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Thread: Are pesticides a good idea?

  1. #61
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    When we are cutting rape, half of the load crawls out of the trailer and flies off. It must be the chemical cocktail creating mutant ninja insects.
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  2. #62
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by WillyScale View Post
    But all new pesticides are heavily monitored and tested for human health. This cocktail thing is conjecture. I'm interested to read any meaningful data on it but I'm not sure its a strong enough basis to say no one should consume any food with pesticides on it. In fact I'd expect farmers and their families to be at the front line statistically of any patterns.

    I think the risks to continuity of supply of food products outweighs any speculative concerns on cocktails effects at the moment
    . But that said I wouldn't be upset if neonicotonids went because I'm not particularly sure about them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Naughty; you insinuate that BSE ,Johnes, are somehow a problem limited to the conventional farming camp. This is not the case.
    Did nothing of the sort!! read the whole thread and then withdrawl you comment please!

    I was stating that Farmers are at the forefront of statistics on op's but that its been ignored!

    And that some risks haven't been completely proven yet with the examples of BSE, Johnes. I didn't say they were limited to conventional farming,!!

  3. #63
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaliptrot View Post
    O.K.I don't claim to know the ins and outs of GM pest-resisistant crops. I would be interested for you to tell us how they work. The idea that they simply repel insects/pests with no unintended consequences sounds attractive, but I would be suprised if it's as simple as that.
    They insert a gene that the particular pest doesn't like into the plant they are modifying.

    Not every plant gets blight, but spuds do. Find the gene that makes other plants resistant to blight, isolate it then insert it into a potato plant. Also as far as I know there are no naturally occurring potatoes or maize(corn) or wheat. These plants have been modified by centuries of selective breeding to create a plant we can eat and or use. GM just speeds the job up a bit.

    Anyone with greater knowledge than I, feel free to put me right.
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  4. #64
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladycrofter View Post
    Let us not forget the recoverative power of nature. IIRC frogs and some other creatures can change the sex of their offspring, and some can even change themselves from male to female in adulthood (a species fish I think?)

    So this is the worrying thing about GM products. In principle it seems a good idea and a natural progression from our previously scientifically-driven but otherwise hamfisted approach to selective breeding - put two things together and see what comes out. Red flowers + white flowers = pink flowers.

    But not always, and this is the problem with GM. We presume that because have have bred, in this case, a plant that repels a certain pest, that it will continue to do so, and the pest will not evolve (and often quite quickly) to resist it. This is the arrogance of GM - that because we have created an ANSWER in the laboratory, that this answer will always hold true and thay we have somehow out-smarted nature. Surely we all remember from school that a small percentage of cockroaches can tolerate enough radiation to nearly vaporise a rock? This is my issue with GM - nothing is 100% in the first place (just look at the problem we have with wormers now).

    It has always been a on-going battle to produce food without destroying the environment, but I fear the the GM scientists, because they are quick-fix and profit-driven, will not, and I think we can safely say, do not, consider the long term, beyond the next share-holders' meeting.

    Someday I fear, everything we grow will be GM, including the flowers in our garden, because we crave perfection. After all, when was the last time you opened a gardening magazine and saw a picture of a spotty apple or slightly black-spotty rose? What will the insects feed on then? Or will we just be left with cockroaches?
    Yes and no. Pesticide resistance is one avenue of GM. Many of the genes being inserted allow crops to grow on sandy/salty/dry/wet soils. Nature cannot 'out manouver' those traits. Of course, eventually the corn borer will become more tolerant to the repellent, and then we have to look for the next innovation. This happens in nature anyway, we are just speeding the process up many times over. It is not unnatural, in fact it is the most natural thing in the world, but instead of waiting for thousands of gene transformations which do nothing, we are selecting the genes to transform and doing it ourselves.

    GM is not 'alien life' its just the inclusion of genes from one plant into another. Same as you would get from cross breeding but in a much more precise manner.

  5. #65
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Condi View Post
    Yes and no. Pesticide resistance is one avenue of GM. Many of the genes being inserted allow crops to grow on sandy/salty/dry/wet soils. Nature cannot 'out manouver' those traits. Of course, eventually the corn borer will become more tolerant to the repellent, and then we have to look for the next innovation. This happens in nature anyway, we are just speeding the process up many times over. It is not unnatural, in fact it is the most natural thing in the world, but instead of waiting for thousands of gene transformations which do nothing, we are selecting the genes to transform and doing it ourselves.

