Organic farmer’s plea for a better relationship between organic, conventional farming

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As a small organic farmer, I got a kick out of of an article advertising ‘Farming Camp’ for little ones. We used to go to church camp, soccer camp, scout camps, even fat camps, but farm camps?  Too funny!

Yet the reality is that most children have no idea what a potato plant looks like—even if they grew up in Idaho. In fact, we have all lost our connection to how our food is made and this ignorance can quickly lead to the spread of misinformation if the wrong people start guiding the public towards personal agendas. The end result of this is a public that fears what it shouldn’t. In the last 10 years, this process has been playing in the food industry as activists cry out that our food and farming is tainted and dangerous.

For many years, as a grower, I resisted the organic movement because I believed it to be self-serving and not really representative of what consumers thought it was—mainly the belief it is is safer and pesticide free. As a purist, I believed that organic allowed too much of ‘Big AG’ to dictate what it should be, which watered down the criteria—a criteria set by lawmakers and lobbyists. But that was then. I eventually switched, and after farming organically for 15 years, I have a new respect and more understanding of how conventional agriculture and organic are eerily very similar.

20160417_112045Organic and conventional growers use many of the same techniques: integrated pest management (IPM); crop rotation; cultivation to prevent weeds rather than turning immediately to herbicides; cover cropping; compost and manure. They both believe they are stewards of the land, and with the best care, they will have even better yields. Neither group runs for the chemical bottle right away to spray crops with pesticides unless it is absolutely necessary. Oh, and both types of farmers have lobbying groups, designed to influence lawmakers toward their favor.

Bt is an organic pesticide derived from a natural bacterial toxin that organic farmers often scary on their crops.. It is used in conventional farming too: Bt corn and cotton are GMOs with the gene for that bacterial toxin inserted into the seeds. Humans do not have the receptors for it, so it has no effect on people if consumed, and worm damage on crops is limited in the presence of Bt. It’s very effective and that’s why both types of farmers use it.

Despite Bt’s use by virtually all farmers, many activists would have you believe that the organic way of keeping worms off the corn is much better because it is supposedly more natural. What’s natural?Most commercial organic growers commonly use broad spectrum pyrethrins (an insecticide derived from a flower), which kills everything it touches—ladybugs, praying mantis, even gasp, bumble bees! And yet it is far less effective than many synthetic pesticides, needing to be re-applied more frequently, and it has the potential for air, water and soil contamination. It’s also strangely, very expensive, perhaps because it is certified organic.

Knowing the similarities of conventional and organic farming, my puritan organic side sometimes struggles with supporting the organic ideals, versus the actual science based facts that indicate just because something is natural, that doesn’t mean it is better or safer. Often new synthetic technology can be more targeted, more sustainable and coincidentally, safer than the natural alternatives. Having a clearer understanding of the science, including the differences between how organic producers and conventional producers will solve a problem, brings a different perspective to the organic vs. GMO debate.

Remember, I am an organic grower. I do not use GMOs or synthetic chemicals, but I truly believe that in certain settings it would be a serious benefit to agriculture to be able to consider all our tools when deciding how to do the least harm to our land. Because, all growers, organic or conventional are stewards of the future and know that by treating their land properly, the return would be greater than before.

Lest you think that I am down on organic, I am not.  But the reality is that consumers are being led down a path that is divisive, and that leads people to believe there is only one way. I propose a third way of farming: using our technology and being good stewards of the earth in a way that encompasses the best of all our farming practices without excluding those parts of technology that can reduce pesticide use, increase yields and productivity.

Janna in Wheat 5.1.16In reality, understanding the science and rejecting the rhetoric will bring more of us to a place where we can all see the similarities rather than focusing on the differences that a marketing. And maybe, we can even learn to respect each other enough to hear the other side’s story and use what each side has to offer in a way that will benefit and protect our treasures for many years to come.

So get those kids out there digging in the dirt at the farm camps, and let’s see if we can create a future that does the least harm while growing the best food in the world. Knowledge is power, and with it, we can all work together for the common goal instead of being pawns for a self justifying industry.

Janna Anderson is the owner of Pinnacle Farms, a certified organic orchard and vegetable operation on 25 acres in Phoenix, Arizona and 22 acres sustainably managed.  She also grows seed for heritage grains, beans, corn and onions for their unique desert adaptability. Follow her on Facebook at Phoenix Pinnacle Farms and on Twitter at @pinnaclefarmsaz.

