> From: Erorganic@aol.com
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: No-Till Mania versus Organic
> Date: Sunday, August 09, 1998 11:20 AM
> Hello folks,
> As this discussion gyrated towards the question of soil conservation or
> conserving soils as being a foundation of "sustainable agriculture"; I
> like to extend a simple organic perspective. Some of the content may be
> repeat for some, but is needed to make a "whole" farming and marketing
> what we now see as an "organic" system of farming.
> Fertile soil is not conserved, but is continually produced through
> of the soil biotic activity by organic farming. The organic system is
> life, death, decay and rebirth. To produce a fertile soil, the
> and the soil invertebrate life, which compose the soil biotic activity,
> be diverse and vigorous. The organic farmer seeks to create the optimal
> conditions for the soil biotic activity. To accomplish this a farmer
> observe and recognize as many mutual and symbiotic interactions impacting
> and within the soil and farm the soil in a way to enhance soil biotic
> activity. No one has to be a certified organic farmer to do this. The
> present organic farming community receives its strength from learning
> generations of un-named farmers that preceded us.
> Close observation soon informs a farmer that soil, both fertility and
> components move little by little downhill following the forces of
> The question is not holding soil in a specific position, the question is
> allowing the fertility to be depleted whereby substantial amounts of
> begin to move downhill. In fact, when a substantial amount of earth can
> seen moving downhill, a farmer is being informed the fertility is already
> gone. So, the working farm solution to prevent "true" erosion of our
> to maintain fertility above loss, not to stop erosion or conserve soils.
> managed organic farming accomplishes this.
> Soil can be generally divided into two components: organic matter and
> minerals. Organic matter combined with readily available minerals acted
> the biotic activity of the soil produces humus. Humus is the depository
> maintains soil fertility and prevents soil "erosion." Fertility is
> humus and minerals readily available for use by soil life and plants.
> Ultimately, an organic farmer judges farm progression by looking at the
> maintenance and enhancement of their farm's soil fertility.
> In fact, if one looks closely at no-till, the practice does provide large
> amounts of organic matter for soil biotic activity and generally does
> humus. Unfortunately, the broad acre use of pesticides, is always
> to soil biotic activity. The question is how to accomplish the benefits
> no-till without broad acre use of pesticides. Numerous organic farmers
> producing every crop in every region of this nation and the world have
> such. Organic farmers monitor erosion, but on a well-managed organic
> erosion is negligible because the farm's soil fertility is maintained and
> consistently enhanced. Capitalization is lowered through biological
> management rather than synthetic fertilizers. If one were to compare
> and organic, the first question arising is what are no-till's and organic
> farming's specific objectives. I would be interested in a no-till
> response on this.
> As an organic farmer, my farming objectives are directed towards
> soil conditions and climate for conversion of organic matter to humus.
> practices to accomplish this vary somewhat--but not as much as most
> think. The system, made up of the practices, being used by what we
> call organic farmers to better soil climate is virtually identical
> In general, the organic farmer is working to produce luxuriant plant
> (which along with diversity of plants will inevitably produce the
> of vertebrates and invertebrates) without the use of synthetic
> The term "sustainable agriculture" is a much more encompassing term than
> "organic farming." "Sustainable" is a term that is and will remain open
> constant site and market specific interpretation. If one wants to
> contrast "organic" farming with "sustainable agriculture," I guess one
> converse about it forever, but from my perspective, it is avocados and
> Well managed organic farming coupled with well managed marketing is
> "sustainable" organic agriculture.
> Only when we move into understanding the marketing system called the
> certification system are we entering into the realm of fully
> the "sustainability" of organic farming. The term "certified organic
> means a farm, or portion of a farm, or site where agricultural products
> livestock are produced, that is certified by the certifying agent as
> a system of organic farming. The organic community developed
> provide a market driven incentive for producing, beginning or transition
> farmers to utilize organic practices and the organic system. To build a
> strong binding relationship with the customer and assure the customer of
> and unadulterated food and fiber, the organic community further
> certifying system for handling operations (processing, packaging and
> of products produced on a certified organic farm.
> Still, if an organic farm is not efficient in biotic management, labor
> management, mechanical management and marketing, it will not be
> Best regards,
> Eric Kindberg
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