Monday, November 10, 2008

A Lesson from Organic Pecans

Here's a piece that is surprising.

First, it's reporting on research into organic farming of pecans, by the Agricultural Research Service. We usually assume, and organic proponents often allege, USDA is anti-organic, but not on this evidence.

Second, it provides evidence organic methods of improving the soil and fighting pests, while more expensive, easily pay their way by increasing yields and quality, without relying on any price premium for "organic".

Third, it's claimed probably to be applicable to other tree crops.

Fourth, while the image one has (at least I do) for organic methods is rather romantic, the methods used here sound very rational. That means, for me, it's likely that we're talking a new concept, which might be called "industrial organic" farming. That is, large scale application of industrially produced additives such as iron, zinc, boron, copper, and manganese and spinosad.

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