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Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture- A real science article!

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by on Apr. 16, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Replies (21-30):
smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM
1 mom liked this

Looking it up real quickly, it looks like you can produce about 1300 lbs. of food from an acre of wheat. You can produce over 300,000 lbs. of food on an acre using aquaponic techniques. 

http://www.opb.org/news/blog/ecotrope/aquaponics-growing-fish-and-plants-without-soil/

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_pounds_of_flour_can_you_get_from_an_acre_of_wheat

ETA: Aquaponics solves a lot of your transportation issues since you can have a set up in an older building or an abondoned lot in a major city. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

If one looks solely at food waste globally, that comes close to the amount of food needed globally. And of course access is a real problem, I never said it wasn't. It could be due to any great number of things, all of which should be addressed. So yeah, it doesn't matter how much is produced if it can't or doesn't get where it needs to. Hence the ridiculousness of the claim that we must focus solely on increasing yields (the battle cry of conventional ag).

As for definitions, conventional basically encompasses the behemoth monocultures requiring high chemical inputs and which are generally not suited or adapted to their particular environment.
Sustainable practices encompass many different types of ag production, and rightly so. No single practice will work in all environments.

Conventional ag (as stated above) does not have the patent on erosion control. Many sustainable methods are far better at it.


Quoting lancet98:



I would disagree that ALL aspects of conventional farming are unsustainable.  


In fact, a great many practices of conventional farming are VERY sustainable - they were adopted for erosion control and increased productivity - to an extent, productivity is an issue and does have to be balanced with other considerations.


So first, define 'conventional', and then, define 'sustainable'.


Then explain to me how we really actually 'produce enough food for the whole world', in fact we do not, and even if we could, the 'we just can't get it to them' IS, in fact, KIND OF A PROBLEM.


In other words, if you can't distribute the food, who gives a shit how much you make?


LOL.


But in fact we do NOT produce 'enough food for the world'. 


Not by any stretch of the imagination.




Raintree
by Ruby Member on Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:00 AM

They're the real 'welfare queens'. Lot of brain-drain in 'modern' farming, but a really nice way to make some extra dollar.

And we're also dealing with this pipeline shit. The first keystone runs very close to my house. It's leaked 12 times. The press are never allowed to do any actual reporting. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

So beyond ludicrous. Our water issues are just one: a lack of the stuff. Most of the farmers here grow water guzzling crops with flood irrigation, all for stuff that gets shipped out. This, in the middle of a desert in the middle of a drought. Smh.

Also, the fact that conventional crap ag is subsidized out the yahoo? Pretty impressive that organic yields are 25% less and not more, particularly when conventional ag's whole purpose is higher yields. Organic practices have a lot of purposes aside from that.


Quoting Raintree:

So I'm on the water committee in our village concerning our high nitrate levels (which show up in the fields surrounding our town on all sides). Only three of us on this committee are villagers- the rest are farmers who have been throwing nitrogen on their fields, willynilly, for too many years. They kinda want to keep doing it because they don't have time to soil test (almost all have 'main jobs' apart from farming). So, we have to fund the soil tests.

Not only do they get subsidies for their product, they get subsidies to hopefully not continue to ruin our ground water. All of them sell their corn for ethynol. Every last one of them.

We also subsidize ethynol in Nebraska. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

I'm wondering what, exactly, your point is in posting this. 

There are other studies that show the opposite or mixed results (this one out of Iowa State, showing mixed results, for example). There are plenty of others. 

And production isn't a problem. We produce more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet and feed them well. Distribution is the issue. 

Again, comparing the pros and cons, weighing the benefits and costs, sustainable farming (which may or may not be completely organic, btw) comes out on top every single time. 

Besides, "organic" is close to meaningless these days. The FDA, USDA, and other regulatory institutions are bought and run by corportations with some kind of vested interest. 

You have failed. Yet again.



lancet98
by Silver Member on Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:14 AM

 

Yours is an extremely irrational argument.

You define conventional ag as 'everything i think is bad' and anything good that is contained in conventional ag is discounted because 'organic ag does that too'.

That's a ridiculous logical construct.

Quoting krysstizzle:

If one looks solely at food waste globally, that comes close to the amount of food needed globally. And of course access is a real problem, I never said it wasn't. It could be due to any great number of things, all of which should be addressed. So yeah, it doesn't matter how much is produced if it can't or doesn't get where it needs to. Hence the ridiculousness of the claim that we must focus solely on increasing yields (the battle cry of conventional ag).

