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Agr. Sprays

Feb 11, 2002 | 20:57 1 I am having a major problem with prosso millet in my sweet corn, haven't been able to find a chemical that will control this weed, other than Liberty Link sw corn, any experiences, any suggestions? As well am having a major challenge with broadleaf weeds in my pumpkin crop again, any suggestions? Reply With Quote
Feb 14, 2002 | 11:01 2 Kernel
Have you read Dennis Avery's book Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic? I still have a chapter to go but he sure puts an unflattering light on organic production practices.
I had the opportunity to meet an Australian Organic producer a couple of years ago when he was visiting in Western Canada. This fellow was basically a "slash and burn" farmer so when the fertility went down he just moved on and raped and pilaged some more virgin soil.
Organics in England are being pushed by the major supermarkets but at the same time they are forcing the producer to take less of a margin. This just leads to the lowest common denominator. As they say in Israel, an organic producer is one who only sprays at night.
I agree that GMO's are the most tested food and or industrial crops that we have and depending on your definition of GMO every thing that farmers produce today has been genetically modified in some way. As the bumper sticker says "Don't complain about farmers with your mouth full".
Rod Reply With Quote
Feb 15, 2002 | 10:45 3 Kernel,I'd like to know where you get your facts from.When done properly organic farming puts back far more to the soil than it ever takes out.(the use of forage and pasture rotation)Don't get me wrong,I'm not some naturalist freak,just a conventional grain farmer that is beginning to question some of the practices that I am myself using.And by the way who are we to #%@! with mother nature?I don't care how much testing is being done on this gmo stuff now.The fact of the matter is we may not know how safe this stuff actually is for many years into the future.Even if the stuff did end up to be unsafe the big corps would never let the truth be known,they are simply just making too much money on it.Get your head out of the sand kernel,these companies are not creating and pushing this technology for YOUR benefit.... Reply With Quote
Feb 15, 2002 | 14:16 4 Weed control in vegetable crops can be a challenging experience. Not knowing what part of Canada you are from I can only recommend that you follow Pesticide Guide and read product label before using any pesticide. Reply With Quote
Feb 16, 2002 | 00:20 5 Countryguy: I may have my head in the sand but it's not running in one ear and out the other if you get my drift.

You know it a funny thing but the human race don't believe that they are a part of mother nature. Just because we have a big brain doesn't mean we are removed from mother nature. We are no different than anyother living thing in nature, our problems are just more complex but mother nature is ruling us as well as everything else on earth. The best we can do is clean up the mess we leave behind us and test everything we do into the future. Mother nature may still reject us organic or not.

We are living longer now than we did when we ate mostly organic food. Our children are bigger and healther than we are. I don't blame conventional farming methods for the health problems we have now days so much as I blame modern drugs. Mind you drugs save our lives every day and thats what I think contributes to our long life span. But the side effects is what can contribute to what kills us not what we eat every day.

I think the argument on organic or conventional farming has to do with whether you are willing to pay someone to make your buisness profitable or not.

I think big corp. and companies are no different than you or me they got to make a profit. If their technology is economically beneficial to my farm and reasonable to the enviroment, I will maybe use it.

As far as, long term testing of a new product goes, you might say conventional canola has only been hear about 25 years it might kills us yet. Or how about conventional wheat it has been around for thousands of years and the best we are doing with it is about 100 years of age. How long do we want to live anyway.

I done know why I entertain myself this way. The Kernel. Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2002 | 07:06 6 GMOs are being thrust upon us. If they were so beneficial to all then they would not have all the protections of patents and copyrights. The first efforts of GMO was to gain 'termination' so that the grower had to return to the supplier for seed. Where is the profit to the grower when the prices are hiked by a monopolistic approach.

Know we have the pest controls within the plant. More contribution to the evolution of stronger pests. Add the tolerances to herbicides and increase the application of chemicals.

The bioresearch advertisement that I am seeing use the words 'may,' and 'might." There is no promise in science. There is only hope that there is potential. They have experimented for years. What weird and wonderful creations have they seen. Where are these today; hopefully not in nature's environment. There current experiments are filling millions of acre now. Natural drift has polluted natural varieties and there is no stopping it.

