I would say that is a very fair question. If it was possible I would.

I know several organic farmer and they don't laugh all the way to the 
bank. That is just an image they would like everybody to believe. In 
order to reach the production goals required by today financial needs, 
organic don't cut it.  Not even close.  Zero Input Sustainable 
Agriculture (name used by the US government) is just a dream of the 
extreme left wing enviromentalist.  Looks good, sounds good but not 
feastable. You need to draw a clear line between those that do organic 
farming with an acre or so and those who farm on the x,000 acres plus. 
To grow a couple of hundred corn plants on 1/2 acre and then petal the 
roasting ears to people who you meet on the street is probably very 
profitable but your going to need a job on the side.  With a 27,000 
population per acre and 1000 acres of corn that's 27,000,000 roasting 
ears. This is but one big problem. The places that broker organic food 
are not capable of handling large volume. The market just isn't their yet.

Do you have a clue how much manure it takes to equal 250 pounds of NH3. 
The average amount of nirtrogen put on an acre of irrigated corn here in 
KS. Or how many cows it would take to produce enough manure to fertilize 
1000 acres of irrigated corn. The reason I say irrigated is that dryland 
corn here in KS is a "iffy" crop at best. This doesn't even touch on the 
labor required to load, haul, and spread the manure or the costs 
involved. To use manure would not only be labor intensely, but terribly 
costly as well.  I would lose my butt big time to use all manure. They 
say rotate your crops.  Yes, alfalfa does put a little nitrogen into the 
soil.  But not nearly enough to grow 200 bu per acre corn. I do rotate 
my crops, especially my dryland crops but I do rotate my irrigated as 
well.  To keep the chemical costs to a minmium. On a very small farm, an 
acre or so, organic is the only way to go.  Their are organic farms up 
to 100 acres or so.  But their not profitable, just diehard, stubborn 
"Gonna do it organic" types.  They would do it even if they were 
starving. If I can't produce in the 175 and up range then I won't be 
here next year. Someone else will be farming my farm and he won't be 

For chemicals their is no organic replacement.  They simplely let the 
bugs chow down.  Diease is uncontrollable except by rotation. In bad 
years like we had last year they don't raise a crop.  If organic was 
suddenly required by all governments in this world.  No one would be 
able to buy enough food to live on.  It would simpley be a severe food 
shortage.  As long as organic has conventional farmer to produce for the 
masses then they can produce for the few (and growing) who buy organic 
only. If everybody tried to buy organic only, their would be one hell of 
a long line everywhere they sell food.

The simple fact is, organic is not ready to replace conventional 
farming. Except on a small and local scale.

One last comparision.  I'm sure you don't like to buy gasoline for your 
car or truck, whatever.  I'm sure you don't like to buy tires, oil, and 
repairs or that you don't like the idea of being a part of the pollution 
that is generated in the world every day. So why don't you walk to work 
everyday.  I'm sure their is people out their who do, but is it 
feastable for everybody to walk.  Cut down on the gas comsumption of the 
world, cut down on air pollution and get a lot of good exercise in 
addition but it's just not workable for the vast majority. So it is with 
American agriculture. Organic farming cannot feed the world. For me to 
switch would create such a severe income loss that it is not even a 
remote option. Conventional ag needs the ag chemicals to produce the 
crop big enough to pay the bills by as few people (per farm) as possible

To close, I'm sure their are places in the world where organic farming 
on a larger scale than I am portraying here is possible, but they are 
labor intensive. They just are not possible on a large scale and today's 
agriculture is growing larger and larger on that scale.  It has to, our 
fixed costs go up every year and the only way to cope is to get bigger. 
  It is a vicious circle. Remember that question about "How many cows 
would it take to fertilize 1000 acres of corn"  How many ton of poop can 
you scope in a day?  While your scoping poop, who's going to be pinching 

I hope I didn't bore you

>      So why don't you? There's plenty of totally organic farmers who are 
> laughing all the way to the bank. You
> too can end your chemical dependancy -- "Just say NO!"
> -- 
> Harmon Seaver     
> CyberShamanix
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