As for definitions, conventional basically encompasses the behemoth monocultures requiring high chemical inputs and which are generally not suited or adapted to their particular environment.
Sustainable practices encompass many different types of ag production, and rightly so. No single practice will work in all environments.

Conventional ag (as stated above) does not have the patent on erosion control. Many sustainable methods are far better at it.


Quoting lancet98:

 


I would disagree that ALL aspects of conventional farming are unsustainable.  


In fact, a great many practices of conventional farming are VERY sustainable - they were adopted for erosion control and increased productivity - to an extent, productivity is an issue and does have to be balanced with other considerations.


So first, define 'conventional', and then, define 'sustainable'.


Then explain to me how we really actually 'produce enough food for the whole world', in fact we do not, and even if we could, the 'we just can't get it to them' IS, in fact, KIND OF A PROBLEM.


In other words, if you can't distribute the food, who gives a shit how much you make?


LOL.


But in fact we do NOT produce 'enough food for the world'. 


Not by any stretch of the imagination.


Quoting krysstizzle:

Well, not every single one. That's kind of the point of sustainable, that it be viable in the long run, the flip side being that conventional isn't. At all.


Quoting lancet98:


Every single one of these discussions misses the point:



Even if an unsustainable agriculture were less productive it still may be the only practical choice long term.


 


 


 

lga1965
by on Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM
Discerning.
You DO work for a company that pays you to try to influence others on Forums such as this one,don't you.


Quoting coronado25:

The point is to be dicerning when it comes to one's sources of information. The usual anti gmo fodder is linked to either nothing, quackery, or unfounded hysteria. I am not against "organic", gmo, or whatever is next in our future for agriculture. I Am against the anti gmo sensationalized bad journalism and the fears that are based on it and wish everyone would learn a little more about gene expression and how genes work.




Quoting krysstizzle:

I'm wondering what, exactly, your point is in posting this. 

There are other studies that show the opposite or mixed results (this one out of Iowa State, showing mixed results, for example). There are plenty of others. 

And production isn't a problem. We produce more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet and feed them well. Distribution is the issue. 

Again, comparing the pros and cons, weighing the benefits and costs, sustainable farming (which may or may not be completely organic, btw) comes out on top every single time. 

Besides, "organic" is close to meaningless these days. The FDA, USDA, and other regulatory institutions are bought and run by corportations with some kind of vested interest. 

You have failed. Yet again.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
krysstizzle
by on Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:23 AM
Um, no.

That's a very general definition that is used throughout food system literature. It's the status quo. This discussion is centered on two very different schools of thought, with conventional methods on one side and more sustainable methods on the other.


Quoting lancet98:

 


Yours is an extremely irrational argument.


You define conventional ag as 'everything i think is bad' and anything good that is contained in conventional ag is discounted because 'organic ag does that too'.


That's a ridiculous logical construct.


Quoting krysstizzle:

If one looks solely at food waste globally, that comes close to the amount of food needed globally. And of course access is a real problem, I never said it wasn't. It could be due to any great number of things, all of which should be addressed. So yeah, it doesn't matter how much is produced if it can't or doesn't get where it needs to. Hence the ridiculousness of the claim that we must focus solely on increasing yields (the battle cry of conventional ag).

As for definitions, conventional basically encompasses the behemoth monocultures requiring high chemical inputs and which are generally not suited or adapted to their particular environment.
Sustainable practices encompass many different types of ag production, and rightly so. No single practice will work in all environments.

Conventional ag (as stated above) does not have the patent on erosion control. Many sustainable methods are far better at it.



Quoting lancet98:


 



I would disagree that ALL aspects of conventional farming are unsustainable.  



In fact, a great many practices of conventional farming are VERY sustainable - they were adopted for erosion control and increased productivity - to an extent, productivity is an issue and does have to be balanced with other considerations.



So first, define 'conventional', and then, define 'sustainable'.



Then explain to me how we really actually 'produce enough food for the whole world', in fact we do not, and even if we could, the 'we just can't get it to them' IS, in fact, KIND OF A PROBLEM.



In other words, if you can't distribute the food, who gives a shit how much you make?



LOL.



But in fact we do NOT produce 'enough food for the world'. 



Not by any stretch of the imagination.



Quoting krysstizzle:

Well, not every single one. That's kind of the point of sustainable, that it be viable in the long run, the flip side being that conventional isn't. At all.



Quoting lancet98:



Every single one of these discussions misses the point:




Even if an unsustainable agriculture were less productive it still may be the only practical choice long term.



