6. Revolutionary Ideas

Modern Farming Methods

Meanwhile, farmers worldwide are still locked in the position of having to use chemical sprays, with the exception of the cotton growers. Some biological pest and weed control is being experimented with by the CSIRO and its affiliates in other countries. Too many farmers are having the sword of bankruptcy hanging over their heads. The government has to heavily subsidise farming. The chemical companies have the last laugh, as they are pocketing the money spent on their not so effective ‘control’.

Wherever we look, farming is threatening to destroy the topsoil and the native flora and fauna over vast areas. Topsoil is generally very thin, about 1 centimetre and therefore prone to wash away quite quickly. Together with the use of fertiliser and bare soil cultivation, the problem is compounded, as the amount of organic matter in the soil is depleted to zero. The biggest problem is that the landscape is not fit for European or American style agriculture. In Australia, land clearing, to the tune of two football pitches per minute or 500.000 ha. per year, belongs to the worst record in the world. In 1990 alone, 650.000 ha. were cleared, which amounts to more than half the area cleared in the Amazon basin. In the past 50 years, as much land has been cleared as in the 150 years since settlement. In 1995 permits were granted to clear more than a million ha in Queensland alone, among which 685.000 ha of virgin bush.

Land clearance has been very costly in terms of environmental damage. Rainfall has been reduced by 14%, adding to the desertification of Australia at a rate the country cannot really afford. In regards to other countries, the picture is the same. Nowhere is it possible to have a sustainable monoculture, for the two terms are mutually exclusive – it is an oxymoron.
Bio-diversity is another area that suffers greatly from European and American farming methods. Meanwhile the farmers consider it illogical to blame them. With the government giving tax incentives for clearing native bushland, their reaction is understandable.
If instead the farmers would receive tax breaks to manage the land sustainably, they would do so, according to Robert Hadler of the National Farmers Federation. It is significant that 20% of the farmers grow enough food to sustain the whole population of Australia. The other 80% are subject to the international market forces, where the prices are set by the same companies that sell the seed of the hybrids, which the farmers grow – making for a vice-like grip they find themselves in.

About 30% of the landholders are members of Landcare, a network of more than 2.000 regional conservation groups. Yet the use of alternatives to fertilisers and pesticides is severely hampered by the NRA, the Fertiliser Act, as well as the Agricultural Chemicals Act. The first is manned by people with interests in the fertiliser and chemical control industry, while the latter two forbid the use of alternatives.
What has happened so far is that farmers have been hitting pests as hard as possible, with high doses of pesticides. The reasoning behind it is that if they are hit hard enough, those that have a little resistance will also be killed. In this way they try to stop the passing on of resistance to the next generation. The problem with this is that it has to be done perfectly, which is nigh impossible in the field, as the conditions in nature are always less than perfect. If there are any survivors from such high dose strategy, they are going to be highly resistant.
To date, no pesticide has ever been able to wipe out every member of an insect population. Experience has shown that it is the quickest way to create resistant pests. Tobacco budworm has already proven to be resistant to several species of Bt, even when sprayed simultaneously. The latest strategy involves Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, where sparingly used sprays, crop rotation, natural enemies and altered planting dates, to miss pest breeding cycles, are used to avoid the development of pest resistance. Although this is a much more sensible approach, it still misses the essential point.

A Real Alternative

If the whole issue is viewed from the idea that the pest is the problem, the wild goose chase will go on, ad infinitum. There will be no solutions, only more lost battles, till the war with the pests is lost and the world populations succumb to famine. What has been lacking so far is the notion that the plant is having the problem, although genetic engineering seems to tackle that. But it is still only done to get at the pest indirectly.
The conclusion to be drawn from this is that the approach to pest management has to move in a new direction. Both farmers and consumers want food that has been grown under optimum circumstances and conditions. This does not always mean the biggest grains, fruits and vegetables, without any blemishes. Optimum growth is what occurs in perfectly natural circumstances. It is possible only in a subtly and organically attuned environment. Plants will always attract pests and diseases. It is time we learn to accept that our unrealistic expectations in this regard have to be abandoned. Still, we have to address the problems of pests and diseases. It is imperative to look at what is really happening.

To fully understand the incidence of disease and the susceptibility to pests requires the abandonment of the idea of control per se, as a goal in itself. It requires a new paradigm that takes into account the facts, rather than conjecture, speculation and theory. Far from being rational, the efforts have always focused on the pest or disease as the problem.

In reality it is the plant that suffers from them, therefore it is the plant that needs treatment.

This is the only rational approach.
The causes have to be removed, which will be outlined below under the heading ‘soil structure and plant physiology’. If this is not possible, as is the case with the massive crops the modern farmer needs to grow if his business is to be viable, then the homoeopathic approach allows him to at least be free of toxic sprays.

The very small doses make it safe, environmentally friendly, non-toxic, frugal with resources and extremely cheap, if only because one application is generally sufficient.

Because it treats the plant, it enhances its immune system, which trait could very well be passed on to the next generation, without the need for genetic engineering.

Also, the pests do not develop resistance, since they are no longer the targets. The benefits to both the primary producer and the consumer are self-evident.

