I've also followed this thread with interest. As an independent crop
consultant, I've spent most of the last twelve years working with growers
making the difficult decisions which consititue modern farming.
What bothers me about the tone of this discussion is that it paints growers
as some kind of chemophilian robots marching to the drum of chemical companies.
There are certainly abuses in the system, but let's not paint things with
too broad a brush. In my experience, growers are keenly aware of the
risk/benefit balance of crop chemicals and view the chemical companies,
research establishment, and sustainability camps, with a healthy dose of
In my years in the field I've never personally been "mandated" by the
government to apply a chemical. I'm curious if others with actual field
experience have different experiences? My comments are only based on my
experience in field level production, I'm not a researcher or product
developer. It's certainly disturbing to hear these reports, but how long
can a chemical company stay in business promoting a product which doesn't work?
Stephen R. Flanagan .... Director of Internet Services
Ceres Online............ The Business of Agriculture