You will soon be unable to find non-GMO seed. The multinational have set the hook and are realing you in.

I shudder at the thought that food is the only contribution to longer life. You seem to be blind to sanitation, medical, and hygiene advances that have more impact on health. One only has to view the effects of Wakerton and others to see how quickly we react.

Sadly we have gone to far. There is no appeal at this point. We have the GMOs and only the future will give the measure of our folly. Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2002 | 11:57 7 The more I study and learn, the more I am convinced that this is not a matter of organic/natural vs. conventional vs. genetically engineered crops, but rather a matter of what is best for the land in the long run. You need to take a look at each locale and determine what it can or cannot support and the long term, cumulative effects of what we determine is right today, based on the information that we have.

I am not for or against genetic engineering and neither am I against organic. What I am interested in is scientific, logical information on whatever system that you want to use being made available so that people can decide for themselves what they will or will not accept. Too much of this debate stems from emotions and not fact

I have not seen proof that organic production does not do harm to the land, just as I have not seen that genetically engineered plants do harm. When I hear about the poster child for GMO's the monarch butterly, I question how much damage is done from spraying Bt directly on to the plants and the residues remaining on milk weed. Yet to my knowledge, nobody - not even from the organic community - has done anything in the way of a study to prove that it is any safer. How do we know that organic does not do harm to the land in some way?

The fact that the natural remedy market does in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year in business still makes me scratch my head. There isn't a shred of proof that these things work and in recent months, we have heard more and more about the damage they can and may cause. Yet, people still keep taking these supplements with no proof that they actually do work.

For what it's worth, in my opinion, we need to look at things that are applicable to all systems, like ensuring that food is produced safely, free of toxins, e-coli, salmonella etc. That is what is more important, isn't it? Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2002 | 19:21 8 To many times I have seen a product come along that was the greatest breahthru we have ever developed only to see it off the market in a few years or to find out we have seeding restrictions that were discovered after awile.
The GMO thing scares me a little, I am hearing problems such as volunteer growth that is hard to control, and that some countries are reluctant to but grains that may contain it. Are these founded in anyway or is this just farmer gossip? Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2002 | 19:31 9 The EU has protective restrictions on GMO imports. And it is well founded. We have seen crosses to non-GMO crops. There are law suites brought by the patent holding corporations against the defenceless grower, The gene was found in their crop so it must have been unauthorized seed saving.

It is difficult enough to save seed without having to worry about genetic pollution. And as you state, we do not know the longrange implications of the consumption of the GMO crops.

And now the government has OK'ed another GMO potato. Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2002 | 23:31 10 Danmoore: for your information Europe is the largest reseacher of GMOs in the World. Their restrictions on GMOs is another form of tarifs on trade in agricultural products.

All of our food is safe but thats no excuse for stopping progress to feed the hungery. But then again maybe the world is flat, and Danno, you and me had better not go to investigate for we will fall off the edge. Never to return to this website again. Reply With Quote
Feb 18, 2002 | 23:44 11 One thing I have never been able to figure out is why it is okay for corn growers to have to go and buy their seed every year - it is a hybrid and therefore sterile, if my limited knowledge is correct - but when the terminator technology came along, everyone was against it. It would have taken care of this concern about volunteer crops where we don't want any, wouldn't it?

Muttley, I agree with you that we have to approach this with caution and not take everything at face value. They have also taken products off the market (for no apparent reason or at least none was given) that seemed to work very well. The precautionary principle is built into everything that is done in the name of genetic engineering, so there are mechanisms in place to avoid a free-for- all.

