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Jeff Moyer at Quivira Coalition Conference

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  • 1. ©2008 Rodale institute By Jeff Moyer Farm Director RODALE INSTITUTE Regenerative Agricultural “Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy People” A Flawed Food Production System & An Organic Solution
  • 2. ©2008 Rodale institute For the First Time in History We Have the Power to Crush Our Environment
  • 3. ©2008 Rodale institute Inspirational Wisdom • “ A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt • “Despite all our pretensions, we still are totally dependent on 6 inches of top soil and the fact that it rains.” Confucius • “Nature is the greatest gift of all!” “Soil has the ability to regenerate itself” Robert Rodale
  • 4. ©2008 Rodale institute Let’s Think About the Problems
  • 5. ©2008 Rodale institute The Way We Farm Effects The Environment
  • 6. ©2008 Rodale institute Dead Zones Continue To Expand 2008 Soil From Iowa in the Gulf of Mexico
  • 7. ©2008 Rodale institute We’re Polluting Our Water
  • 8. ©2008 Rodale institute We’re Killing Our Farmers
  • 9. ©2008 Rodale institute Childhood Obesity is Epidemic
  • 10. ©2008 Rodale institute 2007 Census of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
  • 11. ©2008 Rodale institute Net Farm Land Loss Tops 27,000,000 Acres
  • 12. ©2008 Rodale institute One Solution is Organic Production Supported by Statistics Supported by Science
  • 13. ©2008 Rodale institute Same Resources…… Different Philosophy
  • 14. ©2008 Rodale institute • Soil is a complex, multi-component system of interacting inorganic and organic materials, and the properties of soil result from the effect of all these interactions. Healthy soil management – emphasizes the conservation and increase of soil organic matter – by maximizing the contributions of on-farm resources Conservation - Prevents Erosion (loss of Organic Matter) Cover crops Green Manures Composts Animal Manures Soil Health & Fertility
  • 15. ©2008 Rodale institute Soil Organic Matters 1% 5% 5 % 1%
  • 16. ©2008 Rodale institute Soil Microorganisms Group Average Number per Gram Of Soil Live Weight per Acre Plow Depth (pounds) Bacteria Actinomycetes 1 billion 10 million 500 750 Fungi 1 million 1,000 Algae 100 thousand 150 TOTAL 2,400 Francis E. Clark, A Perspective of the Soil Microflora, Soil Microbiology Conf., Purdue University (June 1954)
  • 17. ©2008 Rodale institute Typical Numbers of Soil Organisms in Healthy Ecosystems Crop Land Prairie Forest Organisms per gram (teaspoon) of soil Bacteria 100 mil. -1 bil. 100 mil. -1 bil. 100 mil. -1 bil. Fungi Several yards 10s – 100’s of yds 1-40 miles (in conifers) Protozoa 1000’s 1000’s 100,000’s Nematodes 10-20 10’s – 100’s 100’s Organisms per square foot Arthropods < 100 500-2000 10,000-25,000 Earthworms 5-30 10-50 10-50 (few in conifers)
  • 18. ©2008 Rodale institute • Higher corn and soybean yields in drought years • Increased soil C and N • Higher water infiltration • Higher water holding cap. • Higher microbial activity Soil in Organic Systems
  • 19. ©2008 Rodale institute Organic Corn - 1995 Drought Organic Conventional Better infiltration, retention, and delivery to plants helps avoid drought damage
  • 20. ©2008 Rodale institute According to The 2007 Census of Agriculture: • In 2008 organic farms had an average of $217,675 in sales compared to $134,807. • Census Conclusion: Adding in cost of production organic farms are more profitable. Where Does Organic Stand In The Agricultural World?
  • 21. ©2008 Rodale institute Let’s Take a Look at me Tools to Build Soil Health Cover Crops
  • 22. ©2008 Rodale institute Rodale Institute - Regenerated 1970 1970 2000
  • 23. ©2008 Rodale institute Each square represents one year’s global emissions of carbon dioxide, measured by the weight of carbon it contains. The size of each square is proportional to the amount of that year’s emissions. Sources: Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; “Managing The Transition to Climate Stabilization, “A.E.I.-Brookings, by Dr. Richard Richels, Dr. Thomas Rutherford, Dr. Geoffrey Blanford and Dr. Leon Clarke; Climate Analysis Indicators Tool, World Resources Institute; Dr. Jeffery Greenblatt, Environmental Defense; Dr. Alex Farrell, University of California Energy Institute. BILL MARSH / New York Times, December 16, 2007 ©
  • 24. ©2008 Rodale institute Unproven Carbon Sequestration
  • 25. ©2008 Rodale institute Proven Carbon Sequestration Plants The soil‘s microbial “labor force“ incoporates carbon into the soil structure Air Soil Human nutrition and health starts in the soil, from which plants draw their nutrients The soil microbial community provides the nutritional building blocks that plants need to grow and thrive Light is the energy source www.rodaleinstitute.org