 



 




 

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
krysstizzle
by on Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:25 AM
The way the ag system is currently set up is pure stupidity. It drives me nuts :/

I heard - down in the corners of the internet somewhere - about more leaks that were never covered. Any word on effects on water quality because of it?


Quoting Raintree:

They're the real 'welfare queens'. Lot of brain-drain in 'modern' farming, but a really nice way to make some extra dollar.

And we're also dealing with this pipeline shit. The first keystone runs very close to my house. It's leaked 12 times. The press are never allowed to do any actual reporting. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

So beyond ludicrous. Our water issues are just one: a lack of the stuff. Most of the farmers here grow water guzzling crops with flood irrigation, all for stuff that gets shipped out. This, in the middle of a desert in the middle of a drought. Smh.



Also, the fact that conventional crap ag is subsidized out the yahoo? Pretty impressive that organic yields are 25% less and not more, particularly when conventional ag's whole purpose is higher yields. Organic practices have a lot of purposes aside from that.




Quoting Raintree:

So I'm on the water committee in our village concerning our high nitrate levels (which show up in the fields surrounding our town on all sides). Only three of us on this committee are villagers- the rest are farmers who have been throwing nitrogen on their fields, willynilly, for too many years. They kinda want to keep doing it because they don't have time to soil test (almost all have 'main jobs' apart from farming). So, we have to fund the soil tests.

Not only do they get subsidies for their product, they get subsidies to hopefully not continue to ruin our ground water. All of them sell their corn for ethynol. Every last one of them.

We also subsidize ethynol in Nebraska. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

I'm wondering what, exactly, your point is in posting this. 

There are other studies that show the opposite or mixed results (this one out of Iowa State, showing mixed results, for example). There are plenty of others. 

And production isn't a problem. We produce more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet and feed them well. Distribution is the issue. 

Again, comparing the pros and cons, weighing the benefits and costs, sustainable farming (which may or may not be completely organic, btw) comes out on top every single time. 

Besides, "organic" is close to meaningless these days. The FDA, USDA, and other regulatory institutions are bought and run by corportations with some kind of vested interest. 

You have failed. Yet again.



Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Raintree
by Ruby Member on Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Since they're able to set up no-fly zones around oil spills and prevent reporter access, I'm pretty sure we won't hear anything about it if there is any. I'm very frustrated with this stuff right now. Most of the town people are so fucking clueless about the problem this is- they all focus on what the water looks like coming out of the tap. I had to tell one guy that the reason his water looked bubbly at first was because he has a brand new faucet that pumps little bubbles into it while it runs. He was more concerned about having 'cloudy' water (it was bubbles) than the idea of drinking water that was high in nitrate content.

Idiots.

Quoting krysstizzle:

The way the ag system is currently set up is pure stupidity. It drives me nuts :/

I heard - down in the corners of the internet somewhere - about more leaks that were never covered. Any word on effects on water quality because of it?


Quoting Raintree:

They're the real 'welfare queens'. Lot of brain-drain in 'modern' farming, but a really nice way to make some extra dollar.

And we're also dealing with this pipeline shit. The first keystone runs very close to my house. It's leaked 12 times. The press are never allowed to do any actual reporting. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

So beyond ludicrous. Our water issues are just one: a lack of the stuff. Most of the farmers here grow water guzzling crops with flood irrigation, all for stuff that gets shipped out. This, in the middle of a desert in the middle of a drought. Smh.



Also, the fact that conventional crap ag is subsidized out the yahoo? Pretty impressive that organic yields are 25% less and not more, particularly when conventional ag's whole purpose is higher yields. Organic practices have a lot of purposes aside from that.




Quoting Raintree:

So I'm on the water committee in our village concerning our high nitrate levels (which show up in the fields surrounding our town on all sides). Only three of us on this committee are villagers- the rest are farmers who have been throwing nitrogen on their fields, willynilly, for too many years. They kinda want to keep doing it because they don't have time to soil test (almost all have 'main jobs' apart from farming). So, we have to fund the soil tests.

Not only do they get subsidies for their product, they get subsidies to hopefully not continue to ruin our ground water. All of them sell their corn for ethynol. Every last one of them.

We also subsidize ethynol in Nebraska. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

I'm wondering what, exactly, your point is in posting this. 

There are other studies that show the opposite or mixed results (this one out of Iowa State, showing mixed results, for example). There are plenty of others. 

And production isn't a problem. We produce more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet and feed them well. Distribution is the issue. 

Again, comparing the pros and cons, weighing the benefits and costs, sustainable farming (which may or may not be completely organic, btw) comes out on top every single time. 

Besides, "organic" is close to meaningless these days. The FDA, USDA, and other regulatory institutions are bought and run by corportations with some kind of vested interest. 