This is a hard debate which I'm sure will continue for some time, and there are many opinions - being the eternal optimist, I'm sure we will find some middle ground somewhere. Reply With Quote
Feb 20, 2002 | 07:41 12 How is terminator seed supposed to help the poor farmer or those in the third world. The age old practice is saving seed for the next year. And what about choices? Every year there are new varieties and those of past are discontinued. The planting of any new hybrid variety can only be a trial; to see if it will grow to desire. If every year there is a new variety you are faced with a trial, how can the farmer plan? We must maintain a continuity in seed stock. The farmer must be able to forecast what he will have versus waiting to see what he gets. That is the reason I have switched to non-hybrid seed. I know what I will get and am able to save seed for the next year. Let the hybrid and GMO merry-go-round stop so we may see the future. Reply With Quote
Feb 21, 2002 | 08:59 13 Dan
Farmers have the ability to choose just as you have done. If you don't like some aspect of the variety whether it be price, GMO, hybrid or whatever no one is forcing you to use it other than our need to try something new. If farmers or gardeners like a practicular variety of seed, the market will continue to produce it for sale. Lets get off this paranoia or the the aliens will get you. Reply With Quote
Feb 22, 2002 | 08:06 14 And Dan make no mistake about it...the big seed companies are in business to make a profit and the only way they can do this is to sell their seeds. There has to be a demand for their product. And if farmers were not making their own profit they would not demand these GMOs. Take a look at round-up ready canola...it is now the dominant variety. Why? Because it works! It makes the most money! We have to go with the "best" science of the day. If not there would never have been any progress made down through the ages. We have to have some faith in our government agencies...if they say it is safe we must assume it is. There isn't really any other option. Reply With Quote
Feb 22, 2002 | 16:14 15 OK! Everyone is making a profit. I expect that there will be a reduction in subsidies and less of a draw on the public purse at the end of the growing season.

Here is another bullet to chaw on.

Prior to scientific intervention, every species was genetically isolated. Some wise test tube wizard desided to jump the genetic boundary. After many attemps they gained the desired effect as determined by visual or actual effect. The plant looked better, shipped better, or withstood a pest or chemical. But what other unknown affects have gone unnoticed?

In the still juvenile science, they blast a gene with hope of insertion. They are attempting to change the genetic formulae to gain a desired result. What new chemical or cell is also created in this gene processor. Is there a new acid, protein, or organism created? Is it detectible with conventional testing? And if a new creation, what is it affect(s) on/within the food chain?

Is there any guarantee? And more importantly, if there is a control existing or means of stopping what has been started?

If you think there is any stopping now, then you better drop into the spiritual vignettes to offer a few words. Reply With Quote
Feb 22, 2002 | 20:38 16 What worries me isn't what has gone unnoticed,but rather HAS been noticed and not revealed to anyone. Reply With Quote
Feb 22, 2002 | 21:01 17 Danno: Maybe we could live to 125 years old with the help of GMO's. With conventional food we are living to the ripe old age of 70 something. Back in the days of organic farming prior to 1950 we were living to the average age of 65 years old or alittle better.

Genetic Modification in plants and animals in the past 40 years has added to our longivity.

I admire people who do organic farming in the proper way by crop rotation and having the ability to seek out niche markets. Now as you know we were not all cut from the same cloth and do not believe in the same theories of making our lunch.

By the way I eat all kinds of organic food, apples from my tree in the back yard vegetables from my garden which are all grown by organic means. An my oh my do they taste good but its not because they are organic but because they are fresh.

Your humble servant The Kernel Reply With Quote
Feb 23, 2002 | 02:07 18 I have to agree with Rod somewhat in that we need to take the fear and emotional aspects out of the argument. What appears to me to be lacking in many instances is a knowledge of traditional plant breeding techniques for example. The simple version, at least my understanding of it, is that we put two species together through pollenation, waited for results and hoped that something good would result.

What is also lacking is a good background for science and the way genes, DNA etc. works, and it seems to come from those of us who didn't have the benefit of all this newer information when we were in school, and I include myself in this group. 25 years ago, our science books were basically touting the wonders of DNA, which hadn't been discovered too many years prior to that. It seems to me that we don't hear as much hue and cry from younger people and budding scientists as we do from those of us who pre-date the rapid change in science. Now I'm not saying this is either good or bad, just an observation I have made and I welcome anyone who has evidence to the contrary to pass it along.

Again, my understanding of what happens is that a particular strand of DNA is encoded to do a specific function only. Without the necessary "keys" in whatever it is inserted to, it will not function. Therefore, scientists can be far more precise and concise in what they are doing because they know that a certain gene in the sequence will only perform one specific function.