    GM is not 'alien life' its just the inclusion of genes from one plant into another. Same as you would get from cross breeding but in a much more precise manner.
    I think GM could help organic farming just as much as conventional but I don't agree with big business controling and making large profits from it. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could grow a wheat plant that doesn'tneed replanting every year. Or potatoes that are blight resistant? What I don't want to see is company "x" saying you can't homesave that seed, or use this fert on "our" crop!

  6. #66
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid View Post
    I think GM could help organic farming just as much as conventional but I don't agree with big business controling and making large profits from it. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could grow a wheat plant that doesn't need replanting every year. Or potatoes that are blight resistant? What I don't want to see is company "x" saying you can't homesave that seed, or use this fert on "our" crop!
    How do you encourage the huge investment if you dont let a company reap the profits? It'll come, it is already possible to do DIY GM to a point, but only in a basic form. Dont ask me how, Im not sure, but I know it exists. From there you can start to do 'crowd sourced' GM somewhat successfully. Quite how you get it past all the rules and regs is another question if a man in a shed made it. Progress is so incredibly rapid now that it wont be long until you can make 'designer bacteria' in your bedroom by splicing genes together to do what you want. From there its is a much smaller step to translating that to plant level. Give it 30 years.

  7. #67
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Countryfile was looking into the bee colony disorders, and rape seed dressings.
    Britain wants to keep, but europe wants to ban?

  8. #68
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by RGT View Post
    Countryfile was looking into the bee colony disorders, and rape seed dressings.
    Britain wants to keep, but europe wants to ban?
    Neonicotinoids have been around in seed dressings for years (chinook, secur, Modesto, cruiser etc)
    there was a big problem in Germany in maize a few years ago from seed not being buried properly causing big problems.
    Interesting what the farmer said, as in my opinion, the seed treatment hasn't been the big problem area if used correctly. The big problem area has been thiacloprid (biscaya) and others which are used to kill pollen beetles in flowering rape crops. Obviously some bee work must have been shown in the trials, I would have thought this is causing the most issues.

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    So how many lorry loads or barrow loads of produce do you sell off your farm each year to feed the world ?
    The seagulls still seam to chase the ploughs why ?

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by coldair View Post
    So how many lorry loads or barrow loads of produce do you sell off your farm each year to feed the world ?
    The seagulls still seam to chase the ploughs why ?
    Are you talking about amount sold per kg of artificial fertilizer applied? Or per litre of pesticide applied? Can't compare output per acre as land varies so much. Maybe use carbon per acre?

    As for seagulls following the plough what does that mean? There are earth worms or other soil life present. Just mention I had 15 buzzards behind me on Saturday fantastic to see

  11. #71
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Thats not many a few years ago i counted 35! buzzards when ploughing ,no seagulls though i think they were a little scared of the preadators !

  12. #72
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by RGT View Post
    Countryfile was looking into the bee colony disorders, and rape seed dressings.
    Britain wants to keep, but europe wants to ban?
    Seems to be that way, despite the amount of clear evidence fingering neonics as a real threat to pollinators. Shame on the UK for voting to delay a ban on this stuff being used on bee-friendly crops.

    Neonics persist in the soil, so they build up if applied each year. They affect bees' memories, messing up their foraging ability, weaken their larvae,reduce their immunity to disease.They lock irreversibly to the neuron receptors which basically disables them.( Many other species,including ourselves, have the same set-up of AcHR nerve signal transfer system which these chemicals disrupt.)
    Bayer,themselves,originally boasted that an early version of Imidacloprid,for use against termites, was most deadly in the way it made those insects unable to defend against any of their predators or diseases.(Premise+Nature Tm.)
    Last edited by jaliptrot; 22-04-13 at 02:58 PM.

  13. #73
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by coldair View Post
    So how many lorry loads or barrow loads of produce do you sell off your farm each year to feed the world ?
    The seagulls still seam to chase the ploughs why ?
    I sell about 300 prime organic lambs + 12-15 highland/angus calves. Not a massive output maybe,but my inputs are minimal (beach sand,crab waste, seaweed,a little sulphur,copper, selenium, cobalt). I make a reasonable living off 150 acres of marginal land and we sustain many coastal heath plants,the Great Yellow Bumblebee,a rare one; produce some honey from our hives and keep up the stone dykes and coast footpath.
    If your seagulls still seem to chase the plough you probably still have some critturs living in your soil!
    Just started lambing 3am today....