  • Good4U

    This is a good article, and it deserves wider circulation among the “organic” sector. As I posted to Wallbridge more than a year ago, why is it that there are no organic GMOs? Why have the “organic” marketeers pitted themselves so obstinately against using biotechnology? It makes no sense that GMOs are considered “conventional” crops, when they do not in the slightest manner represent any convention? Why do human generated mutations and hybridizations of crop and animal food substrates get approval for “organic” agriculture, yet transgenics do not, even though the latter are much more precise in their chemical composition? This is a perverse situation. If the author of this article truly wishes to bridge the untenable gap between “organic” and “conventional” agriculture, then she should step up and make sure these concepts are heard, understood, and adopted…among her own cohort.

    • Mark Benjamin

      Bullseye! Very odd that old systems of altering food of crossing things mixing genetics and “Lets see what turns up” is so much better than going in with precision. Or buying citrus at an organic store that came about by bombarding genetic material with radiation to change it is OK, but curing a blight on citrus with GMO technique is not. Go figure!

  • Rickinreallife

    Great article.

  • Mark Benjamin

    I am a farmer in Michigan growing 700 acres of corn, wheat and soybeans. It is seldom you see someone policing the radicals ‘on their side’ for lack of better wording. But she has done a good job of pointing out the nonsense. I use ‘synthetic” fertilizer as purists like to label it giving it that scary word trying to show their natural way is better. Look at all the listeria outbreaks in organics the last several years sickening hundreds and killing many. But the purists from a marketing point are losing the battle they had upper hand in for decades spreading disinformation about GMO’s and synthetic pesticides to promote their organic sales. The public is slowly coming around to understanding Organic does not mean “no pesticides” but only means no “synthetic pesticides or fertilizers” used. The author points out how the natural organic versions are not always better or safer than synthetics. Often the natural pesticides are more toxic than synthetic to unintended targets. No till, cover crops, crop rotation, pest management other than spraying, manure, erosion control measures; I use all of them. But I use “synthetic’ fertilizer mined out of the earth; that one thing right there makes me evil. But when I do use fertilizer, it is based on soil tests giving me 18 different soil readings of Nitrogen, phosphorus, cation exchange capacity, and more. I use that evil stuff known as Roundup as well. It has much lower soil leaching capability, and runoff concern (flowing with rain into streams) than most other synthetic or natural chemistries. That and when it breaks down in the soil plants grow BETTER there the following year..not ‘kill the soil’ as marketers of organics want you to believe. Know a local farmer where you can get organic veges? Go for it. Buy from Organic big chain store because it is environmentally superior and they do not use pesticides…. you have been duped. Keep looking over your shoulder Janna; you just created a lot of enemies in Organic is superior all around camp.

    • Mark Benjamin

      What is truly funny; actually sad; is the following tidbit. Polling of U.S. consumers – 84% want GMO labeled. Well simple majority must be smart and get it done! Till you find out 80% want all foods with DNA in it labeled! Shows you the general public is just plain and simple incapable of being looked at as a logical base for making laws about food labeling when 80% want labeling for DNA. Sad day when 80% of U.S. consumers are that IGNORANT.

      • agscienceliterate

        Well, Mark, that’s what these push polls say. (Or 93%. Or 97%.). But when it comes right down to it? Voters have rejected labeling in the last 4 statewide ballot elections in California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. The more they find out about labeling GE the more they realize what a crock it is.
        And with a multi-million advertising campaign, who knows – they may also reject labeling of DNA, hahaha! Ignorance is an unwilling gift that many people affirmatively choose.

        • Foodwise

          So Secretary Vislack is ignorant as well. http://www.agriculture.com/news/policy/usdas-vilsack-calls-f-maty-gmo-labeling_4-ar52516
          Unfortunately, you don’t understand what a “push” poll really is. These are not push polls.

          • agscienceliterate

            Obviously, when a poll (a hypothetical set of what-if’s) is consistently used to describe a situation that, in reality, is far far different from what the poll purports to represent (in this case, the false presumption that people support labeling of GE foods when, in fact and in real life, they do not), it is a push-poll that has been designed to fool gullible people. Naive people like yourself. The truth is that people have rejected labeling, no matter what these faked polls have said.

          • Foodwise

            No comment on USDA Secretary Vislack, strong supporter of GM crops has called on Congress for labeling. I presume that you are far “smarter” and less “ignorant” than he. Hardly.

          • agscienceliterate

            Man, you misinterpret every single thing you read, don’t you? Read what Vilsack said.
            http://www.organicauthority.com/usda-secretary-tom-vilsack-says-gmo-labeling-debate-has-21st-century-answer/

          • Foodwise

            Scanner codes are labeling.

          • agscienceliterate

            Good. Go lobby for voluntary scanner codes, then.

          • Damo

            You almost got me in trouble for laughing out loud at the office.

