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Since the adoption of chemical fertilizers years ago...most of which were by-products of oil refining....we farmers all over the world came to recognize the returns on our investments in chemical fertilizers, far exceeded any other investment we could make to produce both higher yields and higher production levels.
This concept was both endorsed, promoted and advocated by our land-grant universities, extension personnel (USDA), the press and the banking industry. It took a little while, but soon became a "standard" practice...with little or no regard for its affects upon our environment and underground water supplies.
So we all "adopted" this concept, and it became a "Standard" practice all over the world. And now it's being questioned and challenged, not only by producers (locked into this usage) but by our economies. Produce, produce, produce....was the cry we heard from university personnel. You will fail, if you don't.
So we all jumped on the proverbial production bandwagon...quickly adopted new technologies....new varieties, new ways to produce more efficiently because our very governments endorsed it.
Now these very same officials...point the fingers of blame at a farmer ....and that's just plain not fair.
They must assume responsibility for their actions, as well as the farm press, that accepted millions of dollars in terms of advertising copy from companies wanting to tout and promote new products for us to buy.
The fingers of blame may be a little bit skewed .....personally, I don't want to blame the farmer....I blame the system....a system of greed and buying business...call it capitalism or whatever you want to call it...but maybe we are beginning to see some changes being made.
In the 90's, the epitome of production was in the U.K....no farmer, anywhere in the world could approach the British "teaspoon fed" wheat crop....with continual applications of micro-nutrients...and fertilizer to achieve yields the likes of which made any dry-land wheat farmer in Kansas mouth water. Spray technology in Britain at that time was considered outstanding....and now we have your own people wondering why it was so condoned and endorsed, since their water supply is questionable.
Then take this concept forward and apply it to livestock production and the parallels are the same. University endorsement of new products....pharmaceutical, biological, virogicals....use em boys and girls....you aren't a "modern farmer" if you don't!
Tell me something, please. Has any Farm Magazine cut its rates for advertizing from its accounts, throughout this FMD fiasco? Bet they haven't. Bet they haven't taken much of any stand....totally non-commital...just reported another outbreak and said "how sad" they were ...well, I bet they were sad all right...it meant that revenues would be down....They were going to lose subscribers....and they didn't want to see that happen, did they?
On the other hand, the environmentalists and the AR people began to assert themselves....and why not? They could recognize these things happening, too. And they've all served a very useful purpose, too.
The facts remain...we've all come to this point in time, as a result of an accumulation of year's of lousy information.
Our universities, all over the world are guilty of dissemination of some really bad information...with no regard of the consequences....that includes a scientific community that will prostitute itself for a buck.
Legislators have done the same.
Governments have, too.
It's time we ALL came together and begin to use our heads for a change. Ask what we want to leave our kids as our legacy.
And IMPROVE our world....rather than tearing everyone apart.