  • 26. ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 27. ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 28. ©2008 Rodale institute -44.6 -18.9 -8.1 312 330 1000 1261 2363 -500 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 Moldboard Plow Sub Soil Mole Knife Raw Dairy Manure Cov. No Till Winter Cover Crops Compost Broiler (litter, leaves) Compost (Dairy, Manure, Leaves) Carbon Impact by Field Treatment Carbon Sequestration ( kg C / ha /year)
  • 29. ©2008 Rodale institute Beneficial Root Fungi on Bahia Grass Dr. David Douds - USDA-ARS Researcher, specializing in beneficial root fungi research for the last 25 years www.rodaleinstitute.org Mycorrhizal Fungi
  • 30. ©2008 Rodale institute • Extends plant root systems • Produces erosion- resistant, carbon enriched soil • Provides mechanisms for soil biological carbon fixation • Slows decay of organic matter Mycorrhizal Fungi
  • 31. ©2008 Rodale institute Chemical synthetic N fertilizer • produced by the industrial Haber-Bosch process • requires huge amounts of energy to create the 2939 PSI and 842ºF of heat • needed to industrially extract N from the atmosphere and hydrogen from natural gas. • The production of 1 kg (2.2lbs) of chemical N fertilizer burns the equivalent of 1 L (1.05 Qt.) of oil and 17.6 cubic feet of natural gas, releasing a great deal of carbon and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere NITROGEN
  • 32. ©2008 Rodale institute Energy “Required” ? Bosch Haber Process www.hydro.com/upload/4518haberboschen.jpg
  • 33. ©2008 Rodale institute Tap root Root nodules housing Rhizobia bacteria
  • 34. ©2008 Rodale institute 2006 Hairy Vetch N (Lbs/acre) in above ground biomass Field #60, The Rodale Institute 232 172 155 191 103 151 167170 232 180 195 253 193 203 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 MN-1 OR-1 OR-2 Steve Groff PA-1 (Planted 9-8-05) Steve Groff PA-1 (Planted 9-27-05) WI-1 Field Average all plots Hairy Vetch accession Lbs/acreN (Abovegroundbiomassx%Ntissueanalysis) Above ground dry matter biomass/acre x %N tissue analysis = lbs N /acre (4-21-06) Above ground dry matter biomass/acre x %N tissue analysis = lbs N /acre (6-9-06) 4.24 % N 2.84 % N 4.84 % N 4.91 % N 5.66 % N 3.85 % N 5.09 % N N 4.77 % N 3.76 % N 3.12 % N 3.16 % N 3.81 % N 3.16 % N 3.31 % N
  • 35. ©2008 Rodale institute How Green Is My Orange? New York Times, Jan. 2009 PEPSICO/ Tropicana
  • 36. ©2008 Rodale institute Carbon Footprint
  • 37. ©2008 Rodale institute Published Research The Myth of Nitrogen Fertilization for Soil Carbon Sequestration S.A. Khan, R.L.Mulvaney, T.R.Ellsworth, and C.W.Boast Univ. of Ill Conclusion: A half century of N fertilization has played a crucial role in expanding worldwide grain production, but there has been a hidden cost to the soil resource: a net loss of native SOC and the residue C inputs. This cost has been exacerbated by the widespread use of yield-based systems for fertilizer N management, which are advocated for the sake of short-term economic gain rather then long term sustainability. Published in Journal of Environmental Quality (2007)
  • 38. ©2008 Rodale institute Tillage has it’s Drawbacks
  • 39. ©2008 Rodale institute A Different Way of Farming
  • 40. ©2008 Rodale institute Organic No-Till
  • 41. ©2008 Rodale institute Corn PLOW TILL • PLOW • DISC • PACK • PLANT • ROTARY HOE • ROTARY HOE • CULTIVATE • CULTIVATE • HARVEST • (143 Bu/A) NO-TILL • ROLL/PLANT • HARVEST • (160 Bu/A) A two step organic production system Plant and Harvest!
  • 42. ©2008 Rodale institute 231.7 199.2 121.6 77.5 0 50 100 150 200 250 Conv. Till Conv. No- Till Org. Till Org. No-Till Energy Used in Different Corn Production Systems Units = Diesel Fuel Equivalents
  • 43. ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 44. ©2008 Rodale institute 3111 4837 5344 6669 6978 8392 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 Oats HV Plow 5/12/03 BuWh HV 6/9/03 Oats HV 6/9/03 Barley HV 6/9/03 Wheat HV 6/9/03 Rye HV 6/9/03 Cover Crop Treatment & Date Collected Biomass(Lbs/Acre) Average Biomass (lbs/A) of Cover Crop Mixtures: 2003 Corn Cover Crop Trial
  • 45. ©2008 Rodale institute Tools That Make it Possible
  • 46. ©2008 Rodale institute Dense Cover Crops Prevent Weed Expression
  • 47. ©2008 Rodale institute Corn 3 Days After Planting
  • 48. ©2008 Rodale institute Corn Planted into Hairy Vetch @ 3 Weeks After Planting
  • 49. ©2008 Rodale institute
  • 50. ©2008 Rodale institute Corn Mid-Season
  • 51. ©2008 Rodale institute 2010 Soybean Research Plots
  • 52. ©2008 Rodale institute 2009 Tomato
  • 53. ©2008 Rodale institute Pumpkins 2010 Planted on 30” Rows – 5’ Centers Hairy Vetch Cover
  • 54. ©2008 Rodale institute 6 weeks after rolling
  • 55. ©2008 Rodale institute California Transplanted Eggplant
  • 56. ©2008 Rodale institute 30 Foot Roller Illinois
  • 57. ©2008 Rodale institute Works on Small Scale Ag Systems
  • 58. ©2008 Rodale institute A New Way of Marketing and Buying Food Together We Can Change Our Food System
  • 59. ©2008 Rodale institute Organic Conventional Change the Soil and We Change the World
  • 60. ©2008 Rodale institute Jeff Moyer The Rodale Institute 611 Siegfriedale Road Kutztown, PA 19530 USA Phone: 610-683-1420 Fax: 610-683-8548 Email:jeff.moyer@rodaleinst.org Web: www.rodaleinstitute.org