To the editor of THE EAGLE:
To letter writers George Beebe (June 24) and Art Ames (July 8): It is not being reported in the media but conventional agriculture is getting positive attention. The biological farming movement is working with conventional farmers. Biological growing is not necessarily organic. Organic farming defines itself by not being chemical. Conventional farming defines itself by how much. Biological farming defines itself by how healthy the crop is. High yields and safety from toxins follow this practice.
To keep away insects, organic farmers put a cloth barrier over their crops. Conventional farmers put a genetic barrier over theirs. However, the full health potential of the food is not being met. The messengers of imbalance (insects) weren’t allowed to tell us which food is not at its healthiest.
There is an essential balance of minerals, microbes and structure that needs to be managed for soil and human health. It is not just NPK or compost. Weeds, disease and insects are not inherent to farming. However, Nature has very high standards for what is insect food and what is people food.
Biological farmers manage the soil health for optimal plant health, high yields and safety from toxicity follow. Biological farmers are not particular about with whom they work with, conventional or organic. Since conventional agriculture holds 93 percent of the market they are the largest market for change.
Small biological changes to conventional farming programs can have huge impacts on soil health, human health and profits. The "round-up’’ rates can be cut in half with a simple biological product called humates. They enhance microbiology and have a holding capacity beyond charcoal. Humates make what they carry more biologically available, whether it is an herbicide or a nutritional supplement. A great teacher taught me that "humate," "human" and "humility’’ share the same Latin root: of the earth.
I have to agree with part of what George Beebe was saying: organic is not the answer. It is defined by not being chemical but that doesn’t mean the plants are their healthiest. Organic systems can also be out of balance.
Conventional agriculture is not the answer either: always a bigger hammer, that can only exist because of our tax dollars through the farm bill, for less and less quality.
I have my faith in biological farming, which asks, how do we manage for balanced health?
The writer is owner and soil consultant for Balanced Land Health.