          • Mark Benjamin

            That she does. See her comments on other discussions trying to say GMO’s do not cause any yield increase. I have proven they have so many times on my farm it isn’t funny. But some people just cant grasp that when a plant like corn does not have its “nutrient highway” disrupted by clipping roots like corn rootworms do, or boring into stalks like corn borers do, or clipping silks off ears before pollination how that manages to add 40 bushels per acre. Or if a field where you split the planter WITH THE SAME HYBRID background but just add bt GMO to half of rows in planter, when 6 rows go flat from bugs boring holes then high winds come and the bt is still standing there is a 200 bushel harvestable difference.

          • agscienceliterate

            Exactly — great examples! Ole hippy activist foodwise thinks she is smarter than the farmers who see the actual advantages on the ground (pun intended) every day. Otherwise, um, why would you buy GE seeds?
            200 bushel difference is significant! Appreciate your perspectives.

          • Mark Benjamin

            She wouldn’t understand how roundup makes a difference when alternative herbicides stunt crops in an area of higher Ph, high sandy knolls, and so on. That some people even try to argue against it is just plain bizzare

          • agscienceliterate

            She is an ignorant anti-GE activist and self-proclaimed organic promoter, who knows squat about farming. Big mouth, no substance.

          • Foodwise

            There you go. Calling names again.

          • agscienceliterate

            No, just describing a phenomena accurately, Mary.

          • Foodwise

            You can read Monsanto’s own website or the NAS report. GMOs do not result in yield increases and the research doesn’t back it up. Improved hybrids and better field managment have caused most of the yield increases, not the GE traits. You can sputter and spit all you want about me and it, but the research data doesn’t back you up. Sorry.

          • agscienceliterate

            Your own local farmers beg to disagree with you. Why do you think they use GE seats?

          • Mark Benjamin

            You show me where that is. You can sputter all you want. There is absolutely no denying a hybrid that has bt added to it by GMO out yields one without when bugs are present.

          • Mark Benjamin

            Jason (above) comments show exactly what I talk about “when bugs are present”. And data does show that more than just my own. But then again what do I know. I just have been growing GMO’s for almost 20 years; working with herbicides at Michigan State University, conducting field trials every year etc. I am sure Foddwise’s internet education on subject trumps all of that.

          • agscienceliterate

            She is educated in the People’s Republic of Boulder. That, plus inter-woo education, explains it all.

          • Jason

            No, Foodwise. You are mistaken. The genetic modifications do not increase the intrinsic yield of plants. Breeding does that. The intrinsic yield is the yield capability…under ideal conditions.

            However, we all know that plants do not grow under ideal conditions. They are under attack from weather, weeds, bugs, fungi, etc from the moment they are planted. Those pests cut into the yield capability and reduce it to the actual harvested yield.

            Controlling those factors serves to increase actual harvested yields. And yes,…genetic modification has been successful at increasing actual harvested yields through better control of those pests.

          • Foodwise

            The point is that we don’t need the technology to increase intrinsic yields of crops. There are many other ways to control for pests such as IPM and other techniques. This one happens to make it easier to do so. Spouting rhetoric like we need this technology to feed the world and it increases yields are not true statements. That is my point.

          • Jason

            No one said we need it to increase intrinsic yield. In fact, I said that it did not increase intrinsic yield.

            But, it’s not a question of “need”. It’s a question of what are the best tools. It would be foolish and a poor IPM practice to ignore the best tools simply because they fall into a category of “GM”. Yes there are many other ways to control pests…. So what? Why not use the best ways?

            You keep saying that this technology doesn’t increase yields, but every objective analysis of the impacts of this technology has concluded otherwise. In the case of Bt technology, we have something that has a very low environmental impact, is extremely effective and is harmless to people. There are other ways to control rootworms & corn borers, but how anyone could ever (with a straight face) make an argument for going back to insecticide applications into the soil and later over the crop is absurd. This is clearly a better way AND gets better results.

            THAT is my point.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Precisely as Jason so patiently explained, GE technology does, in fact and in truth, enhance yields by effectively protecting our crops from weeds and pests. Only a complete and utter fool would attempt to argue otherwise. Furthermore, I am not prepared to let you, Fooddunce, dictate what I need and what I don’t need.

            You deftly puke up a ridiculous lie in stating that Jason suggested GE technology is needed to “feed the world”. He did not. Rather he did a nice, factual recap of why GE shows promise for us growers, why it is effective and why it is being readily adopted as one more useful cost-effective tool in our kit. Why, Foodflunk, do you think it is a bad thing that GE “…happens to make it easier…”? I haven’t noticed you out in any of our fields on hands and knees putting in the long hours of stoop labor that would be needed as an alternative to modern technology. Put up or shut up, Foodfool, put up or STFU. You will have to demonstrate your sales pitch, Foodbung, if you’re to be believed. Jason proves out his claims every day on farms just like mine. All you bring is ignorance and fetid hot gas. Stuff it, Foodwhack.

          • agscienceliterate

            She wouldn’t last half a day on a real farm. By 9am, when most farmers have already been working for 4 hours in summer, she would be lamenting her spoiled manicure and whining for her latte and cellphone.
            She is all mouth and no knowledge. I think that is why her own local newspaper has now shut down Disqus comments, because her febrile rants were being corrected by those who understand the science of farming. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she was the one who went to that local newspaper, petulantly whining that she was being “attacked,” and asking her local newspaper to shut down Disqus comments that disagreed with her activist and organic-industry represented inaccuracies. And the fact that the local Boulder newspaper did shut down Disqus comments is yet one more indication of the mindset of so many organic activists Boulder, which, as Farmer Sue has accurately stated here in the past, is “slammed shut tighter than a hog’s ass at fly time.”

          • Foodwise

            Wow, what a thoughtful mature response. Now I have even more respect for your opinion and I bow to the Great and Wonderful Farmer in the Dell. You have demonstrated your clear superiority by bullying, swearing and calling me names. I hope you feel appropriately revered and puffed up. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_calling. This is why the newspaper shut down comments. You and your cronies can continue your trolling and insults in other forums where it seems to gain you thumbs up and positive comments that stroke your fragile egos.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Oh whatever, Foodcrank. Here you go telling me what I need and what I don’t need again. You never did explain why it is bad that GE “happens to make it easier”. No acknowledgement by you of the science, mature reason or good common sense, either. Just another display of your moral absolutism

            https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/06/03/gmo-denial-based-on-moral-absolutism-not-rational-analysis/

            I know nothing of this newspaper of which you speak. If you and your fellow anti-GMO anti-technology anti-agriculture zealots were relentlessly spamming it with your trademark foolishness I should think any respectable newspaper would switch you off. It would only be the responsible thing for them to do as a service to the sane majority of readers.

            You can “bow to the Great and Wonderful Farmer in the Dell”, Foodwretch, if you concede you’ve been corrected and want to cut your losses, or you can stay and receive another lively fact-filled ass kicking from honest hard working agriculturists who have all the experience on the ground that you obviously lack. Ah, what is a moral absolutist to do?

          • Foodwise

            I rest my case.

          • agscienceliterate

            I think your local newspaper shut down Disqus comments because you went to them and whined that you were being bullied. (As if.) You haven’t anything to add to the GE discussion, you ignore the findings of your own local GE farmers, and you just continue to cater to anti-GE organic activists with ridiculous claims. You don’t even know what IPM is!!
            You are a joke, Mary. Keep your rants to your own local territory, where your pseudoscience is embraced lock-step by other googly-eyed organic activists. Whining about being called names, when in fact people who actually know something about the science of farming have told you over and over again that you are incorrect on your points and your evangelism. Grow up and grow a pair. Or put on your big girl panties, whatever applies. If you can’t justify your completely woo comments, don’t get all pouty when someone responds with actual farm and science information. Put on your Birkenstocks and go get a latte somewhere in Boulder. You are waaaay out of your league here.

          • Foodwise

            Wow. You just double down on the abuse and blame the victims. Your vitriol brought it on. The newspaper made their decision based on reading your abusive harmful drivel. Read what it says about name calling. It describes you to a T. I would recommend some serious anger management classes and therapy for that problem.

          • agscienceliterate

            “Blame the victims”? Well, you certainly do have a victim mentality. You are a pathetic and perpetual whiner. You would do well to learn some science. Do it. Or take your drivel elsewhere.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Try some ignorance management and others will not get frustrated with you.

          • agscienceliterate

            She is a self-proclaimed organic consultant, and very anti-GE, from Boulder. She’s used to twisting the truth. She’s used to having activists believe anything she says. It must be very frustrating for her to run across actual opposition, by farmers such as yourself who actually know something. When challenged with science and truth, she doubles down on arrogance.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Actually, I just know where to find good sources. I am learning though.

          • agscienceliterate

            IPM is a part of GE good practices, Mary. I don’t think you even know what the word means, and you throw it around as if you actually knew anything about farming best practices.
            What you believe is “needed,” from your activist position against anything not organic, does not represent best practices in farming. Your twisted values, based on your evangelistic adherence to your own unscientific rhetoric, do not reflect truth in the farmer’s field. But then again, you have never been on a farm and talked to farmers, so I am not surprised. That is my point.
            And, in your own county of Boulder, farmers have indeed reported significantly higher yields with their GE crops. Again, you wouldn’t know that, and if you even heard that, you would just scrunch your eyes shut and put your fingers in your ears and say “lalalalalala” because the science of good farming practices, including GE, is not something your brain can tolerate. But then, when you represent an industry that is known for covering up facts, as you do, your reaction is perfectly predictable.

