PDA

View Full Version : New farmers wanted, organic especially


ICT Bill
10-28-2008, 05:20 PM
This just came in on the ATTRA newsletter, maybe I'll pick up stakes and move west, maybe not :)

Some states and counties are doing their best to attract new farmers or to promote organic agriculture. In northwest Iowa, for example, a majority of farmers are past the normal age of retirement. Woodbury County has embarked on a program to bring in new farmers, especially those interested in organic production and entrepreneurship. The county is basing its economic development on the creation of small family farms, organic processing, and local food systems.

In 2005 the county enacted an Organics Conversion Policy that rebates 100 percent of real property taxes for five years to farms that transition to organic production. The policy also commits to finding a market for local organic products, along with financing and educational resources and the counsel of experienced organic farmers. In 2006 Woodbury County adopted the first mandatory Local Food Purchase Policy in the nation. www.woodburyorganics.com

Marathon County in north central Wisconsin sponsors the U Can Farm program, inviting farmers and farm businesses to put down roots. The programís Agribusiness Incubator offers technical assistance for beginning and experienced farmers who want to be part of the local grazing and dairy economy. Contact Tom Cadwallader, Lincoln/Marathon County Extension, 715-536-0304, thomas.cadwallader@ces.uwex.edu. www.ucanfarm.org

Pennsylvania Center for Farm Transitions helps beginning, retiring, and relocating farmers as well as those who want to change or expand their operations. The center works to assure the future of agriculture in the state. Toll-free telephone: 877-475-2686. www.iplantofarm.com

ICT Bill
10-28-2008, 05:33 PM
I just found a great paper on sustainable soils on ATTRA. http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/soilmgmt.html

DUSTYCEDAR
10-28-2008, 05:53 PM
Loading up the truck and heading west

dtally
10-29-2008, 08:07 AM
Bill,

I had stumbled on this a while back, very informative. How was the show? I tried last minute to get there, but 700 miles was a long drive. Next year I am there.

Smallaxe
10-29-2008, 08:33 AM
The problem with farming now days is that the gov't wants absolute control over the animals. In the name of mad cow disease and sars they are sticking there nose right in the farmers face. Paying to microchip cattle, notifying the gov't when moving the herd from one farm to another or are your chickens outside in the dangerous air where they might come in contact with pigeons and get sars.

You see in farming now you do not want free range grass fed cattle or chickens, because the meat, eggs and cheese, are good for you.
You need to grow the animals in boxes pumped full of high energy cholesterol producing 'feeds' to increase production and save them from the scary sars and mcd.

Did you know that if you don't feed dead cows to living cows that they won't get mcd?

If I get time I will have to run up there a talk with Tom and see what he's got going. In the coming months or years , the Victory Garden idea may make another revival. It may not be a good idea to rely on America's Collective Farm system to feed the populous.

ICT Bill
10-29-2008, 11:15 AM
Smallaxe, local and sustainable is, I believe, the future of farming. I heard a great talk by a guy on National public radio about Brazil, they do a 5 years cycle of animals on the land for 3 years and then crops with no till for 2 years and back to animals. This allows the biology and soil to get in balance and then be used for crops, very few inputs as far as fertilizers go, the dung and green crops for 3 years revitalizes the soil.
They also plant cover crops with the crop
I am trying to remember the name for the large pens/areas that they hold cattle in, they have a 4 word name for it that escapes me right now. anyway, those large pen areas where the animals stand in one place and get fed are not a very good or sustainable story. They are so afraid of one illness wipeing them all out that they are constantly pumped with anti- whatevers

Dtally, we had a ball at the show, on Thursday we all went downtown and watched 38 special play at 4th street live. free beer and food at the total landscapes venue, you can't beat that. Thursday was busy and a beautiful day everyone was out playing with the mowers, rideons and backhoes. Friday it rained all day so it was the busiest inside, saturday was kind of flat mostly local folks from a 100 mile radius. all in all it was great and a lot of fun, I was hoping to see you guys come through the booth. Next year