You have failed. Yet again.




krysstizzle
by on Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Thanks for posting, I haven't had enough coffee to go do any digging :)

It's more than possible to be creative and innovative in agriculture to solve a lot of the world's problems. That might sound like hyperbole, but I mean it quite literally. This falling back on the same line of thinking and relying on the things that got us into such a mess as the things to get us out is just silly, imho.


Quoting smalltowngal:

Looking it up real quickly, it looks like you can produce about 1300 lbs. of food from an acre of wheat. You can produce over 300,000 lbs. of food on an acre using aquaponic techniques. 

http://www.opb.org/news/blog/ecotrope/aquaponics-growing-fish-and-plants-without-soil/

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_pounds_of_flour_can_you_get_from_an_acre_of_wheat

ETA: Aquaponics solves a lot of your transportation issues since you can have a set up in an older building or an abondoned lot in a major city. 


Quoting krysstizzle:

If one looks solely at food waste globally, that comes close to the amount of food needed globally. And of course access is a real problem, I never said it wasn't. It could be due to any great number of things, all of which should be addressed. So yeah, it doesn't matter how much is produced if it can't or doesn't get where it needs to. Hence the ridiculousness of the claim that we must focus solely on increasing yields (the battle cry of conventional ag).



As for definitions, conventional basically encompasses the behemoth monocultures requiring high chemical inputs and which are generally not suited or adapted to their particular environment.

Sustainable practices encompass many different types of ag production, and rightly so. No single practice will work in all environments.



Conventional ag (as stated above) does not have the patent on erosion control. Many sustainable methods are far better at it.




Quoting lancet98:




I would disagree that ALL aspects of conventional farming are unsustainable.  



In fact, a great many practices of conventional farming are VERY sustainable - they were adopted for erosion control and increased productivity - to an extent, productivity is an issue and does have to be balanced with other considerations.



So first, define 'conventional', and then, define 'sustainable'.



Then explain to me how we really actually 'produce enough food for the whole world', in fact we do not, and even if we could, the 'we just can't get it to them' IS, in fact, KIND OF A PROBLEM.



In other words, if you can't distribute the food, who gives a shit how much you make?



LOL.



But in fact we do NOT produce 'enough food for the world'. 



Not by any stretch of the imagination.





Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
krysstizzle
by on Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

So. Damn. Frustrating. 


Quoting Raintree:

Since they're able to set up no-fly zones around oil spills and prevent reporter access, I'm pretty sure we won't hear anything about it if there is any. I'm very frustrated with this stuff right now. Most of the town people are so fucking clueless about the problem this is- they all focus on what the water looks like coming out of the tap. I had to tell one guy that the reason his water looked bubbly at first was because he has a brand new faucet that pumps little bubbles into it while it runs. He was more concerned about having 'cloudy' water (it was bubbles) than the idea of drinking water that was high in nitrate content.

Idiots.

Quoting krysstizzle:

The way the ag system is currently set up is pure stupidity. It drives me nuts :/

I heard - down in the corners of the internet somewhere - about more leaks that were never covered. Any word on effects on water quality because of it?


Quoting Raintree:

They're the real 'welfare queens'. Lot of brain-drain in 'modern' farming, but a really nice way to make some extra dollar.

And we're also dealing with this pipeline shit. The first keystone runs very close to my house. It's leaked 12 times. The press are never allowed to do any actual reporting. 

snip
smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on Apr. 17, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Imagine how much money the government would save in health care costs if it started subsidizing community garden instead of the big three(corn, soy, wheat.) I am looking forward to next summer and hopefully setting up a large scale aquaponic system and growing 1000 lbs. of fish in a year. 

Quoting krysstizzle:

Thanks for posting, I haven't had enough coffee to go do any digging :)

It's more than possible to be creative and innovative in agriculture to solve a lot of the world's problems. That might sound like hyperbole, but I mean it quite literally. This falling back on the same line of thinking and relying on the things that got us into such a mess as the things to get us out is just silly, imho.


Quoting smalltowngal:

Looking it up real quickly, it looks like you can produce about 1300 lbs. of food from an acre of wheat. You can produce over 300,000 lbs. of food on an acre using aquaponic techniques. 

http://www.opb.org/news/blog/ecotrope/aquaponics-growing-fish-and-plants-without-soil/

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_pounds_of_flour_can_you_get_from_an_acre_of_wheat

ETA: Aquaponics solves a lot of your transportation issues since you can have a set up in an older building or an abondoned lot in a major city. 



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