          • Damo

            GMOs can be part of an IPM…obviously you are missing the point of an IPM.

          • agscienceliterate

            Mary only knows the big words, but not their meaning. All of her febrile rants are taken directly from the Organic Playbook 101. Because she is surrounded with like-minded activists in Boulder, who think lock-step like she does, she seems actually surprised when anyone outside of Boulder challenges her ridiculous claims.

          • Mark Benjamin

            Still waiting for you to show me your statements and back them up. I know you are getting a notice about this.

          • Foodwise

            From Monsanto’s website: ” The degree to which a farmer enjoys increased yields because of insect and herbicide tolerance traits will in large part be determined by how effective the farmer’s weed and insect control programs were before planting a crop with these traits. If weeds and insects had been controlled well, then the insect and herbicide tolerance traits will not be the primary factor in increasing yield.”

            From the NAS report “GE traits for herbicide, insect, and virus resistance have the potential to close yield gaps, but they do not increase the potential yield of a crop. That report found that the yields of herbicideresistant (HR) crops had not increased because of the HR trait and that the yields of insect-resistant (IR) crops had increased in areas that suffered substantial damage from insects that were susceptible to Bt toxins.”

            There were only able to find one example of potential yield increase and it was eucalyptus trees.

            FINDING: from the report: The nation-wide data does not show a significant signature of genetic engineering on the rates of yield increases.

            In other words, we could have realized these yield increases with other technologies and have done so. The claim that we need genetic engineering to get increased yield is bogus and we don’t need the technology to feed the world.

            Is it more convenient for you than IPM or other means of pest control? Of course. The primary benefit is ease of production, not yield increases. This is what the science says, not what individiuals or farmers say or industry trade groups or others. Yield increases due to this technology is a myth.

          • Mark Benjamin

            Thanks for posting this from Monsanto site & NAS. I will be back. Can I ask you what your real life experience is with controlling pests such as corn borer in corn is? You will see when I have time to comment thoroughly that even those who worked with bt in lab did not fully understand it’s impact. Bizarre indeed when the end user has to draw picture for those in the development just what they have accomplished. IPM IS used by myself. Simply because it is cheaper and I and my family are right there where I apply chemicals. What “lab techs” at Monsanto didn’t put in their website is it is very difficult to treat/control European corn borer in corn that is 15 feet tall. “Doing a good job” of controlling insects even with crop rotation etc does not always work. And after that piece you say you found on Monsanto website was written (guessing here) more corn pests are now adapting to overwinter in bean fields. Making crop rotation ineffective in Midwest. Now; how did we control those pests when needed? With organophosphates and other nasty stuff I would rather not use. The neonanticides you hear about with possible bee harm; without GMO be ready for millions of pounds of this put out. (97 million corn acres @ 12# per acre) Now back to your ‘myth” comment. Go back and look at the Monsanto quote. “Not the PRIMARY factor in increasing yields” That does NOT mean there is NONE. Quit adding your spin. As to NAS read that again as well. Closing the potential yield gap IS increasing yield; you are dancing with play on words. The “potential” is the maximum possible yield under the absolute perfect conditions. GMO helps achieve a higher amount of better conditions. I’ll get even nitpickier than NAS did. The alternative to the GMO options have detrimental effect on crop plants growing as well. You coming out and hand weeding all my corn (though physically impossible) would have negative consequences of ripping roots off corn stalks while pulling weeds out. Though hand weeding would be higher yield than not controlling weeds. Alternative herbicides though controlling weeds; thus increasing yields; DO cut potential max yield by stunting ear size and girth. EVERYTHING has a positive and or negative effect on that. The GMO tools I use have least consequence all around. The “other technologies” you blow smoke about you really do not want me using. Now go off again on IPM and I’ll take you through all of that as well. Face it; you are a internet educated expert who does not deal with this in the real world. I have been for in those fields 45 years since first driving a tractor, in labs at Michigan State University, visiting labs at chemical companies putting research out; in IPM. Heck as I side note I have even sat through meetings about future tech on national boards and seen photos of our grain facilities and farm input companies taken from Russian spy satellites they had targeted for nuclear missiles.

