Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question
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  1. #1
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    Question Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    Anyone want to speculate what percentage rate increase there would be in food prices if the commonly maligned pesticides, herbicides and fungicides had to be abandoned? I am curious about whether it would be an amount that the consumer would buy into without coercion. Would their removal be a game changer. Could our domestic producers compete on the world market? Would it require subsidization, like perhaps higher taxes on fuel such as is imposed in European countries?

    Without the polarizing hype, what kind of a proposition would it really be?
    Frank

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    well lets see, My wife stopped eating sweet corn the first time she found a corn borer on the corn. I had it down to a science that I only had to spray my apples 3 times to get pretty good looking apples, my neighbors went down to the orchard that sprayed every 7 days and bought them there even though mine were free. I could grow a very large garden organically using only bt and pyrethium, and I could grow enough for my house and maybe two others. Now with all the robots taking over the good jobs, could you get the current generation to go back on the farm? My best guess is unless this coronavirus wipes out 30-40% of the people, you couldn't raise enough food for the consumers to buy but at that point I bet they would love my apples. so in a nut shell not going to work, until they rewire the fruits and vegetables to not need chemicals.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    This is what Bayer, a primary stakeholder, had to say about neonics bans and canola (rape) in the EU as of 2017:

    IMPACT

    In oilseed rape, the three impacts the neonic ban can be translated into economic and environmental costs. The costs for the European oilseed rape industry related to the neonicotinoid ban amount to almost € 900 million:

    Almost € 350 million market revenue losses
    More than € 50 million revenue losses due to lower quality
    Close to € 120 million additional production costs
    Well above € 360 million in upstream and downstream industries.

    The ban also has significant environmental impacts, both within the EU and on a global scale:

    Globally, shifting oilseed rape production outside the EU causes 80.2 million tons of CO2 emissions, 1,300 million m3 additional water consumption, and biodiversity losses equalling the slashing and burning of 333,000 hectares of Indonesian rainforest.
    In the EU, additional foliar insecticide applications add Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of estimated 0.03 million tons CO2 equivalents and 1.4 million m3 of additional water use annually

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    I live in a very poor rural area of a very poor county in a very poor state. Most people here do not have market choices. The elite will decide. The poor will suffer the consequences. As it has always been.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    I just received my order of Hubam Clover and Mustard seed yesterday from a co. called GreenCoverSeeds. They have a lot of informative articles on their website addressing these very concerns. They seem to take an unemotional approach to ways to reduce herbicide and insecticide use. They also talk a lot about rebuilding and conserving soil through the use of cover crops. There are some experimental farms that showcase the possibilities.
    I believe they have people on staff that could answer Crofter's questions.
    They have Hubam in stock as well as other nectar producers with reasonable prices. I ordered 50lbs of Hubam, 50lbs of Mustard and 2lbs of Phacelia on Monday morning and received them Wednesday before lunch.

    Alex
    Here is a link; https://www.greencoverseed.com/
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    I only had to spray my apples 3 times to get pretty good looking apples,.
    With your small scale you can do zero spraying.
    I have been doing apples with zero spraying for 10 years.

    Absolutely no need to spray.
    Bag them.
    One-time job in spring.
    A bonus - the apples keep great directly in the zip-lock begs.

    DSCN2374.jpg
    DSCN2385.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    crofter, Hasn't there been a partial ban on neonics (Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Clothianidin) in effect in Ontario for a couple of years now? Any data available from Ontario farmers and local Ontario production yields, costs, local supply, etc?

    I have only followed from afar.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    Hi crofter,

    This is burning in me for nearly as long as I farm. Interesting that nobody has relay answered the question behind your question, but I will try to dig deeper.

    It took me seven years of ag school to get me highest degree of certification as a practical farmer, but in thus seven years, not one minute was spend on marketing, but all revolved around producing more per unit (acre, cow, pig etc.). As we have increased production, prices have declined or best case scenario stayed leveled, but with inflation considered into the equation still declined. The only thing that made farmers survive was to cover more units (acre, cows, pigs etc.). This all would have been impossible without the technical revolution.

    Now, I still farm, but more as a research farmer then needing to make money, I export to the countries that have the $, best US$. This takes special product, special care and special attention and it is a niche market.

    Now lets get to your question. Assuming the world (all nation united in doing the same) outlaw all chemical inputs by farmers to produce crops (acres, cows, pigs etc.) and I mean any and everything, herbicides,insecticides, fungicides, this-cides and that-cides, fertilizer, gmo seeds and whatever more our predecessors 200 years ago dreamed of to make starvation a thing of the past and farm production not as back-breaking as it use to be.

    In fact, you would convert all agriculture to organic, but then farming would not be sustainable any-longer, because we have nothing in amounts to refill the soil deficits this production scheme would remove from the soil. Their is simply not enough manure in the proper composition to replace the NPKCa and micros that are removed.

    Calculations have projected that the production on the presently arable land would decline by 33-50% if farmers go to 100% organic. Quality and timely delivery would at most be luck and any overproduction would be gone and it would be putting world agricultural raw supplies of food to a level that could sustain 3-4 billion people. Here come now the social gut-kick: only the once with money, guns or power would be able to feed themselves (and farmers). Prices would skyrocket and people, particularly in large urban areas would have to wait until the food trucks come to get something to eat, perhaps drink too.

    This would be the most unsocial decision mankind could make and I would not know the outcome of it.

    Our lifestyle is sustained because of people we don't see that produce products cheap, lousy cheap, farmers, workers in China, India, Bangladesh, etc. but we complain that thus farmers are evil and thus nations have us by the neck and we are at their mercy.