When a pest is sprayed, all it achieves is thinning the local pest population. This invites other members of the same species to fill the gap, so little more than a delay in pest attack is achieved.
Homoeopathic remedies treat the plant, not the pest or disease. This results in stronger, healthier plants, unacceptable to pests, and not prone to disease attack.

Inter-cropping with companion plants deserves also much more attention than it gets. Yet, very few farmers use the companion plant method, as harvesting machinery is not equipped for dual tasks.
For monoculture farming, the homoeopathic approach is the best possible answer.

Homoeopathic medicine applies remedies in very small doses – much smaller than conventional and even Biodynamic methods – no harmful residual levels are introduced into the environment. Even highly toxic substances, such as arsenic, become virtually harmless in highly diluted form, but remain effective in plants that suffer from pest- or disease-attack. Plants only absorb micro-doses of any substance; hence a homoeopathic remedy is particularly adapted for the treatment of plants.
Both as a spray and in the trickle system, a remedy is absorbed in the shortest possible time.
Both the leaves and the roots absorb a remedy equally well.

1. Homoeopathic medicine is readily available worldwide.
2. Contrary to claims, it has no limitations on shelf life.
3. Its effectiveness is unparalleled, as generally one dose is sufficient to give protection to the plant during its entire lifecycle, at least in annuals and biennials.
4. Resistance is never a problem, because it aims at the plant, rather than the disease or pest.
5. There are no risks of poisoning the environment, due to both the smallness of the dose and its destruction by sunlight and UV.
6. No residues are left to plague other living entities and thus it is environmentally safe.
7. The price is negligible, compared to chemical treatment or even biological control.

An example
The chrysanthemum grower uses besides 6 biological controls, such as predators, 2 sprays of Bt. and 4 to 6 pesticides. These have to be sprayed regularly, in periods from 1 to 4 weeks apart. If he uses homoeopathic remedies, he needs no more than 4 remedies maximum, which need to be sprayed only once and only if a pest attack is already happening. If he uses a remedy made from the companion plant, he needs only 1 remedy for all the problems met with in his crop and that only in a single dose.
The difference is obvious.
Instead of using sprays between 12 to 16 times, this is reduced to a maximum of 4 and a minimum of 1. This is a reduction of at least 70% and at best 98% in the work involved, while the cost goes down more considerably, even when he needs 4 remedies.
The savings fall in the category of 90% and higher.
The only possible drawback lays in the antidotal relationship between the remedies used, which then may need repetition and will increase his costs by a small margin.

To understand what this entails in regards to the remedies, we have to look at their sources and the function they have in plant-life in general. Also we have to look at the immediate environment in which the plant grows. Thus above ground we have first of all the plants themselves, both the crop and the ‘weeds’. A further component is the weather and the climate; the first, the local situation from day to day; the second, the weather pattern over a long period. Then the situation on the ground demands our attention; the soil-type, its structure, the humus content, the pH, and the presence of weeds. The type of cultivation, i.e. bare soil, organic, permaculture, Bio-Dyn, biological or conventional, plays an equally important role. In bare soil cultivation the fungi, bacteria and viruses which are in reality soil-borne and provide the function of decomposers in a natural setting, are forced to attack living plants to guarantee their survival.

Under the surface of the soil microbial life is necessary for the processing of the organic nutrients so they become available to plants. In conventional agriculture the nutrients are applied in inorganic form which promotes leaching and makes it hard to maintain optimum nutrient levels throughout the life of the plant.

The remedies come from three different sources and their action is dependent on the source. The tissue salts or elements are, from their action, related to diseases, as is evident from the symptoms produced. The particular nutrient excesses and deficiencies and the relationships between the different nutrients, such as the inimical, the complementary, the antidote and comparisons are described in some detail.
We can therefore conclude that for instance potassium, which fixes phosphorus, is in that case the antidote to it, because it stops the action of phosphorus. At the same time it can be argued that they are inimical, because potassium obviously acts here as an inimical substance.

In regards to the tissue salts it is noteworthy that the so-called macro-nutrients appear to have been given the most attention and have been presented as the most important mainly because they are present in the greatest quantity. If we look however at the micro-nutrients, we see that an imbalance has much more devastating effects on a plant than an imbalance of the NPK group. Just like a human being can have a deficiency in food and survive very well, a plant can handle an imbalance of the plant foods N.,P. or K., much better than an imbalance of for example boron or molybdenum, which immediately produce more dangerous symptoms. I therefore propose that the micro-nutrients are regarded as essential remedies, while the members of the macro-nutrient group are given second rank in this exposition.

The remedies derived from plants are more suited to pests, although some of them, especially the companion plants, are also effective against diseases, particularly on their companion. There they function like a constitutional remedy, as all symptoms that the companion produces are covered by the protective plant. An example is Ocymum, which is the companion to tomato, and which will protect the tomato against all pests and diseases pertaining to it.

The remedies made from the invertebrates such as insects and gastropods are either very specific or generic. Helix is specific against snails and slugs, while Bombyx is generic against caterpillars. Sometimes these remedies can act also against diseases, but only if the symptoms resemble the damage done by the pest from which they are made.

Now this is what I call a Revolution in Agriculture. It requires the setup of a network that uses and reports on this idea.
Those who are interested, can obtain a PDF with my entire book on the subject.
To that end, send an email to either one of the three email addresses below:

We shall give you all the details after contact.

No comments: