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organic Another take on Organic Fertilizers

Actually, after reading that Today Tonight article again, I feel dumber for it. It is poorly written, and is scattered with non-attributed claims attempting to skew the view of the viewer/reader. And the subeditor that let the phrase "in fact" slip twice into one paragraph, without providing any kind of source for the "fact" should be slapped.

Australia's own "faux news" source ;)
I like MGro garden soil. I wouldn't dream of giving their specilized soils a thumbs up. I like MGro All Purpose Plant Food and don't recomend anyother ferts they might have. Those two products are just a small piece of what it takes for me. Every major corp. has its flaws.:) Ya got to remember they were around when alot weren't ::::: Hey I could of swore I seen someone commenting on MGro!!!!!!!!! Must be dreaming :crazy:
The claim of the antifertilizer cult that insects and diseases tend to ignore crops grown their "natural" way, and concentrate on chemically fertilized crops, I leave to your imagination. No reputable scientist has yet reported any such observation. But H.E. Myers, head, department of agronomy, Kansas State College, observed this spring on an experimental field in Southern Kansas that green bugs were exceedingly numerous on non-fertilized wheat, while only a few were present on adjoining wheat receiving nitrogen and phosphorus as chemical fertilizers.

The indictment that mineral fertilizers destroy earthworms and beneficial soil bacteria is without foundation. At the Rothamsted Experimental Station, it has been found that earthworms are just as numerous in the soil of the fertilized plots as in the unfertilized - but those in the fertilized area are larger and fatter. Many experiments in this country show that application of superphosphate to soils at rates commonly recommended will increase the population of beneficial soil bacteria. The use of mineral fertilizer will, in general, result in an increase of the organic matter of the soil and thus promote bacteria and earthworms. Organic matter is, of course, a by-product of plant growth; one of the quickest ways to increase it in a soil is to use chemical fertilizer to grow luxuriant green manure crops that will be turned back in the soil, or heavy crops that will leave a large residue of organic material. Without the use of chemical fertilizer it is impossible on some soils to grow legumes that are so essential to good soil management in humid sections. On the gray silt loam soils of South-eastern Kansas, farmers could not grow alfalfa successfully, even though they used large quantities of manure. Fertility experiments on these soils showed that over a 24-year period, the average annual yield of alfalfa on untreated land was only .59, of a ton per acre, while the addition of lime and superphosphate enabled the land to produce an average yield of 2.29, tons. On this land the lime and superphosphate treatment increased the average yield of wheat from 14.6 bushels per acre to 26.3 bushels. Although the purely organic manure was beneficial on these soils, manure alone could not solve the problem of a definite lack of lime and phosphorus.

To sum it up, there is nothing to substantiate the claims of the organic-farming cult. Mineral fertilizers, lime and organic matter all are essential in a sound fertility program. Chemical fertilizers stand between us and hunger.

There is no anti fetiliser cult. There are just informed individuals that do not feel the need to be brainwashed and browbeaten into using chemical fertilisers when there ARE plenty of practical and worthy alternatives.
I could attack every part of his article but I cannot be bothered other than to say " the catalyst used to bind the phosphate and to enable its release is sulphuric acid and I am yet to find beneficial garden microbes that thrive on that".
He hasnt read or doesnt want to read the numerous studies that have been conducted into the nutritional content of genuine organic foods.
The big problem now is big business seeing organics as the next cash cow and watering down the standards and ethics of organic growing to suit them and the shareholders.
Organics should be local food for local consumers, not food that travels thousands of miles to get to its markets.
Organics should be local food for local consumers, not food that travels thousands of miles to get to its markets.

I totally agree with you for the most part. You also live in a hot climate. I live in a cold climate and would rather eat organic fruit that has traveled thousands of miles instead of non-organic fruit that has traveled thousands of miles.
I don't have the expertise to comment on a lot of the issues addressed in this article, but one thing I can say is: dude who wrote that sounded very angry.

Not even enjoyable to read with his angry attitude and one-sided arguments, most of which have been totally proven wrong. I agree he must be a lobyist or have a lot of shares in chemical fertilizers.
According to his info, I'm surprised we were even able to live before chemical fertilizers came around.
The tone of the piece is what triggered my curiosity as to who actually wrote it and when, and I'm not that surprised to find out it could be 50-80 plus years old.

I am constantly amazed that people will push severely outdated and superseded information just because it fits their belief.
The article does have a tone...

From personal experience, i use both, by fertigation and foliars. In a sense you can have a synergic effect with both of them.
To use chemical fertilizes the first thing you should do is a soil testing and water testing to see what you have, to add what are you missing chemically. Most growers tend to overfertilize and that's were the problem comes...

that's why you should check always your EC, above 1.5 microbial nitrification/denitrification and P solubilizing process is altered, but if you use a nitrogen fixing bacteria like azobacter(N) and a bacillus(P)you can fix that.