Smallaxe
10-30-2008, 08:58 AM
Smallaxe, local and sustainable is, I believe, the future of farming. I heard a great talk by a guy on National public radio about Brazil, they do a 5 years cycle of animals on the land for 3 years and then crops with no till for 2 years and back to animals. This allows the biology and soil to get in balance and then be used for crops, very few inputs as far as fertilizers go, the dung and green crops for 3 years revitalizes the soil.
They also plant cover crops with the crop
I am trying to remember the name for the large pens/areas that they hold cattle in, they have a 4 word name for it that escapes me right now. anyway, those large pen areas where the animals stand in one place and get fed are not a very good or sustainable story. They are so afraid of one illness wipeing them all out that they are constantly pumped with anti- whatevers

Dtally, we had a ball at the show, on Thursday we all went downtown and watched 38 special play at 4th street live. free beer and food at the total landscapes venue, you can't beat that. Thursday was busy and a beautiful day everyone was out playing with the mowers, rideons and backhoes. Friday it rained all day so it was the busiest inside, saturday was kind of flat mostly local folks from a 100 mile radius. all in all it was great and a lot of fun, I was hoping to see you guys come through the booth. Next year

There are a lot of ways to improve healthy production of food, but so far 'sustainable' means starvation for huge segments of the population. Harvesting any crop w/out replacing the minerals taken is not 'sustainable' and no-till doesn't magically change that physical law. Having fungi remove every bit of P in the soil for plant availability only means that when it is gone it is even more rundown than what we did in the 'Dust Bowl Days".

When kitchen waste and bathroom waste are separately and safely recycled into the environment and we quit burying organic waste along side the plastics, clean the eroded OM out of the lakes and streams then you will have made significant steps forward in preserving a piece of ground.

But we have some religious aversion to cleaning out the waterways. No science backs it up and none of these great gatherings even discuss it. Its like being an infidel for not believing Chicken Little or the nightcrawlers killing the forests or any other lie that we were propagandized [I mean - educated] into believing.

ICT Bill
10-30-2008, 10:07 AM
There are a lot of ways to improve healthy production of food, but so far 'sustainable' means starvation for huge segments of the population. Harvesting any crop w/out replacing the minerals taken is not 'sustainable' and no-till doesn't magically change that physical law. Having fungi remove every bit of P in the soil for plant availability only means that when it is gone it is even more rundown than what we did in the 'Dust Bowl Days".

Interesting slant for sure, do you have any data on fungi running down the soil to create a "dust bowl" I don't think its possible. Mycorrhizae fungi tap the sun for its food, photosynthesis by the plant provides exudates that feed the fungi through the root. It is a symbiotic relationship

No till practices use manures and green manures to replace nutrients it does not operate in a vacuum and excuse me for being dense but exactly what huge segment of the population is starving??:confused:

By leaving the roots of the plants grown in the soil the decaying roots provide food and channels for the root of the next plant grown

Kiril
10-30-2008, 10:31 AM
Interesting slant for sure, do you have any data on fungi running down the soil to create a "dust bowl" I don't think its possible. Mycorrhizae fungi tap the sun for its food, photosynthesis by the plant provides exudates that feed the fungi through the root. It is a symbiotic relationship

No till practices use manures and green manures to replace nutrients it does not operate in a vacuum and

I believe he is talking about when outputs exceed inputs (correct me if I am wrong Smallaxe), which is typically the case in most all agricultural (and sadly landscape) scenarios. Eventually soil reserves will run out along with the capability to support high yield plant growth.

excuse me for being dense but exactly what huge segment of the population is starving??:confused:

Certainly your not serious.

http://www.bread.org/learn/hunger-basics/hunger-facts-international.html
http://www.care.org/campaigns/world-hunger/facts.asp

By leaving the roots of the plants grown in the soil the decaying roots provide food and channels for the root of the next plant grown

That doesn't cut it. If you remove 100 metric tons of biomass, and leave behind 20 metric tons for future crops, how is that a balanced, sustainable system? Your mining the soil, and like any mining operation, eventually your going to run out of stuff to mine.

ICT Bill
10-30-2008, 10:56 AM
That doesn't cut it. If you remove 100 metric tons of biomass, and leave behind 20 metric tons for future crops, how is that a balanced, sustainable system? Your mining the soil, and like any mining operation, eventually your going to run out of stuff to mine.

who ever said anything about no inputs, I do believe I am being misquoted on something I never said. We are an organic fertilizer company, we like people buying inputs.

