Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Farmers strike back

From the Heartland, Margot McMillen writes:
        If you've been reading my blogs about what's happening to farms because of the pollution of herbicides and genetically modified crops, you may be wondering what's happening with farmers. You might be thinking to yourself that if you were handling chemicals known to cause cancer and if you were fighting superweeds that cannot be killed with poisons you'd be doing things differently.
        And, add to that list--cancer and superweeds--the growing infertility of livestock and young men, the increased work load due to the failure of GMO crops, the patenting system that prevents farmers from saving the seeds they have raised on their own places, the fact that the only guy making money is the guy selling chemicals, and, quite frankly, the damn doubt about the future. Wouldn't you be doing things differently?
        Well, yes, many farmers are figuring this out. In the last couple of days, I've talked to two guys with a lot of land--probably 2200 acres each--who are transitioning to organic or to non-gmo, saved seeds. They are diversifying the number of crops they raise and looking for new markets. With consumers getting wise also, we can help each other move into a different, cleaner kind of agriculture.
        We don't have a moment to lose.

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