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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:24 am    Post subject: gardening Reply with quote

My understanding is that intensive gardening is more productive than large-scale commercial agriculture (note: not more 'efficient', which is a weasel word).

What experience do you have of this phenomenon? Are there reliable investigations into it? I seem to recall Ken mentioning a UN report on this very subject.
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
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Location: The Marches, UK

PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Modern farming has 2 aims:

grow a single crop in an area

reduce yield inconsistency from pests, climate etc.

Composting, weeding etc are totally labour intensive and make sense if it is your crop. Once you don't own the land and have to make a profit to pay the king's taxes, the bankers, the laird etc. you end up where we are today. Places that do crofting have lower populations and land reforms that our feudal masters will not allow. I suspect a very well managed smallholding has a higher yield if you ignore the human input.
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adam2
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In general, gardening or small scale agriculture will produce a better yield per hectare than industrial farming.
Competent small scale cultivation will grow the optimum crop for each small area, and will apply animal manure and compost to maintain soil fertility.
Industrial monoculture by contrast will tend to grow whatever suits MOST of the land even if some areas would have been better suited to something else. 100 hectares of wheat for example, even if 6 of those acres might have been better for beans.

Industrial farming can be profitable but is very reliant on continuing inputs of agro chemicals and oil fuel.
Small scale farming is much less reliant on these inputs, but does need a lot of labour.
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kenneal - lagger
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Industrial farming is the most efficient way we have of turning oil into food. In the UK and Europe it takes about 5 calories of oil to produce one calorie of food whereas in the US and Australia it's 10. I presume that some of this difference is driven by larger distances and bigger farms using larger equipment.
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emordnilap



Joined: 05 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you recall the UN report you referred to k-l? I can't find it.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys need a reality check.
Watch this video (one of many) of corn harvesting in Iowa. Note the distance you can see and not a single likely bean (other then soybeans) patch in sight.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o79GDTb9nQk
Also realize that Iowa is sixty percent of the size of the UK including Scotland Wales and northern Ireland. Several USA states are bigger then the UK in land area.
You are not going to hoe that much land by hand.
As to tractor size as a rule the larger they are the more useful work (tiling,planting or harvesting etc.)they can do per gallon of fuel consumed.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to say, VT, but it’s the US agri system that needs a reality check. Iowa may produce unimaginably huge quantities of corn, to supply the corn oil production which leads to high fructose corn syrup, and the subsequent burgeoning weights and waistlines of much of the US population, but that video does not show natures way of doing things, just the methods employed by greedy, arrogant humans.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
Sorry to say, VT, but it’s the US agri system that needs a reality check. Iowa may produce unimaginably huge quantities of corn, to supply the corn oil production which leads to high fructose corn syrup, and the subsequent burgeoning weights and waistlines of much of the US population, but that video does not show natures way of doing things, just the methods employed by greedy, arrogant humans.
It is not all converted to corn syrup. A large percentage is converted into ethanol and mixed with gasoline which in my view is a waste as the numbers don't add up.(calories and dollars in vs. calories and dollars out) Also a good portion goes to animal feed which keeps eggs milk, pork,and beef on the market at prices I can afford.
But at any rate as long as the USA corn belt turns out corn at 140 bushels per acre at $5.00 per bussel nobody in the UK is going to raise a bushel at a profit.
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fuzzy



Joined: 29 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that cereal consumption in the developed world is about to fall off a cliff. There is a hell of a lot of good knowledge being broadcast in the last year about what is the truth of the 'doctors' modern diet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0GSSSE4l8U

Me - age 53, always very active, outdoors, strong etc. 100+kg stable for 20 years. In the 1st week I have lost 3kg, and I never used to change weight - except the usual slow decade increase. This is big stuff.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In amongst all these opinions of small-scale gardening and humungous American-style pharming, please don't lose sight of the subsidies, both direct as cash payments from taxpayers and 'external' (hmmm) subsidies, as in climate change, species loss and damaged human health.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzy wrote:
I suspect that cereal consumption in the developed world is about to fall off a cliff. There is a hell of a lot of good knowledge being broadcast in the last year about what is the truth of the 'doctors' modern diet:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0GSSSE4l8U


What an annoyingly-edited video...the speaker talks about stuff on his screen and the editor decides to focus on the speaker.

If you want people to sit through a video of an hour-and-a-half of a presentation, you can't do that.
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fuzzy



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe try the 1st hour of this one. [similar slides]. It's done for Swede medic students with a good Q/A, and he speaks a bit clearer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mj3LxoWrGAc
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
In amongst all these opinions of small-scale gardening and humungous American-style pharming, please don't lose sight of the subsidies, both direct as cash payments from taxpayers and 'external' (hmmm) subsidies, as in climate change, species loss and damaged human health.
As to the subsidies that you can measure they amount to some 20 billion a year balanced against a production of 418 billion a year so for every nickel the government spend subsidizing farmers we get a dollars worth of crop back at stable low prices. You got a better investment for your nickels?
https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/farming-and-farm-income/
https://www.downsizinggovernment.org/agriculture/subsidies
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vtsnowedin wrote:
As to the subsidies that you can measure they amount to some 20 billion a year
'that you can measure'.
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vtsnowedin



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
As to the subsidies that you can measure they amount to some 20 billion a year
'that you can measure'.
I don't know how one would measure the "subsidy" of climate change which is derived from automobile use and I expect it is a tax on the farmers not a subsidy. Also those that rail against agriculture subsidies routinely forget all the taxes of various types farmers pay to federal,state,and local governments.
If you need someone to rail against go for the food companies that take five dollar a bushel grain, coat it with sugar and perhaps toast it or steam puff it and sell it to your children for a hundred dollars a bushel or more.
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