Kiril
10-30-2008, 11:05 AM
who ever said anything about no inputs

I didn't. My point is ... typically ....

inputs:outputs < 1

Smallaxe
10-31-2008, 07:08 AM
Kiril is correct, in that I was referring to 'mining' the soil.

Inputs to a no-till system are less expensive and more productive than standard practices, increasing fertility over time? [hence a net increase]?

We have a number of fields going no-till for a couple of years at a time, but it seems they eventually till them in. There has not been a field I can point to and say this hasn't been plowed for 10 years, or whatever.

I think I know why , but will have to get a chance to talk with these guys someday to see where their head is at. Green manure cover crops are typically done after a fall plowing, while the no-till corn field stands barren all winter. Running a seeder through that mess isn't practical and besides - to-till is all about fewer trips around the field. :)

treegal1
11-02-2008, 12:19 AM
I only have one minute or so, but I want to say something about the water ways no being cleaned, its the larges waste of resources I have ever seen, SFWM was just "cleaning the canal behind us and where going to land fill some 300 tons of lake weeds and mud, I am the lucky new owner of some pond scum and weeds, nothing heats up a pile like water plants, and the early tests i have done, this stuff is all the fertilizer that washed into the water and then some!!!! and the mud that came up, it may be anaerobic but I think I have a winner for the new garden soil. and did the ADE dark earth use lots of river mud and silt= minerals???

Smallaxe
11-02-2008, 08:01 AM
I only have one minute or so, but I want to say something about the water ways no being cleaned, its the larges waste of resources I have ever seen, SFWM was just "cleaning the canal behind us and where going to land fill some 300 tons of lake weeds and mud, I am the lucky new owner of some pond scum and weeds, nothing heats up a pile like water plants, and the early tests i have done, this stuff is all the fertilizer that washed into the water and then some!!!! and the mud that came up, it may be anaerobic but I think I have a winner for the new garden soil. and did the ADE dark earth use lots of river mud and silt= minerals???

Bravo!!!... Bravo....

treegal1
11-03-2008, 09:55 AM
one more idea that comes to mind is the waste that is normal for large farms, in smaller farms the waste is reduced, out put increased and quality is better. in addition to that more labor is used and that helps the working class earn more. less fuel used and less machinery= less debt= less profit spent on loans. it also has a lasting effect on the local community.

as far as I am concerned small scale farms are the future of sustainable farming. home based gardens and "pets" that serve as live stock are becoming more and more the norm and victory gardens seem to be springing up every place I look. even had some one trade-in there victory garden for a larger plot to be prepared.

as far as the government getting involved, yeah, that's just what we want, NOT!!!! yeah you can trust the government just ask an Indian!!! or any one in Louisiana!!!!

DUSTYCEDAR
11-03-2008, 08:33 PM
So is told

Smallaxe
11-04-2008, 08:32 AM
one more idea that comes to mind is the waste that is normal for large farms, in smaller farms the waste is reduced, out put increased and quality is better. in addition to that more labor is used and that helps the working class earn more. less fuel used and less machinery= less debt= less profit spent on loans. it also has a lasting effect on the local community.

as far as I am concerned small scale farms are the future of sustainable farming. home based gardens and "pets" that serve as live stock are becoming more and more the norm and victory gardens seem to be springing up every place I look. even had some one trade-in there victory garden for a larger plot to be prepared.

as far as the government getting involved, yeah, that's just what we want, NOT!!!! yeah you can trust the government just ask an Indian!!! or any one in Louisiana!!!!

Is there a similarity between Russia's Collective Farms and America's Corporate Farms?
Why were there bread lines in Russia when there were bumper crops of wheat in the fields?
Why is it virtually impossible to enjoy roasted chicken from the American supermarkets?

Just like the prohibition of cleaning Phosphorus rich muck and leaves out of the lakes and streams. One bad idea at the top screws up the productivity of many.

Which bad idea man is going to take the helm today. The Socialist or the Fascist??? :laugh:

treegal1
11-04-2008, 12:21 PM
*&%^&*$ %$#*% them *%$#$ with fire for all I care, stupid 2 party system of...................


I hear south of here is nice this time of year.................