          • agscienceliterate

            All Mary knows about corn is “….the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye…” from Oklahoma. She is a hippie activist in Boulder, educated in that People’s Republic and by inter-woo sites. I don’t think she’d be able to walk from one end of a corn field to the other without complaining about getting her stilettos dirty, ruining her manicure, and whining that she wants her latte.

          • Foodwise

            Wow. You know me so well!!!!!! It’s uncanny.

          • agscienceliterate

            So I described you perfectly? Not uncanny, Mary, just boringly predictable. Boringly predictable.

          • Foodwise

            You are so egocentric that you can’t even recognize sarcasm.

          • agscienceliterate

            Cool! So happy to know that, Mary. OK. Here’s the deal. I challenge you. Spend a day with one of the GE farmers in your own County. Get there whenever they want you to. Usually about 5 these days. That’s a.m. You’ll be whining like a stuck pig by 10 AM.

          • Foodwise

            I appreciate your experience. I don’t like the “spin” on the proGMO side. At least you don’t call me names like your cohorts on these discussions. I do not grow corn, but I grew up on a farm and am currently a part time farmer. I understand the difficulties you face. We can agree to disagree on yield language and other topics. I gave you the evidence that you asked for. I disagree with your analysis and choices as a farmer. That is my prerogative. So we have heard each other. Thank you for using your real name. I appreciate the discourse.

          • Damo

            Once again, you don’t know what “IPM” means, so stop using it. IPM is the practices that you use as part of your pest controls. IPM could easily include GM crops.

            Also, those above statements said exactly what others were saying: the yield increases occur not because the plant can produce more, but because the bugs take less. You basically admitted that everyone else here is correct.

            Have a nice day.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            IPM = inner pulmonarymicrosis.

          • Jason

            What do you mean “more convenient than IPM”? Genetic controls can and are just as much a part of good IPM strategies as are pesticides. It’s not one or the other. They are part & parcel.

            You are repeating that the yield increases are a myth. But You know that is not true. Here are several analysis that have concluded otherwise:
            USDA: “The adoption of Bt crops increases yields by mitigating yield losses from insects. However, empirical evidence regarding the effect of HT crops on yields is mixed. Generally, stacked seeds (seeds with more than one GE trait) tend to have higher yields than conventional seeds or than seeds with only one GE trait.”
            http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1282242/err162_summary.pdf

            BT Cotton in Africa: http://www.agbioforum.org/v13n4/v13n4a05-vitale.htm

            Meta-Analysis of GM crop impacts: “On average, GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide-tolerant crops. Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries”
            http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111629

          • agscienceliterate

            Reports from farmers in her own county of Boulder have said they have higher yields using GE. She simply cannot stand to hear that, so she simply denies it.

          • Foodwise

            Genetic protocols depend on pesticides to work. That is why they were created. I know enough about IPM that synthrtic chemicals are supposed to be last resort, not used regularly for every situation and not using neonics on seeds and using glyphosate and every other pesticide because you precious GE has caused weed and pest resistance. Telling me who I am and what I know makes you feel superior but makes you look like a fool for a technology and way of farming that is failing. Have you cHecked the price of GE corn lately? Sorry, but your bluster and blowhard tactics are not intimidating to me, but apparently they pump up your fragile ego and get you high fives from your trolling chorus.

          • agscienceliterate

            Not all GE plants require pesticides. Your comments are right out of Organic Playbook 101. Go sell this misinformation somewhere else, where people actually believe it. You’re not making any converts here with your continual misstatements. Your comment about “the price of GE corn” is ludicrous. Most GE corn, if not darn near all of it, is used for livestock feed. Do you want to compare the price of that to non-GE livestock corn, Mary?
            Your comments about weed and pest resistance are equally ridiculous. If you had any knowledge of farming whatsoever, rather than just repeating by rote with the organic activists pay you to say, and if you had any intellectual honesty at all, you would know that weed and pest resistance have nothing to do with GE technology, and are a result of bad farming practice. You would also know that any GE seed sold has requirements from the seed seller, under technology use agreements that farmers must sign, to establish buffers and refuges. You mean to tell me you didn’t even know that? Do you even know what buffers and refuges are? Are you so intellectually dishonest that you don’t know, or won’t admit, what many organic farmers observe – which is that there is a halo effect and protective effect on their own weed and insect suppression from neighboring GE crops?
            You are being way overpaid by the organic industry, Mary, which you have admitted that you represent, when you continue to make these very simple and basic mistakes over and over again. You give the organic industry an even worse name than they otherwise deserve for their anti-GE activism.Your arguments are not compelling. You are continually incorrect. Readers here are not fooled by your disingenuous and deceptive statements.
            Go feel sorry for yourself and play victim elsewhere.

