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Flawed articles

By Staff | Jul 5, 2013

To the editor

On March 16 Farm News published the article “ISU: Organic farming can profit producers.” On June 21 FN published the article on page 2 “ISU study: Organic farming builds better soils.”

Both articles were written by the organic department of ISU based on a long term study started in 1998 at the ISU Neely-Kinyon Research and Demonstration Farm near Greenfield.

The two articles were not identical although both were riddled with incorrect assumptions and subjective conclusions.

However, one theme resonated in both articles … Organic crops fetched roughly $200 more per acre over the 13 years of the study because of premium market prices and reduced input costs.”

That statement means a four-year rotation of corn, soybeans, oats and alfalfa netted $200 more per acre than two years of corn and two years of soybeans in a c/s rotation. I realize I haven’t sold oats or alfalfa for a very long time, but is it credible to believe the return for oats and alfalfa is better than corn or soybeans?

Organic farming cannot build better soils. The statement, “The organic plots had up to 40 percent more biologically-active soil organic matter …” is either a bald-faced lie or the researcher took the sample directly from and area saturated with chicken litter, because the excessive tillage necessary for O always breaks down soil organic matter releasing carbon into the atmosphere.

O farming has nothing to do with crop rotation, cover crops or livestock manure, because I use them and can’t and don’t want to be considered an O farmer by any stretch of the imagination. O farming is farming without chemicals and genetically modified crops. Period.

Eventually the truth about O will emerge that it’s not better or sustainable when the mainstream media decides it’s time for some investigative reporting.

Shame on the news media for none, and double shame for FN which published essentially the same flawed article twice.

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