hence the million euros it is costing already (800M euros in France only) (by the way dont see anything religious in the biomass).

Of course the very sympathetic professor Pickett is not denying his old love in inorganic chemistry and magic powders which make the joy of commerce and debt of the farmers. But now his speach is clear and radical on the BBC and on the web “Developping countries, you dont need pesticides and fertilizer anymore to grow your corn: we ahve designed for you the “Push & Pull” technique, which will enhance your crops by 50 to 600%.

What is it all about? To use what nature is offering us to get bthe best out of it at the lowest cost possible.

More than a generous soil and water, to grow, corn needs two things : nitrogen as fertilizer and to avoid the small worms of corn borer, little mothswho elected the corn pods as the five star hatchery of the century. Our brillant lab nspired itself from the research of the famous botanist Josia Braun-Blanquet, published in 1922 in his book “the plant sociology”; a book sold out, which I finaly was able to get when Bradford University’s library decided to clean up its shelves from its’ old books, judged unfitted for the modern farmer.

Still, Braun-Blanquet’s “the Plant sociology” as Rudolf Steiner’s “Agriculture courses” de Rudolf Steiner, the “inventor” of biodynamy, should be the two reference books for any farmer, to my opinion.

So what are we talking about? To plant corm together with two other plants : one to protect it against pests, the other to purvey fertilizer and attract all the insects predators of the pests.

The first is a gramineae, the Pennisetum purpureum, better known as the elephant grass, as it can reach 3m high and is the appreciated by all the dumbos of Kenya. It is also the preferate food of corn stem borers. the little moth which destroys corn likes it better than corn: but when it lay its eggs on it the intelligent plant knows exactly what to do : it produces a liquid which disolve the eggs. How impresive is nature, dont you find? Above all the roots of thos plant does not spread at the same level as corn, it goes far deeper and so it stops erosion and helps water to penetrate the soil far better while keeping humidity for the corn which really needs it in summer. Our herb is stopping soil perspiration. Not bad.

The second plant to be sown together with the corn is a legume, the Desmodium Ssp, a sort of bean. It is well known now, the legumes are champions to fix in the soil the nitrogen of the air, thanks to the nodosities they have in their roots and to the bunch of fungi mycelia it lives together with. So no need of fertilizer for the corn anymore. The Desmodium Ssp. also produce nice little pink flowers which attract all the tiny wasps of the area, like young teens around the last Galliano’s perfume. And guess what? The preferate food of these wasps is the little moths which threat the corns and which our elephant grass attracts in such quantities. Desmodium can fix up to 200 to 250kg of nitrogen in an hectare, Remember in Agriculture the excess is always worse than the countrary. In case there is two much nitrogen our legume are going to provoque the growth of asteraceae, little flowers and medicinal plants which also attract the helpfull tiny wasps and other pollinators.

So as we are planting, why not some asteraceae all around the field, like sunflower or the famous Yacon, Yacon root Smallanthus sonchifolia, and what about some radishes like the Raphanus sativus niger, or maca, Lepidium meyenii, which will bring their dose of sulfur and keep the predators away from our asteraceaes…

The result? Instead of just one crop of corn, we get more and better corn, fourage for the cattle, a crop of sunflower seeds, of yacon roots, black and horse radish and maca full of vitamins. Not bad at all.

Above all we will have a nice green field of year long, full of flowers and life. Because to get a good result we do not till the soil; the desmodium and the corn are sown direct and the rest simply cast on top of the soil. Not too tiring, is it? Above all the desmodium and the elephant grass is perennial. Once it is sown it there for years and the field will always be fertilized and humid.

At the same time as introducing this protocole to cultivate corn in Argentina, we started a second protocole to destress the paesant in charge of the kitchen garden. We called it the protocole of the Inca, as it is inspired from the ancien techniques found in the archeological remains around Puno in Peru, along the Titicaca lake, a technique which is still used by the Hopi indians in the States :

In the same rectangle we have sown all the different varieties of corn we could find, all different colours. The farmer wanted absolutly to till the land by hand, though we told us that it was of no use. You see if he does not work he feals he does not diserve his salary. Any work means to be paid, even if it useless.

At the foot of each stem of corn we told him to plant a pea a bean and a green bean, in between each rows we told him to pant pumkin and other cucurbitaceae. At the end of the row facing the sun a yacon root and opposite a sunflower, all around radishes and maca. His little garden suddenly transformed itself into a plat village, in which each plant has its role among the community in a perfect harmony, enriching the soil and preserving water. All grows perfectly well and in a few days we will get 7 crops instead of our only crop of corn.

With all this biodiversity of food we have now to be clever on gastronomy. If everybody follows this example, it gives hope for the future of food security of our planet.

This is what I call a good demo of agricultural design.

This example needs to be followed, to forget about all these scaremongers who want to sell their chemistry as an excuse to save the planet, when they destroy it. Thank you and bravo Professor Pickett.

Remember, December 1984, 25 years ago : Bhopal, hundreds of thousands of dead in one night and the environment destroyed for god knows ho long. In Bhopal, Dominique Lapierre is still fighting to help the survivors to recover and live decently ; apart from giving all the rights of his world best seller books to the foundation “City of Joy”, he travels the whole planet to spread the message so that it wont happen never again.

If we had explained to the Indian farmers that they could do without pesticide to accomplish the Green Revolution, it wouldn’t have happened. One does not build a factory that creates no benefit.

Remember the Zyclon B of the Nazi camps, 5 million dead ; more recently the organophosphorus gas projectiles received by the Kurdes of Halabja in 1988, Falloujah in 2004, Lebanon in 2006 … Here are the type of “side products” of the research you are supporting when buying pesticides. Think it over, pesticide and herbicide are meant to kill.

There is no use in killing nature blindly. Learn about life and how it works first. You can earn much more by applying the sort of techniques we have described today.

A little further with agricultural design : the solar barn this time a little more grungy

November 7th, 2009

What the hell can a cow dream about?
Simple : about this
And this
But here in the Argentinian North West, in summer you cant dry tadalafil no prescription it, it rains too much, it rots.

We already made the design of a solar barn to dry it up. But who wants to put a dime on grass.

What a weird idea? Grass? It is not serious.

Can’t smoke it.

So we reviewed the copy of our report and came back with a new one : the barn is less glamourous, less techno, it lacks this space shuttle look that farmers like so much, with buttons, computers, noise… now it works with absolutly no machinery, only sun and some small tricks of course :
The hay is thrown on a big rolling walkway, made of recycled farm nets, actioned by a pedal and simple machanism which makes it go 2meters by 2 meters, just enough to spray the hay evenly. The barn is 30m by 10m. Once the sort of pathway is totally covered, the barn is shut the more hermeticly possible. The sun heats the roof, and the air flies away through special chimneys, which look like metallic chef whirling hats; a bit like the mad whirling dervich cook. By doing so it creates a depression, which attracts the air coming from apertures under the hay. The hay is relatively close to the roof so it gets the heat from it, but the air coming from under and passing through, prevents it from cooking. A piece of cake.


The trick? The air coming and going is accelerated by a vortex-like system of cones continuously renovating the air at a fast pace to dry it up quickly. The interior of the barn is cleverly organised to reenforce the whirlwinds, avoiding dead angles which could create counter streams and with small devices to gear humid condensations at the right places. Done, the rabbit is in the hat. The barn is 100% controled by the sun.

It was crucial for us to persevere in this project and insist with it instead of letting it be immolated it on the altar of GMO progress. Just look at what will happen to the cattle in winter if we dont react… new born calves and pregnant cows forced to eat the ground ; just like the people starving in Haïti, you would say?
No, not as bad, here the cows are more lucky than human beings… engineers are taking care of them. All around the world, young agronomists have been taught that you need to feed cattle on corn. You would not even think to give them grass, would you? You cant get a better value than with corn; and it is so easy to grow with GMO technologies; you dont have to think, just buy the seeds, the herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers that go with them, machinery to spray everething on your well compacted and flat field. If you cannot afford all this, you will easily get a loan. Good boy, you are now sustaining a whole economy. Yes you can.

Hopefully, things are changing, slowly. One thing: just remember that corn produces more fat than meat, which is very good when your cow does not move; if not, it will loses it. It is probably why we have created feedlots, sort of concentration camps in which animals are stockpiled to be force fed without moving. 60 to 80% of Argentinian meat is produced this way, same with Brasil, same in France.
The dream team is with the GMO soy cattle-cake. You press the soy oil for cars and give the remaining to the cows. 70% of the cows in France are fed on this. France is now number one importer of GMO soy cattle cake from Brasil. GMO crops are forbidden in France, but the cows which are eating GMO soy in their barn without being able to move, are they GMO? Of course not, logic.