  14. #74
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaliptrot View Post
    Seems to be that way, despite the amount of clear evidence fingering neonics as a real threat to pollinators. Shame on the UK for voting to delay a ban on this stuff being used on bee-friendly crops.

    Neonics persist in the soil, so they build up if applied each year. They affect bees' memories, messing up their foraging ability, weaken their larvae,reduce their immunity to disease.They lock irreversibly to the neuron receptors which basically disables them.( Many other species,including ourselves, have the same set-up of AcHR nerve signal transfer system which these chemicals disrupt.)
    Bayer,themselves,originally boasted that an early version of Imidacloprid,for use against termites, was most deadly in the way it made those insects unable to defend against any of their predators or diseases.(Premise+Nature Tm.)
    I'm very inclined to agree with you with regard to Neonics. But that doesn't mean all pesticides are bad. My own view is that the plough may do more damage than a lot of pesticides, but there is room for all approaches.

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by WillyScale View Post
    I'm very inclined to agree with you with regard to Neonics. But that doesn't mean all pesticides are bad. My own view is that the plough may do more damage than a lot of pesticides, but there is room for all approaches.
    The worm 'might' forgive the plough, but it won't forgive what we're doing now....Some farms have no worms I've heard.

    Is that true?

  16. #76
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaliptrot View Post
    The worm 'might' forgive the plough, but it won't forgive what we're doing now....Some farms have no worms I've heard.

    Is that true?
    No that wouldn't be true. A farm would have at least one worm.

    How do you know the worm forgives the plough? Have you asked them?!

  17. #77
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    I said 'might' (quote)

    It's a book I read years ago...

    'The Worm Forgives The Plough' seemed pretty good at the time...

    I would like to be able to plant barley after pasture without ploughing,power harrowing,etc but have not worked out how to do it yet.

    Any answers?

  18. #78
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaliptrot View Post
    I said 'might' (quote)

    It's a book I read years ago...

    'The Worm Forgives The Plough' seemed pretty good at the time...

    I would like to be able to plant barley after pasture without ploughing,power harrowing,etc but have not worked out how to do it yet.

    Any answers?
    Yeah that was John Stewart Collis' book I have it too. It is an amazing book as a piece of literature but not as a farm guide (theres a good piece on how he used to have break up fertiliser with a pick axe - non organic fert too!) He himself wasn't a farmer but (I think) a conscientious objector in the War.

    But in answer to your question. I'd say some roundup and a bit of other spray and a no till drill would be a start for no till barley but not without risks.

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by WillyScale View Post
    Yeah that was John Stewart Collis' book I have it too. It is an amazing book as a piece of literature but not as a farm guide (theres a good piece on how he used to have break up fertiliser with a pick axe - non organic fert too!) He himself wasn't a farmer but (I think) a conscientious objector in the War.

    But in answer to your question. I'd say some roundup and a bit of other spray and a no till drill would be a start for no till barley but not without risks.
    Nice reply,but given that I'm Organic,any more helpful answers?

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaliptrot View Post
    Nice reply,but given that I'm Organic,any more helpful answers?
    Adopt a more sustainable agriculture and go conventional?

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by WillyScale View Post
    Adopt a more sustainable agriculture and go conventional?
    If I just wanted to make money,I might.

    I have higher aspirations.

    You should too. Here's me preaching.....

    We farmers should be society's watchkeepers, or somesuch..

    We are the core industry.Without us all else fails.We have a deep responsibility.

    Anyway, it's surely up to us to do good stuff.

    If we don't,who does?

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaliptrot View Post
    If I just wanted to make money,I might.

    I have higher aspirations.

    You should too. Here's me preaching.....

    We farmers should be society's watchkeepers, or somesuch..

    Anyway, it's surely up to us to do good stuff.

    If we don't,who does?
    Are you saying that organic farming is an aspirationally higher calling than a non organic farmer?

    17% of my farm hasn't had fertiliser or sprays for 20 years but its not organic. Farm in an enviro scheme for 10 years. But I use pesticides. Good or Bad?

    We do do good stuff in farming, and bad stuff. And lots of stuff that us neither good or bad.

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    [QUOTE=WillyScale;156364]Are you saying that organic farming is an aspirationally higher calling than a non organic farmer?


