>Sure, organisms like Azotobacter and Azospirillium are desirable, but they
>don't add enough N for economically sustainable crop production, and in the
>big picture are not the central issue.
This is the official line. If you think about it a little you will realize
that it is just not true.
>I respect the "organic mythos" as an esthetic value, and consider "organic"
>gardening to be an interesting challenge. But I can't see any biological
>reason why modest additions of fertilizer are detrimental to long-term soil
>health. It is drainage and tillage that burns up the soil, not fertilizer.
It would be silly to argue about this. What is a "modest addition"? If
you really respect the "organic mythos as an esthetic value" then you would
understand why "a modest addition" of chemical fertilizer can't be
permitted in certified organic products. But the problem is not "modest
additions". Modest amounts of N are easily available from natural sources
(eg. azotobacter)--so why not use them?
Modest additions are not the problem. The problem is hundreds of kilos of
N per hectare being applied in American agriculture, farmers injecting
amonia gas into the soil from enormous tanks and other absolutely surreal
scenarios. The problem is the increasing ineffciency (measure in kg of
grain yield/kg of fertilizer applied) and spiraling cost of this approach.
The problem is excessive dependence on chemical fertilizer that *is*
damaging the soil and polluting the air and water and often constituting a
work hazard for farmers. I don't think we need to argue about modest
amounts of N. If you want to participate in the $4.5 billion organic
market, use natural sources for your modest additions of N--I really don't
see any problem.
Mexico, D.F. & San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas
Tel. y FAX 525-666-73-66 (DF)
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