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Scary, third of arable land lost in only 40 years
4 December 2015, 12:29, (This post was last modified: 4 December 2015, 12:31 by NorthernRaider.)
#21
RE: Scary, third of arable land lost in only 40 years
Hydroponics has the potential to produce good, basic, nutritious food but does not help the nitrogen cycle or the natural environment except if its done on a large scale we may be able to stop dumping chemicals on the land, but don't forget decent fresh water is becoming an issue itself in many places.

I feel nothing but abject shame for what my generation has done to the legacy we are leaving my sons generation, we are the first generation in history to leave our kids worse off in all aspects, food, health, wealth, peace, security and environment.

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4 December 2015, 12:42,
#22
RE: Scary, third of arable land lost in only 40 years
Chemicals weren't mentioned when I was at school in the 50s and 60s because most farmers couldn't afford them, back then a 100 acre farm was the size of a normal family farm, now they have thousands of acres and only 1 or 2 people to do the work, and their ground is all over the place, not all in the one location which is why you see tractors trundling along the roads for miles.
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4 December 2015, 12:48,
#23
RE: Scary, third of arable land lost in only 40 years
The soil is dead in the vast majority of arable land, and is simply there to support the crops. The crops are fed by fertilisers, and pests kept in check by pesticides. Crop rotation is still practised but has very little to do with feeding those crops or maintaining the health, as this is all done by artificial means. The scary fact is that without this industrial scale agriculture we could not feed the majority of the populaton by "traditional" means. Consider this; for every calorie of food you eat there are ten calories of hydrocarbon "energy" needed to put that food on your plate. The only way we as a species can maintain our high, and ever increasing numbers is to carry on with this form of agriculture, but we all know it is ultimately going to collapse, as you can not have infinate growth in a finite system.
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4 December 2015, 13:07,
#24
RE: Scary, third of arable land lost in only 40 years
"as you can not have infinite growth in a finite system" EXACTLY and its compounded by stuff like the negative aspects of automation where upon fewer and fewer workers are needed to produce crops, food, goods , commerce etc and those fewer in numbers are being expected to support more and more unproductive people who they are not related to. Everything from say the EU to the NHS to the Welfare system to Agriculture, to Power generation are seeing the burden / load growing year upon year with any safety margins spare capacity or surplus getting narrower and the damage is heading towards being irreversible.

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4 December 2015, 14:15,
#25
RE: Scary, third of arable land lost in only 40 years
and yet the human race carries on breeding and breeding without a care in the world, one day its all going to come crashing down around their ears, but no of course its not their fault is it?
at one time, the population numbers were controlled by the number of mouths we could feed, now that all gone out the window and we are living way beyond our means.
a time of reckoning is way over due.
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4 December 2015, 14:34,
#26
RE: Scary, third of arable land lost in only 40 years
I'm finding this a really interesting thread, udoubtedly modern farming practices are un sustainable and it has been going on since the end of WWII, my father was an agricultural engineer all his working life, when he saw what was being done with chemicals back in the 60's he chose to grow our own food organically, I continued with that practice and have had an allotment for the best part of 20 years, 4 years ago I moved to a no dig method of gardening, it took 3 years for the soil to really change from what was a light sandy soil over a rocky limestone sub soil that compacted in winter and readily dried out in summer, to what it is now which is like a thick damp sponge that you can work all year round and retains water far longer when it is dry in summer. It has taken many trailer loads of horse muck to get it to this state though.

Farmers are begining to wake up to their situation and are trying to find better ways to grow crops without damaging the soil, here is a small piece that I was reading recently:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-03/fu...ve/6996950
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4 December 2015, 15:54,
#27
RE: Scary, third of arable land lost in only 40 years
you'll never change the big "agri-businesses" though, its all about profit and bugger the state of the land once they have done with it.
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4 December 2015, 16:16, (This post was last modified: 4 December 2015, 16:30 by NorthernRaider.)
#28
RE: Scary, third of arable land lost in only 40 years
Toddy its not just farmers buggering up the land, we have excess water extraction from some aquifers especially in Oz and the US to a point the over extraction is causing salty water to leach into the aquifers from the coastal areas, we see again in Oz over watering of land causing salt sediments to rise from deep underground which kills the crops. Other areas we see idiocy like that in the Mid West US and near lake Aral in the far east where some states are basically diverting rivers or pumping them dry to sustain water greedy crops thus leaving the rivers ran dry in neighbouring states. Spreading GM crops are a concern for some ecologists, then chemical fertiliser run off pouring into the seas creating toxic algal blooms and deoxygenating the seas, toxic multi million gallon reservoirs of toxic waste being allowed to escape into water ways.
Look at this horror
http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/623...evastation.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/ma...ter-supply

http://education.nationalgeographic.org/...age-patch/

Lets not forget that if for example the UK loses its power supplies ( to run pumps) much of the Somerset levels will flood as will huge chunks of the fens, Most of the wind powered drainage pumps are long gone now. And the highly poisonous water being pumped from old mine workings will start to leach into rivers or break out and run across farm lands.

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4 December 2015, 17:45,
#29
RE: Scary, third of arable land lost in only 40 years
(4 December 2015, 14:34)T-oddity Wrote: I'm finding this a really interesting thread, udoubtedly modern farming practices are un sustainable and it has been going on since the end of WWII, my father was an agricultural engineer all his working life, when he saw what was being done with chemicals back in the 60's he chose to grow our own food organically, I continued with that practice and have had an allotment for the best part of 20 years, 4 years ago I moved to a no dig method of gardening, it took 3 years for the soil to really change from what was a light sandy soil over a rocky limestone sub soil that compacted in winter and readily dried out in summer, to what it is now which is like a thick damp sponge that you can work all year round and retains water far longer when it is dry in summer. It has taken many trailer loads of horse muck to get it to this state though.

Farmers are begining to wake up to their situation and are trying to find better ways to grow crops without damaging the soil, here is a small piece that I was reading recently:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-03/fu...ve/6996950

excelleny article mate, the part about fertiliser cost is very pertinent, my mates farm about 40% of the cost is buying the miriad of chemicals neede to grow the crops in the first place, and they are not getting any cheaper as "better" ones are constantlt being pushed onto them!!
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