    We, they superior race on this planet have messed this all up pretty good and I don't know the way out anymore.

    Finally: be careful what you ask for, because you might not be able to but the genie back in the bottle.

    JoergK.
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Anyone want to speculate what percentage rate increase there would be in food prices if the commonly maligned pesticides, herbicides and fungicides had to be abandoned?
    You dont have to guess, pretty much every major grocery store has a large organic section these days. Just pretend the rest of the store doesn't exist, take a stroll thru the organic section and note the prices, then you will have an answer.

    But as has been pointed out, using the current pricing in the organic section only applies as long as there is enough supply to feed the entire population. If there isn't enough food being produced, well then food prices will become a case of 'how much do you have to spend?'.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    https://mercaris.com/posts/organic-a...mo-corn-prices

    Organic corn is roughly 3 times the cost of non-organic. I grow a lot of organic veggies, corn, melons etc. Just yesterday my wife complained that my melons sometimes have bugs in them.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    With your small scale you can do zero spraying.
    I have been doing apples with zero spraying for 10 years.

    Absolutely no need to spray.
    Bag them.
    One-time job in spring.
    A bonus - the apples keep great directly in the zip-lock begs.

    DSCN2374.jpg
    DSCN2385.jpg
    Thanks for this! When do you bag? Right after petal drop when the ovary (fruit) starts to swell? Any fungal issues?

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    Quote Originally Posted by JClark View Post
    Thanks for this! When do you bag? Right after petal drop when the ovary (fruit) starts to swell? Any fungal issues?
    that's the problem I found with bagging in NE/NY, much of the damage from bugs is at pink bud and during bloom. Not sure of new varieties, but I used Liberty and Freedom and didn't have to spray fungicides.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    " Without the polarizing hype, what kind of a proposition would it really be? "
    If you have ever sat in a grain truck at the COOP and had your load rejected.... you would understand exactly.

    Biermann, I truly appreciate your length and though of response.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    Quote Originally Posted by JClark View Post
    Thanks for this! When do you bag? Right after petal drop when the ovary (fruit) starts to swell? Any fungal issues?
    My answers are here:
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...73#post1779373
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    that's the problem I found with bagging in NE/NY, much of the damage from bugs is at pink bud and during bloom. Not sure of new varieties, but I used Liberty and Freedom and didn't have to spray fungicides.
    No fungal issues in Southern WI.
    We do have hot and humid summer - does not matter.

    Since you bag the grape-size fruit (while you also thin them) - you very simply bag the very best fruit and discard any damaged/suspect fruit at that time.
    Last edited by GregV; 02-07-2020 at 09:52 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    GregV, do you farm? Because your climatic conditions are the ideal conditions for diseases, that is why we (Alberta) get by with one fungicide application and Central Europe, the US Corn Belt etc. need two or three applications.

    Just a question.

    Cheers, JoergK.
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    Quote Originally Posted by Biermann View Post
    GregV, do you farm? Because your climatic conditions are the ideal conditions for diseases, that is why we (Alberta) get by with one fungicide application and Central Europe, the US Corn Belt etc. need two or three applications.

    Just a question.

    Cheers, JoergK.
    I homestead for the family use only - no chems - fruits/berries/vegetables (bees, of course).

    We don't care for superficial pest damage and minor loss, if any.
    By growing our own food chem-free - we know to not trust "pretty looking organic produce" - chem-free produce will always have some superficial damage.
    If the produce is chem-free, there will always be some blemish.
    To have the perfect presentation - one needs to use chems, which is shame since generally people don't know what the honest produce looks like.

    Outside of voles, Japanese beetles, and tomato rots (all are controllable by just management) - no significant issues.

    On the topic, observing the spoiled rotten people around me, I am all FOR food price rising.
    I don't know how else to educate people of the real costs of the modern consumerism.
    Last edited by GregV; 02-07-2020 at 12:11 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    The great potato famine in Ireland caused the starvation of millions and the migration of millions more. That kind of thing nowadays is kept at bay by common fungicide treatment.

    Marie Antoinette was supposed to have said about the poor having no bread to eat "Then let them eat cake". That did not play out well in France. The Arab Springs rebellions in the recent past was driven in part by the witholding of subsidies for the price of bread and cooking fuel.

    That kind of disruption and privation is not educational! Pretty hard on infrastructure. Once things start to devolve into chaos they snowball. Imagine how things might play out in the face of something like the present virus in China were to occur where public discipline had gone totally for a crap.

    The veneer of civilization is very thin over the animal beneath. Lofty ideas are best enjoyed by those with full stomachs. The long range effect of our dependence on petro chemical food production certainly has environmental implications but there are also other factors that can upset our apple carts. Greatly increased food prices might take some getting used to. Things might get interesting until our sense of entitlement abated!
    Frank

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Minus agriculltural chems. / Increase in food price question

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Lofty ideas are best enjoyed by those with full stomachs.
    What empty stomachs?
    40% of food is wasted as-is.

    My bee landlord wrote this good entry on the subject (look at the picture with bananas in the compost):
    https://www.oneseedfarm.com/single-p...of-Garbage-Man

    Raising price 10-20% will not make people go hungry but rather cleaning up their plates better.
    That is a myth and just a "red scare".

    In fact, in many European countries (take Russia), food is already 30-50% more expensive compared to the US (in the context of the real compensations).
    By your logic, they should be busting the stores just about now.
    Not the case - obviously.
    They waste less.
    US sanctions did a lot of short-term damage (but yet long-term benefit called self-sufficiency).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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