Sunday, June 28, 2015

industrial no til sighting

a couple of things about the corn field next to the supermarket ( no i have not gotten over that ironic juxtaposition yet ) jumped out at me when i went to check on it today ( it is late june and i have been remiss in tracking local agriculture...i will assay to do better )...first, judging by the amount of litter in the form of cobs and corn stalks left over form last year's harvest ( second and third photos ) and the number of "weeds" sprouting up in the rows that are nearly as tall as the corn ( fourth and fifth photos )..which is "knee high by july" by the by...before july actually...this is a no til corn field which makes it a cut above the standard plowed, disced,harrowed , and sprayed with poison fields you find to the near south of here...that this field is well withing the city limits may have something to do with the lack of herbicide spray...but there are probably not any municipal statutes on limiting plowing i am suitably impressed at the farmer's stewardship of the field today and would tell them so if i knew where to find them...the other thing that jumped out at me was the fact that it's a corn was last season too ( hence all the harvest litter in the rows and the telling indication of no til )...given the dual nature of the soy bean/dense yellow #2 monoculture hereabouts it is odd that the dual cycle has been disrupted...the system dictates this should be a bean field...i have serious doubt about the ability of "round-up ready" soy beans to set significant amounts of nitrogen in a standard industrial field, legumes though they be...what passes for soil in a regular field is so sterile i am willing to believe it lacks the colony of rhizobia bacteria necessary for the symbiosis to occur...but this isn't your normal industrial field so the beans and bacteria might have a fighting chance...another agribusiness riddle i won't be able to solve by asking the farmer...perhaps tracking corn prices and trying to decipher the arcane farm bill will clear things up.

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