“Colonizar a Amazonia pela pata do boi” “conquer Amazonia by the hoof of the ox”, the great motto of the Brasilian politicians since the seventies is more hype than anytime. To feed each French you need 458sqm of Amazonian soy, according to Greenpeace. And it goes on, the consumption of meat in this year of crisis has risen by 28% in France and since the seventies soy production in Amazonia went from 0 to 21 million hectares. Progress never stops.

But back to our cows; here once the corn has grown, in order to keep food for winter, you let it dry up on its’ pod or you convert it into silo bags; the big black plastic bags laying with big old tires on top, a bucolic neat countryside. The corn is crushed and put to fermentate until the next winter. This method works perfectly in a laboratory, but in nature it is not always easy to control and sort the bacterias which are going to produce the lactic acids and the yeast which are going to produce alcohol. Oh, sweet little devils.
The young calves you see here are totally drunk, loaded, not a single one can walk straight, “they dont need to drive, its’ not too bad” Would you say? In fact alcohol hits directly on the liver which is the place where the immune defenses are constructed, a sort of control tower of your immune system. Not the best thing to do do when you start in life, isn’t it? These calves are going to spend the rest of their life at the vet. To avoid spending a little more today, you will spend a lot more later.

The key problem in Argentina is here : the price of meat is blocked by the government; 20 cent euros a kilo. You cant make a living anymore by producing meat, everybody abandons. “Only the ones on natural pastures can cope”, tells me an agronom engineer. But everybody carries on with corn and soy. Argentina just announced in November 2009 a deficit of 3 million calves. No you are not dreaming, we are talking about Argentina and agronomers… a famous French comic used to say “You put them in a desert, 3 weeks later they come to clame for more sand.”

To produce 1kg of meat you need 7 to 10 kg of food. Quite a carbon footprint; here, according to the calculations we made, on the yields we got this year 12t/ha i.e. 8t/ha dry of GMO corn; I cant say if it is due to the seeds or local conditions. On the other hand well managed pastures can provide 20 to 60 tons/ha. Once it is sown, it comes back every year. No use to buy more seeds, to plant, just harvest. Between this and corn, what would you choose? Corn of course. Logical?

Agriculture Design Assignment – Argentina 3 / the biodiversity which has to be protected

March 23rd, 2009


- The pastures with their cocktails of Medicinal plants and the Rubioceas which can give maximum productivity in meat with the equal quantities of forrage, a quality that only nature can produce :


- auxiliary insects which feed on the pests and the necrophage insects that transform cow shit into fertilizer :



- Psylocibes and necrophage fungi which transform carbon into sugars which they exchange with the plants directly at their roots where they need it, thanks to their Mycelial net.


All these beings are the best allies of the agricultor, the guaranty of a sane and rich forrage.


But many are those unaware of this and prefer more radical ways.


Here are two organochloride molecules which have been invented in 1942 to put an end to the Second World War by creating a weapon capable of readicating the soil, all cultures, defoliate all vegetation to spread famine. Added to a detergent so that in can penetrate more easily in the cells of the plants, it is sadly famous under the name of “Agent Orange”. Note that the carbon links of both molecules are very stong and not easy to degrade by nature. Here, near the big house, you see a man weeding the banks of the stream which brings the water to be used by the people in the village… These mollecule have been invented by synthetising growth hormones of the rice… According to Professor Séralini of the University of Caen, with dosis 100 000 less strong than the one suggested to any gardener, they provoque necrosis on the placentas pregnant women.

This what is used here to weed: our mission is to show that these weeds are not altogether bad, nor competing with the cultures… Our aim is toshow that some are helping the cultures and it needs observation and a good managment of sowing to turn some weed in the best allies possible for the cultures. And all this use of potentialy dangerous products, what is it for? to grow genetically engineered soja (GMO) modified in order to resist to such products… You can see above the 3rd crop in three years of GMO soja 25 days after sowing… no more bigger than the “weed” which have been sprayed 3 times since sowing; there is no much more than one seedling of soja every 2feets…


In Argentina the price of such products have raised 25% in 2008 and it is said that the raise willbe stronger in 2009 … to spend so much money on so mediocre results… anyway from our experience on this site the experience is far from successful … Not to mention that all the biodiversity shown above have disappeared from these fumigated fields.

Argentina is now one of the biggest users of these chemical products for its’ agriculture. Today, more than 60% of the Argentinian meat is bred in “feed-lots”, also fed with GMO corn and soja. In January 2009, the Argentinian government has asked the medical and biochemical university of Buenos Aires a report on the sanitary impact of the agriculture on the people at a national level, due to be released in 4 years.