Without naming names, we have had people with (perceived) credibility speak out against GMO's without offering any proof that they don't work. How can something that will help half a million children per year to not go blind be a bad thing? The companies that have this technology are not charging the poor countries for it. In terms of holding seed for the next year, Rod has also said we have a choice and it would seem to me that poorer countries who do not have the ability to pay for this seed would simply not buy it. They will buy things that will grow in their own climates and own locale.

What would happen, if through the wonders of biotechnology, we were able to grow plants in extremely arid areas, such as the outback of Australia or in areas of high salinity? We are quite frankly running out of land to grow crops and with this burgeoning population, it is an ever increasing concern.

We also need to look at multi-species cropping and economies of scope rather than economies of scale, but that is a whole other debate. It seems to me that with some of these current technologies, we are leaving less of an environmental footprint on the land in general and are preserving areas that should not be disturbed. Can't there be some way to find a win/win?

What would it take for people to feel comfortable with the idea of the technology? Reply With Quote
Feb 23, 2002 | 08:03 19 GMO is not the answer to the starving millions. It is doing more harm than good. 80% of the malnourished are in countries with good food production. The problem is simple poverty. The people cannot afford the food. In all instances it is a lack of nutritional diversity that is the cause. There is the need of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, etcetera so that the nutrients from the food can be ingested. As a grower you should know that from experience. I have done some surfing (can't call it research) and offer a few sites for you to read. A mix of sources was attempted to gain both sides of the story. Read and let us continue to discuss the GMO question. Reply With Quote
Feb 23, 2002 | 08:04 20 GMO is not the answer to the starving millions. It is doing more harm than good. 80% of the malnourished are in countries with good food production. The problem is simple poverty. The people cannot afford the food. In all instances it is a lack of nutritional diversity that is the cause. There is the need of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, etcetera so that the nutrients from the food can be ingested. As a grower you should know that from experience. I have done some surfing (can't call it research) and offer a few sites for you to read. A mix of sources was attempted to gain both sides of the story. Read and let us continue to discuss the GMO question. Reply With Quote
Feb 23, 2002 | 08:05 21 Forgot the paste.
http://www.netlink.de/gen/Zeitung/2000/001015a.html
http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/service9.htm
http://www.mindfully.org/GE/GE2/Less-Corn-2001.htm
http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/13954/newsDate/8-Jan-2002/story.htm
http://www.ag.iastate.edu/centers/leopold/newsletter/2001-4leoletter/gmo.html
http://www.fbworld.com/Mag/4_NF_June_July.htm
http://ens.lycos.com/ens/jan2002/2002L-01-16-04.html
http://www.greenpeace.org/pressreleases/geneng/2001aug15.html
http://www.agresearch.cri.nz/scied/search/biotech/resources_biotechthissite.htm
http://www.agribiz.com/newsbio.html

Lots more to read with over 10k returns to search for GMO study. Reply With Quote
Feb 23, 2002 | 12:15 22 The OECD has done studies that show poverty is being reduced in any country where there is not a civil war. Technology and new varieties, fertilizers and chemicals are all bringing the average lifespan of children and adults up (again if there is not a civil war). Much of the starvation of the world and most of the poverty is linked to warlords using available resources to fight a war and not to build the logistics needed to deliver the food to where it is needed. redirecting fuel to tanks and jeeps instead of tractors and rice to feed armies or to sell offshore for currency to buy more weapons or to pay soldiers.

GMO's will not feed these people perhaps, but I sure as heck know they cannot afford to buy organic produce from Canada nor can the lowered yields in large tract organic fields in their own countries support them. Lets deal with the real issue and let the agonizing of our rich western ego's stay in Canada where we have lots to eat and no one is shooting at us and let the other nations look after their own people. Reply With Quote
Feb 23, 2002 | 12:22 23 Good point, Nakodo. During my recent trip to Chile to study globalization and it's impacts on a developing country, we found out that they are trying to get into organic production in a big way. Their climate is conducive to not using pesticides, so they are trying to get into the export game for organics. They are boarded by the Andes to the east, desert to the north, Antarctica to the south and have ocean around them, which cuts down significantly on their pests and pesticide use.