          • Foodwise

            My comment on the price of corn has to do with the fact that farmers are being paid less than the cost of production. Doesn’t seem like a great business model to me. Prices have been falling for the last four years. Seems like there may be other choices of crops to grow. Just saying.

            Intellectually dishonest? Really? Buffers and refuges….. hmmm. They have worked so well And because of the lack of compliance with border buffers because it takes not one bag but TWO bags of seeds, Monsanto developed RIB technology. http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/seed/new-seed-corn-refuge-bag-comes-risks-0.

            I have been transparent about my background which you have not and you hide behind some handle that is inappropriate. I am not being paid for these posts. You keep citing Boulder County farmer data when I have debunked the scientific soundness of the local report and told you facts about its release. Give it up already.

            You pull out stats and sentences from the Pro GMO playbook 101 and when you have nothing else to say, you shuck and jive, bully and insult and make inappropriate sexist remarks. You get likes from your adolescent trolling pro GMO brethren to prop your fragile ego and not anyone else. Keep at it, you seem to be getting something from it.

            I do this because I have been listening to the promises and opportunities of GE technology since the 90s. It will feed the world. It is more environmentally sound. It will give consumers benefits. It will not cause weed or pest resistance. It will not harm organic farmers. Glyphosate is completely safe and doesn’t persist in the environment. GE technology increases yields. All myths. No need for you to pull out all your counters to these. I have heard and debunked them all before.

            Consumers are rejecting this because there is no real benefit to them. GMO beet sugar is being rejected and the pricing is starting to reflect that. Now the co-ops are thinking of nonGMO as an option…..gee, couldn’t someone have predicted that back in 2009 when the industry turned completely away from nonGMO? Apparently not.

            This is a failing technology with a low economic return for farmers compared to many other alternative crops. I just don’t buy the industry lines so you blame me and try to undermine me instead of “thinking” for yourself.

          • agscienceliterate

            That is an idiotic comment, Mary. Duhhhhh…. If farmers were paid less than the cost of production, why would they do it? (You really do compete with Food Babe not just only name copying, but on dumbing down any discussion you get into. A real intellectual race to the bottom. Keep it up.)
            If you were really serious about learning anything at all about farming, you would, uh, talk to farmers. You are lazy as well as intellectually dishonest. And it is none of your business about what farmers grow. You think “there are other crops to grow”?? Great. Grow them. Farmers are business people and know far better than you do about profits and expenses.
            And yes, buffers and refuges do work well. Your fearmongering about resistance is total nonsense, and again, yet again, has nothing to do with GE crops in particular. How dense are you??

            You are transparent? Great. Post your name and background.

            And yes, you do represent the organic industry, and consult with them, and get paid, whether or not they are stupid enough to pay you for your rambling diatribes in these posts or not.
            And, dearie, consumers are not rejecting GE. You apparently do indeed “buy the industry line” — the $70 billion organic industry line, which you spew by rote in every post.
            Put on your big girl panties and quit whining about being “blamed and undermined.” You post pseuscience crap, you will get a response. Your choice. Grow up.

          • Foodwise

            I rest my case on how you conduct your discourse. You just keep proving it over and over.
            Read these and learn something about the profitibility of growing corn in IA.
            https://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/crops/pdf/a1-20.pdf
            https://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/crops/html/a1-85.html

          • agscienceliterate

            Geez, Mary, you are actually beating Food Babe in dumbness. You live in Boulder, CO. The farmers there, from what I read, rotate their crops. Do you know what “rotate” means? Do you really think for a second that farmers in your area do not make money by selling GE corn for livestock? (Oooops, my mistake… inferring that you think for a second. Sorry.)
            Stick to your own liberal people’s republic of Boulder. Are you really telling me that I, with just a few minutes of research, know more than you do about your own farmers? You and Food Babe. What a match.

          • Foodwise

            You really think the numbers are that different for Boulder? Your almighty report that didn’t include all the costs of production showed a small profit per acre for GE corn. But the same report showed over three times the profit for organic silage corn and the recent USDA report shows much more profit per acre for organic than conventional. Why don’t farmers switch if they only do what is in their best economic interest????

          • agscienceliterate

            Profit don’t mean squat, dearie, if “organic” means “gouge the buyers.” So what?? The report (not mine, but one that was reported by your own farmers) listed immense environmental advantages re: water use, tilling avoidance, diesel fuel and air pollution using GE. You ignore that over profit? You really and truly saying that you support organic profit over environmental sustainability?
            Yeah, “why don’t farmers switch.” Why don’t you ask one? You are intellectually lazy as well as arrogant.
            Edited addition: Why the F would a livestock producer pay “…over 3 times the profit for organic silage corn” if they don’t sell livestock advertised as organically-fed? Food Babe is only two points below you on the DUH scale, but you are getting there. Keep posting, Mary.