I use my chemical fertilizers with humic/fulvic acid, seaweedextract, molasses to increase the uptake of them plus I add always beneficial microorganisims via dripsystem like trichoderma t-22, virens, bacillus strains, azobacter, actinomycetes, endomycorrizhea to break down what's left in the soil...

Plant roots can't differiantiate a chemical P from a organic P, but the organic P comes with some enzimes and proteins that activate the plants response and processes of defense, anti-stress,and become bio-stimulants for better plant health.

About organic, there is a high wave too...both camps, the organic and inorganic have a lot of products that they claimed what they have in the etiquette is 100 %, when you send them to a lab...more like 30 to 50% of what they claim.

I'll put an example, chicken manure is one of the things most organic farmes use but is prohibited in a lot of countries to be fed to cattle for meat production...why? the rate of antibiotics and chemical products given in high production poultry farms is excessive,that end up being metabolites wich produces to the cattle a lot of tumors and stay in the meat...there is no such thing as organic manure in high production poultry farms...when a infection breaks out in a poultry farm, there are a lot of antibiotics given to them, wich in the end, the metabolites...come in the manure.

Just as the same a commercial grower when in his soil analysis says that he only needs 100 pounds of nitrogen and gives 500 pounds...just giving the soil more salinity...and the plant more chemical nitrogen.

with organic you cannot supply the demand of food, that's the reality, but I think if you use them both,with logic, you can get the both of best world without going past the bounderies.

again, this is my personal experience of what i do...
And ya know what I have more of a problem with a "Organic" product that was produced by stripping part of a jungle away without the benifit of someone like RedTail there to make sure it was done right. Making your own organic fert insures less of a footprint on this earth

Wrong I am composting inside using 200 W just to break it down :). Very inefficient and wasteful.
In all honesty I never really understood the whole "organic" growers and why they insist on growing without using any chemicals whatsoever. Some say they don't want to contribute to the killing the planet. I mean logically do you think not using any ferts on a dozen or so plants your growing at home will really make a difference if you have nuclear power plants failing and releasing radiation into the on and only environment the plant has? Add in how much pollution 3rd world countries generate because they don't have any type of modern regulations to protect the environment and the air quality issues because we use gas derived from fossil fuels and you have to ask yourself are you really making a difference.

Then you have the organic growers they say they don't want to put any chemicals in their body, but they will drink water from the tap that has the same chemicals in it or buy food from stores purchased from farmers who used chemicals to grow that food. Unless your planning on growing every ounce of food you consume, drink water from natural wells, never take any modern medicine for the rest of your life, and live in a location where they don't use gas then your going to get those chemicals in your body no matter what you do. In fact just breathing in certain cities is far worse for your body then any chemicals used in food.

If you look at the big picture not using ferts on a few plants is like saying i'm going to rid the entire planets air pollution problems by never farting again.
My understanding is that chemical fertilizers use fillers that may be harmful to the environment via leaching or run-off. The synthetic fillers are added to enable the soil to absorb the nutrients (N-P-K). However, some of the nutes are lost - that's why the percentage (10-10-10) is often much higher for chemical ferts (they break down quicker than what most plants can use) as opposed to organic ones, partially because organic ferts use food products as filler

However, in just the area of fertilizer, unless the farmer is broadcasting it on a hillside where runoff is a problem, there is little damage. True, he could use an organic fert, but the cost to fertilize 500 acres would be dozens of times higher, resulting in higher costs of produce.

One of the biggest benefits to organic farming is avoiding most pesticides, fungicides, insecticides. When I was small, we prepared seed beds by burning a huge fire on the ground. Wasn't the best for the atmosphere but it didn't add bad stuff to the ground. Later, we started using gasses to sterilize the ground. It was covered with plastic.

Another example was we use to hand remove suckers from tobacco plants, which allowed more energy to go into the leaves. Then, a spray was developed to kill the plant's ability to grow sprouts.

I don't plan on using anything but Tomato Tone, Blood Meal and Bone Meal, along with compost tea in my garden this year.

