The science called eco-agriculture is not complicated. But it is infinitely more sophisticated than the current “chemical amateurism�? running rampant across our land. Eco-agriculture simply holds that to be economical, agriculture most be ecological. By contrast, for the last 50 years farmers should have been paid depletion allowances as they mined their soil — all to satisfy an international cheap food policy. But there is another way. The many authors of the books presented here represent many centuries of experience in building — not mining — soils. The lessons they teach are fundamental:
1. Simplistic nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N, P and K) fertilization means malnutrition for plants, animals and people because either a shortage or marked imbalance of plant nutrients prevent balanced plant health and therefore animal and human health.
2. Plants in touch with exchangeable soil nutrients needed to develop proper fertility loads, structure, and stabilized internal hormone and enzyme potentials, provide their own protection against insect, bacterial and fungal attack.
3. Insects and nature’s predators are a disposal crew; their task to eliminate sick plants. They are summoned when they are needed, and they are repelled when they are not needed.
4. Weeds are an index of the character of the soil. It is therefore a mistake to rely on herbicides to eradicate them, since these things deal with effect, not cause.
5. Crop losses in dry weather or during mild cold snaps are not so much the result of drought and cold as nutrient deficiency.
6. Toxic rescue chemistry hopes to salvage crop production that is not fit to live so that animals and men might eat it, always with consequences for present and future generations of plants, animals and men.
7. Man-made molecules of toxic rescue chemistry do not exist in nature’s blueprints for living organisms. Since they have no counterpart in nature, they will not likely break down biologically in a time frame suitable to the head of the biotic pyramid, namely man. Carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic molecules of toxic rescue chemistry have no safe level and no tolerance level.
from the Acres USA Monthly Magazine