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<< However, it's true that too much growing of one and only crop (even without
Round-up) leaves a very bad soil where nothing will grow in the end. >>
Ah ... something we agree on completely. Crop rotation isn't a game, it's a
necessity! And if you don't rotate, you're supposed to let the land lie
fallow ... what is it, Roger ... every third year or fourth year? Anyone who
doesn't do that is, in my opinion as a gardener, a complete idiot, because
they're killing the land they make a living from.


Up until about thirty-five years ago, farmers rotated crops from wheat to legume hay and/or oats to legume hay, hay to corn (the legumes and livestock manure provided nitrogen for the corn), corn to wheat or oats again. each year there would be three or four different crops.

Now, most Corn Belt farmers plant corn on half their acres and soybeans on the other half. the next year. They switch crops on acres for a two crop rotation. No one knows better than farmers that crop rotation is a must. Insects and plant diseases do more harm than depleting soil nutrients in a non-rotation operation. Cheap nitrogen fertilizer has eliminated the need for manure and legumes to provide the nitrogen for corn; beans are a legume and beans leave some residual nitrogen for corn also.

I rotate the crops I my garden also. I never put sweet corn, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. in the same place two straight years; not because of plant nutrition, but disease and insects.

The only farmers that fallow (leave idle for one or more years) are farmers in the High Plains where there is not enough rainfall in one year to produce a crop. It takes two (some places three) years' worth of rain to have enough for one crop year; almost always wheat. Wheat gets by on little water and what water it needs is in the spring and fall when rains are most frequent, even in the High Plains east of the Rockies. Popular fallow crops are also grain sorghum and barley.

Back on the Round-up... Round-up has no residual affect. If it is sprayed on the soil today, it will not kill weeds that sprout tomorrow!

There are GMO varieties that reduce or eliminate the need for insecticides to be used on crops. What do you hard-core environmentalists think about that?

By the way, the USDA announced today:

China has agreed to import US GMO soybeans on the basis if they are accompanied with a safety certificate until they complete the details of their new regulations. The certificate states that the soybeans are safe for the environment, safe for humans to eat and safe for livestock feed.


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