I've found out over the years that just by tacking a 'Dr.' at the front of a name doesn't make the person that much more knowledgeable or credible. During my recent return to graduate school, I've found it kind of amusing to tell some of the professors that they are full of $hit and completely out of touch with the "real world." That being said, my argument is not that having an "organic" stamp on a product makes it more healthy, more tasty, etc. etc., I just know I would prefer having something grown naturally without the need for man-made chemicals. Pollution and ecology aside, there are numerous reasons to go this route. . .
I believe it was the nitrogen bomb in WWI that originally sparked the chemical fertilizer revolution, and then nerve gas led to insecticides like DDT etc. Its scary how our basic foods and attitudes have changed so much for the worse since then.
Well, look what happened with the intensive agriculture in this country in the 1900's. . . THE DUST BOWL!!! There were a lot of reason why the Dust Bowl happened but in a nutshell, it was mismanagement of natural resources. A natural system can only take so much disturbance before it fails. How long will it take before we kill all of our soil microbes with inorganic chemical deposition or our streams through eutrophication from fertilizers leaching into the groundwater? The physical proof is out there that these chemicals DO DAMAGE THE ENVIRONMENT if misused.
This is a place for all of us to come together and discuss. while we don't always agree at least were here to understand and learn. Personal attacks on age,intellengence,or background should be left out. I'm old but not blind to a new way. Granted it's a old bias article that started this(if any chem ferts got anything new please feel free to post it here). I'm not trying to changed the world-just my little piece of it. I know my part won't save the world either but at least I tried. Most people go all their lives never growing anything except old. We are the lucky ones that raise plants for food and for the joy of growing. I can live with being almost natural and I hope I can help and give back what so many before me have done. Got only one world lets try to keep it alive :)
Well, look what happened with the intensive agriculture in this country in the 1900's. . . THE DUST BOWL!!! There were a lot of reason why the Dust Bowl happened but in a nutshell, it was mismanagement of natural resources. A natural system can only take so much disturbance before it fails. How long will it take before we kill all of our soil microbes with inorganic chemical deposition or our streams through eutrophication from fertilizers leaching into the groundwater? The physical proof is out there that these chemicals DO DAMAGE THE ENVIRONMENT if misused.

Duh, the Dust Bowl was NOT caused by the use of chemical ferts, it was caused by a huge lack of rain over a three-year period. I sow winter wheat on my garden, but if it doesn't rain all year, I'm not going to have anything to plow into the ground to return organic matter to it. And if the ground stays bone-dry and winds beat it up, I'm going to lose a lot of top soil. Nothing I can do about this, especially after a year. If I can't grow anything, I can't make compost.

Plus, you seem to presume farmers misuse chemicals. Does that that mean they over fertilize? I don't think so! Good farmers, at least those who want to maximize production, get soil tests done and adjust their ground based on recommendations. If you believe a real farmer goes out and adds tons of chemical ferts to their ground just for craps and giggles, you have no clue.

As a former farmer, and now as one, the goal is to maximize production while protecting the land so it will be great for the future. Not rocket science. Farmers are not some kind of hicks who buy into the idea of better living through chemistry. We (they) are into this for the long run. To suggest we (they) use more ferts than necessary, or ferts that will run off and not be used by the plants is, at best, uniformed. At worst, idiotic.

I'm not trying to pick a fight, but I refuse to sit on my fingers when people who grow a backyard garden try to lecture large scale farmers on how they should be doing things. If you want to pay $1 per ear of corn, fine - go to a farmers market and pay that. The reality is most people do not - they appreciate getting 10 ears for $3.

Let me first say that I am not a soil and or chemical engineer. My specialty is industrial automation; I'm the guy who could automate a greenhouse growing facility. By no means am I a tree hugging green naturalist preacher. There're people on this forum far more qualified than me to debate the chemical vs. organics righteousness.

My wife and I have decided grow with organics for the following reasons:

− Help reduce the suffocating effects of milfoil growth the chemical fertilizers have on our local lakes and ponds.
− Reduce our chemical consumption.
− Support our local organic fertilizer manufacturers.
− Produce the absolute best tasting produce that we can
− Preserve our soil integrity and quality for years to come
− We believe chemical free is healthier

Now, I could be totally off the mark and just caught up into all the organic hype, but this is our personal choice to grow with organics for our own peace of mind.
This thread has become too much of a "he said, she said" thread to me.

As far as Wordwiz's comments on the Dust Bowl are concerned. The Dust Bowl was caused by mismanagement of covercrops (basically the lack of) and over-intensive agriculture procedures. If you are going to call someone out Wordwiz do your f***ing research. I never said the Dust Bowl was because of chemical fertilizers. I never said all farmers are over-using chemical fertilizers nor did I say anything regarding "rocket science." If anything, I'm arguing for just the opposite and a return to more simple natural processes. I have the utmost respect for farmers and really hate what our nation's agriculture society has become. If you want to argue about long-term sustainability in agriculture, look at the corn ethanol markets! Why else would our food be used for fuel.....GREED!!! Hmmmm. . . why pay some much for corn??????

You can him and haw as much as you'd like on this thread. . . I'm out.
You can him and haw as much as you'd like on this thread. . . I'm out.


You have no grasp of facts. Why would farmers sell corn to be used for fuel? They really don't give a rat's behind what it is being used for, they want to make money from their efforts. And you are going to fault people for risking their assets and hundreds of hours of labor to gather revenue? Or would you prefer to pay $6/gal for gas so we can buy corn, corn meal, feed our cattle cheaper? Get a grip on reality as it exists now, the very basic idea that people work to make money. Or join a socialist society - from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.

I'm not walking this path. But I am growing lots of veggies and fruit to feed people! However, they will have to pay a fair price for the "fruits of my labors."