    Yes,I am.
    Well,it's obviously up to you what you do with your land. I like that responsibliity;hope you do too.
    I just think that there's so much riding on what we choose to do that we have to think outside our box sometimes..
    Last edited by jaliptrot; 22-04-13 at 09:36 PM.

  24. #84
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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    It is not the job of farmers to be societies watch keepers. Farmers sell product to make money. They do so within the law. The end.

    The fact is fertilisers and pesticides have made billions of people healthier and longer lived. This is not in dispute.

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    It is not the job of farmers to be societies watch keepers. Farmers sell product to make money. They do so within the law. The end.

    The fact is fertilisers and pesticides have made billions of people healthier and longer lived. This is not in dispute.
    So, we're just like bankers, insurance salesmen,cosmetics traders? No, we should be above and beyond such nonsense.

    What we do affects the land,our food, the ecosystem,our real future.

    We should all consider a future beyond next year when we decide what to do this year. But you all know that already,really?

    Farmers should set a moral tone for society. Who else is better placed to do that?

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaliptrot View Post
    So, we're just like bankers, insurance salesmen,cosmetics traders? No, we should be above and beyond such nonsense.

    What we do affects the land,our food, the ecosystem,our real future.

    We should all consider a future beyond next year when we decide what to do this year. But you all know that already,really?
    Without fossil fuels to power agriculture full stop, ultimately everyone is going to starve. Agriculture by definition is not and never was nor will ever be sustainable. Agriculture is a form of land use as environmentally deleterious as road building, mining etc.

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    Without fossil fuels to power agriculture full stop, ultimately everyone is going to starve. Agriculture by definition is not and never was nor will ever be sustainable. Agriculture is a form of land use as environmentally deleterious as road building, mining etc.
    So we all lie down and wave our legs in the air?
    No,I think I see where you're coming from,but how should we respond to such an analysis?
    If we,humans,are going to stay around for much longer we have to curb our ways. We obviously can't keep using up the stored resouces of the planet at the rate we do now;regardless of fracking,nuclear ,renewables et al.
    Exactly how we really do is beyond me. I would say,for a start, that nobody needs to make,or spend ,over 100,000/year when most of us can happily live on a fifth of that.In my case a tenth,in many people's cases a hundredth.
    But us farmers should lead the way towards a healthy life.We should only grow stuff we'd be happy to eat,and that means we should know what we're growing,and what's in it.
    Last edited by jaliptrot; 24-04-13 at 12:21 PM.

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    [QUOTE=jaliptrot;156378]
    Quote Originally Posted by WillyScale View Post


    Yes,I am.
    Well,it's obviously up to you what you do with your land. I like that responsibliity;hope you do too.
    I just think that there's so much riding on what we choose to do that we have to think outside our box sometimes..
    But surely Organic farming is merely about keeping inside the box? Ticking the box to say you don't use certain products and you get the certification , the premium and the extra grants if you can? I'm not knocking it at all, its fine by me (genuinely) but I'm not sure its particularly radical for being organic per se.

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    [QUOTE=WillyScale;156538]
    Quote Originally Posted by jaliptrot View Post

    But surely Organic farming is merely about keeping inside the box? Ticking the box to say you don't use certain products and you get the certification , the premium and the extra grants if you can? I'm not knocking it at all, its fine by me (genuinely) but I'm not sure its particularly radical for being organic per se.
    When you go 'Organic',you have to go against much of what the commercial support industries advise us to do. We're told almost every available product will increase our profit. I should vaccinate my flock against every possible threat-12 clostridials,3 abortions,orf,footrot etc.I should worm frequently,treat against coccidia,dose new lambs with antibiotics against Ecoli.My barley and oats need soluble fertilizers,herbicides,fungicides,pesticides,growt h regulators..The promotional information often seems hard to refute. Yet most stock and crops can perform at an excellent level without resorting to these inputs.

    It is not, though,just a case of farming as usual without buying anything in.... Each of the challenges mentioned above,and many more,can be resolved by considering the reasons why they may occur and altering our practice accordingly. I won't rattle on too much(watching Barca v Bayern),but I will say I prefer they way I do things now,and it works.

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    Re: Are pesticides a good idea?

    The only answer is to reduce the human population to levels where it is supported by hunter gathering once again.

    Until that time comes I don't care if you grow food in plastic foam in houses under the sea, agriculture is not sustainable. Never was. The energy input is far in excess of the output. Preach your organic theology all you like. You're killing the planet the same as the rest of us.

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