> BTW, here in Wisconsin, tobacco farmers are looking for
> alternative crops...if any of you all are on top of similar projects,
> honk; I'd like to hear from you.
I wish. . .The bureaucrats of this state are still trying to divide up
the 4.6 billion dollars from the tobacco settlement. I don't believe any
of it has been directly targeted for alternative use of tobacco land. In
North Carolina, the best land is used for growing tobacco. I wish I had
the time (and the clout) to show the state/growers/public how these
fields could be used to produce vegetables (or other crops) in
organically. I know I'm preachin' to the choir, but I needed to vent.
For the past two years, I've been doing research on the use of organic
amendments (specifically composted cotton gin trash, swine manure solids,
and a rye/hairy vetch green manure) for the growth of vegetables, and
looking at soil quality, soil biological communities, and plant diseases,
and comparing these parameters to plots with synthetic fertilizer. There
are big difference in soil microbial (and nematode) communities, and few
differences in vegetable yields. Disease (specifically southern blight)
is lower in soils amended with swine manure and cotton gin trash.
I don't think that's what farmers want to hear (and I'm pretty sure it's
not what state senators want to hear). Currently, the plan is to give
25% directly to farmers, 25% to health oriented aspects, and _50%_ to a
charitable foundation. This as-yet-unformed charitable foundation would
give the money to communities dependent upon tobacco income.
Okay, I'm through venting. . .What does everyone think about this?
-- Russ Bulluck Ph.D. Student Department of Plant Pathology North Carolina State University PO Box 7616 Raleigh, NC 27695-7616
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The soil population is so complex that it manifestly cannot be dealt with as a whole with any detail by any one person, and at the same time it plays so important a part in the soil economy that it must be studied. --Sir E. John Russell The Micro-organisms of the Soil, 1923 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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