Man vs. nature

We human beings are always patting ourselves on the back for all the technological advances made on behalf of health, agriculture, education, war, communication, etc. Most of this human progress is made usually in the name of financial benefit.

As a result, the side effects of our so-called advancement may have negative consequences. Yet these effects are overlooked because it rocks the boat of corporate America.

Today, I will identify one particular area of interest called agriculture. That industry and its higher education circles have been trumpeting genetically modified crops (GMOs). These new fellas are tolerant of many herbicides and pesticides. Therefore, the crop continues to grow while application of these chemicals kill all the little bugs, microorganisms and weeds.

This results in bin-busting yields out of weedless and bugless fields. Then we feed the grain/produce to animals and people. So what is my issue?

I live in a rural area with a slough that in the summer usually has running water in it. That draw is downstream from 1,000-plus acres that have GMO crops and all the associated pesticide/herbicide applications.

Until three years ago, the bullfrog/toad population was teeming and bees and butterflies had a constant and real presence on our acreage. The deer, pheasant, turkey, fox, turtles and other wildlife were regular visitors and inhabitants.

Last summer, we did not see any honeybees, monarch butterflies, deer, turkeys, turtles, bullfrogs, or pheasants, fewer grasshoppers, and even fewer barn flies.

So is our advanced agriculture removing the balance of nature? If this new ag is killing nature, what is it doing to people and animal health?

Is our soil treatment destroying the microorganisms that absorb and hold the rain and critical nutrition for our plants?

It is estimated that for every bad bug killed with these pesticides and GMO plants, some 7,000 good bugs also are killed.

During last September, we had a large rainfall and most of it went out of the fields and down the creek. Of the 4-6 inches of rain, our tilled soils absorbed 1 inch or less. My pasture ground had little or no runoff.

Can you imagine how much rain our soil would absorb if it was truly alive with nature’s microorganisms (organic matter)? Farmers who are respecting nature and avoiding “the new ag” regimen are seeing the soils absorb up to 8 inches of rain per hour.

You see in the end, nature always wins. It may have to remove humans to do it, but nature will balance with or without man’s cooperation.

Marvin 'Butch' Hughes

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