They are very much aware that in their own country, people cannot afford to pay any premiums for organic and it sells for the same price as non-organic food. What the Chileans see is opportunities in other countries because they are willing to pay. They don't currently have much in the way of political strife, but they emerged from significant difficulties and are now trying to put themselves into the global game in a big way. Reply With Quote
Feb 23, 2002 | 16:33 24 Danno: you have alittle to much organic fertilizer on the inside of your boots.

Politics is what causes stravation agmonst the millions not the lack of food. If we gave the food away they would still go hungery, price has nothing to do with the problem. We done need a speech on which food is more nutritional then the other either. Human ego is the problem.

Life will always be a struggle for most of us creatures of mother nature and techicnology and common sense must prevail if we are to progress as a human race. Reply With Quote
Feb 23, 2002 | 19:44 25 Krnl,
It is that limit focus of thinking that lead to this mess. Politics is under the thumb of the money. The money is in the hands of big business; you know the guys you buy the seed, fertilizer, chemicals and prescriptions from. The poor at the bottom have not the money to buy beyond the basic flour and rice. As you say, even if the food is given away, the local government gives it to those least in need. DO REFRAIN from the abusive expressions; you and I are not the only one reading these. Reply With Quote
Feb 24, 2002 | 23:06 26 Danmoore, sorry if I have abused you. Your sensitivity brings on censorship for an expression that was meant to be humorous.I will be more careful in the choice of my words for the minds of the sensitive and for the eyes of the innocent.

If large corporations are such criminals of society, may the computer that you are using evaporate right in front of you, for it was made by one of those profit taking and money gouging big corporations that are so sinfull. Plus the computer is an unhealthy object made from plastic,metal chemicals and inundating you with radiation and electrical fields. Those coporations are going to take our money and then suck the very life right out of us.

Most everything that we have today is the result of big publicly traded corporations. The wealth is huge in the free world and it is for anybody to have including farmers if you don't limit yourself to unfounded ideas and beliefs.

Keep an open mind and watch others who are pospering and apply the knowledge to your own well being.

I will put the above message into another choice of words that I hope will play with your sensitive mind and touch your funny bone. Try to keep the organic fertilizer on the outside of your boots.

The Kernel (Sorry have a good day) Reply With Quote
Feb 26, 2002 | 11:12 27 Kernel,I just re-read this thread and have a couple questions for ya.Who declared gmo food the safest food in the world?Do YOU honestly think such a declaration can be valid considering the fact that gmo foods have only been in existence since the mid 90's?There are rats that have been tested that have shown intestinal changes after eating a diet of gmo potatos.

PS.Take it easy on me eh! Reply With Quote
Feb 26, 2002 | 23:43 28 Like many urban myths that refuse to go away, this potato study is a number of years old already and was proven by others in the scientific community to be severly flawed in methodology, hence the results cannot be substantiated and in the case of science experiments, replicated.

In recent months there have been other findings that those in the scientific community have been able to show have been flawed in terms of references quoted - they didn't exist - reference studies being misquoted and the list went on.

As one can guess, the scientific community is also divided on this issue and has some very polarized viewpoints. What we need are credible, statistically significant tests i.e. that they are correct 19/20 times, that are in turn peer reviewed for accuracy.

For those of us that can remember back to when canola was known as rapeseed, there was a particular component in it that could not be digested by humans, so they genetically modified it using traditional plant breeding techniques so that it could be utilized by humans. It has been going gangbusters ever since.

I do maintain that I am neither for or against GMO's (although I dislike the use of that term, because everything is genetically modified over time and we have been eating a very popular genetically modified product for years - canola). What I want to see is sound, logical, credible information that comes to me in non-scientific jargon so that I have something that I can base my decisions on. Reply With Quote
Feb 27, 2002 | 23:05 29 I couldn't agree with you more Cakado. Thanks for your input.

The Kernel Reply With Quote
Feb 28, 2002 | 08:35 30 Me three!!! Reply With Quote