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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Quirks and Quarks

Yes, its a well known CBC radio program that I often listen to. But every now and then they really annoy me with some ridiculous statement or claim. Like today in this segment about Monarch Butterflies .
His theory is that the population of Monarchs has taken a huge drop since the early 90s when agriculture started growing GMO crops. Soon as I heard that he lost most of any credibility I might have given him. Apparently the Monarchs only feed on milkweed plants. Commonly known as a weed when they appear in crops. Yes, we use chemical herbicides to control weeds in our crops since there is no profit in growing weeds. And GM crops have nothing to do with it. We were using herbicides to control weeds 40 years before GM crops were even dreamed of. And apparently the Monarch butterfly was doing just fine up til the 1990s.  And they were usually more hazardous chemicals than the widely used glyphosate that everybody likes to demonize today.
No, I don't work for Monsanto, but I do try to make a living growing their herbicide tolerant crops.

5 comments:

  1. I think "clean farming," using chemicals, is bound to have some effect, but so is the spraying of roadsides by road crews, and the disappearance of small farms. However, You're right, GMO has NOTHING to do with the fact that their preferred foods are waning.

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    1. I would love to farm without using chemicals but if we are going to feed the world and still make a living doing it, we have to control the weeds in our crops. Thanks for keeping an open mind.

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    2. My organic farmer gets some incredible yields from his crops and I think is satisfied with the living he makes from them (as satisfied as farmers ever are, that is!). If it didn't pay, he wouldn't farm or farm organically. If you would love to farm without using chemicals, I'm sure you could find a way. You're resourceful, and open-minded enough to do some research about it. Scott says there is a lot of misinformation spread around about organic farming; maybe some of it has made you believe you couldn't do it even if you want to? - Kate

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    3. Kate, I know organic seems to work for some but I have seen some real disasters in the field where I missed spraying for weeds. In some cases not worth running through the combine. Organic is not something you can just jump into without a lot of planning and commitment. Maybe I'm not ready for that yet. Maybe someday.

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    4. You might be right, Ralph; there are things to know. I'm just an amateur "watcher" and can only give a few hints: knowing your crops, the types of weeds, and the soil in such a way that you know what to "feed" the soil with, that inhibits certain weeds, is one interesting aspect of organic farming. And organic farmers too seem to be always learning; it's pretty interesting stuff. But then so is conventional farming; it's a science, both ways. -Kate

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