Organic Vs. Conventional Farming: No Clear Answers from Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria Coun

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by phasthound, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    I would have to disagree on a few counts, Smallaxe. First, soils aren't "built-up" with cultivation. What does "built-up" even mean? This is usually a term used by people who don't know what they're talking about. If you're talking about encouraging OM accumulation, then tilling is the LAST thing you would want to do. Tilling destroys soil structure throughout the tillage depth. its oxygention of the soil in the plow depth is certainly helpful for plant growth, but it is also helpful for microbial activity, which reduces OM in the soil. A little discussed fact is that the largest ever atmospheric CO2 increase was not due to burning fossil fuels, but in fact came from plowing the great plains of North America, encouraging microbes to metabolize the OM that had accumulated under the prairie grasslands for thousands of years.

    Tilling WI soil does not produce a rich soil 8" deep -- that rich soil was already there. Tilling just destroyed its structure, decreased OM, and opened the soil to erosion. Soil is the most valuable resource on a farm. Why use practices that encourage its loss?

    Tillage also reverses C sequestration (see microbial activity above). No-till saves soil and sequesters C. Any farmer who values his crops and his land will run a no-till operation. But, just like lawn care, there are farmers who don't know what they're doing and plow everything in sight, use too much fert, chemicals they don't need, and do it in the least responsible way.
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    I present real world failures of 'popular' belief system... failed to the point of abandonment in the real world and you come back with that!?!? Really?!?!?

    :laugh: you are too clever for me...
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Rich soil was already there... :laugh: perhaps past the kettle-morraine you have some decent sediments collected in the odd spot, but for someone to say that Wisco has always had rich soils and the farmers have ruined it with cultivation proves my comment to Kiril about how stupid you believe farmers are...

    Here's another real world 'research' you could do... there are a lot of old farm fields being bought up and turned into pine plantations... go into those areas now and check out the color of the soil through the top 8" and compare that to the color, structure, even texture of a neighboring plot still being farmed...
    Educated beyond your intelligence... tell me what else I don't know about Wisco, that Unis from non-ag communitees know better... what a joke academia has become, and it is because people are unable to question irrational conclusions, but "believe" like children in the fantasy...
     
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Axe,

    We have danced this dance more times than I can count .... and it always ends the same .... with some ignorant rant about how experimentally obtained data is flawed and inaccurate, and how your untrained visual guesswork is vastly superior. Why should I waste my time with you when you are clearly a lost cause?
     
  5. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    Maybe you could tell me what you found about my reasoning for no-till to be incorrect.

    Aside from that, I understand if soils need to be amended and tilling in crop residues is certainly a way to do that. However, I don't think doing that is an end unto itself, as you're stating. Its more of a means to an end. Maybe the farmers are using it like this and you're misunderstanding what they're doing.

    But, if you want to plead your case, tell us why tillage is better than no-till. Tell us how the benefits of tillage outweigh the drawbacks, like soil erosion, destroyed soil structure, and accelerated OM decomposition.

    In the end, the right decision will be dictated by your speficic piece of land and your specific crop or purpose. But, the underlying principles still apply. Remember, science gives us the framework to make decisions. Guessing about decisions without understanding what's going on is a fool's game.
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    There is a truth... There is such a thing as error... belief in a theory has zero effect on either one...

    You can make all the claims you want, but in the real world your theory has failed becuz it is in error... soils in this region need to be tilled to provide oxygen to the roots, because the "Decaying Roots Theory" is woefully inadequate to produce yield in corn or soybean crops...

    That's the reality... but reality is ignorant, because it doesn't fit into your belief system... rather than "dance" around the issue... most intelligent thinkers analyse,, "WHY"

    BTW soil erosion is gotten under control in many ways... Soil structure per se may not be the tiny little balls we'd like to see in most cases but it has air in the rootzone, that decreases each year that it is not turned... The dynamic deterioration of OM in the soil is relevant to a dynamic living soil in which aerobic activity is feeding the rootzone, much as good compost would feed the rootzone, if it could get there...
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Right now your "Educated" soil experts are saying, "Aerobic compost = Good" while "Aerobic Soils = Bad"... That is intellectually dishonest baloney that doesn't hold up to scrutiny in the real world... I'm not a sucker, and my observations match consistant thought, in logical opposition to the stupidity of 2 mutually exclusive ideas BOTH being True...

    Stop the namecalling and explain why anaerobic decomp of roots are good for plants, while aerobically decomposed compost is good... They are not 2 different scenarios, anaerobic soils are virtually dead layers of dirt...

    you are trying to extrapolate a 'lasagna garden' to the crop fields that will never be available to the huge acreage... never!
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Will it ever end?
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    What??? Let you have the last word???
     

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