          • agscienceliterate

            Oh, and since she won’t, here is “foodwise” LinkedIn info. So much for her “transparency.”

            https://www.linkedin.com/in/foodwise

            Those of you who are farmers (thank you for feeding us!), who have had to endure being repeatedly called troll, shill, and other names (I have even been called a “sock puppet,” cool!) can in good conscience refer to ole hippy Foodwise, who is desperately competing with Food Babe for name recognition and race-to-the-bottom pseudoscience and science fiction, as an organic shill. And I stand by my words.

          • Foodwise

            I already debunked all the sustainability BS in that report. If you write it in a biased way with no peer review or comparison to any other published literature to the contrary, it comes out looking better for GE and the farmers used it like tablets handed down from Moses. The Commissioners knew it was a preliminary report and nowhere ready for prime time. And your reading of it and swallowing all the conclusions (except that profitability of organic of course) shows me you have little to no science background nor agricultural background and your intellectual curiosity registers near zero. As I said, you are anything but agscienceliterate except in your own mind. And you won’t prove otherwise, because “its none of my business.”

          • agscienceliterate

            You “debunked” what your own local farmers reported. Wow, you must be some powerful person. All those farmers are liars about their own yield, fuel use, air pollution, water use, and tillage, and you know better. Trumpspeak, Mary. Dye your hair orange.
            And I do not need to prove my science and farming acumen to you. You know everything already, don’t you? Arrogance plus lack of substance. Vying with Food Babe for the title of who can sucker the most people with organic woo, and even copying her name. What a match. Have a great day, Mary!

          • Foodwise

            Now you use the liar tactic. I have never called farmers lazy, stupid, and liars; you put those words in my mouth. I debunked the reports conclusions not what the farmers reported. And yes, because you have berated me ceaselessly, you should prove your acumen. Because all I see is hiding, cowardice, bluster and bullying. Didn’t know those were scientific skills.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Don’t need anything more scientific than basic reading skills to see through your charade, Foodfraud. You’re obviously no scientist, ha, you couldn’t “debunk” your way out of a wet paper bag. I saw that survey you refer to and the reported results correspond exactly with my own experience and that of every grower I am acquainted with who’s actually tried out any of those practices. Stunning how your political overlords in Boulder could be persuaded to simply ignore science and survey results. You all must be creationists out there in that clown circus you call Boulder, Colorado. Moral absolutism on parade.

          • agscienceliterate

            And that is why Boulder, and its organic smacktivists like ole Mary here, are the laughing stock of the farming world. Curious why she keeps engaging with people like yourself, FWAD, who actually know a thing or two about farming; don’t you think she would be a little teensy bit embarrassed to be shown up as such a fraud? Arrogance without substance.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Maybe it’s something in the water out there in Boulder? Those people clearly are delusional. Won’t be long before they start reporting UFO abductions and Elvis sightings.

          • agscienceliterate

            Oh, I am sure they already have. And their elected officials have convinced their numb knee-jerk voters to go ahead and pay for growing less-sustainable, ecologically less responsible organic crops on their public land that is leased to farmers. I bet ole Mary here would love to get in on the action and take some moola for helping some organic growers get some of that land. (Never mind that in the past couple of years, 19 out of about 25 heavily-subsidized organic farmers, from tax dollars, have gone out of business.). Is that any way to run a circus?

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Well, that’s typical for “sustainable” farming zealots – they find they can be sustainable by virtue of special advantage: political cronyism, tax breaks, grant funding, infusions of tax dollars, protection from legitimate competition, volunteer and “intern” (ie. slave) labor. It’s the Prince Charles model of sustainable organic farming. Nice racket if you have the stones for it. An affluent city the size of Boulder can probably fart around with boutique farming for a long time, just like supporting a zoo or a water park. Eventually the thrill will wear off when they can’t find anyone to do the actual farming for them anymore. Then that tract of land will make real nice subdivisions for more McMansions..

          • agscienceliterate

            And the real irony is that, even with all of that waste of taxpayer money, subsidies, and largesse, most of these heavily subsidized organic growers still can’t stay in business. And the voters go along with that, like sheep. All promoted and lobbied by activists like our old hippie Mary here, who are subsidized themselves by the organic industry. Ya gotta love it.

          • hyperzombie

            And still with all the Organic advantages, they still can’t make it work. Most Organic foods are imported from 3rd world countries.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Yep. It’s the old ‘economies of scale’ and ‘standard of living’ realities that resist being dragged under the carpet, even by a team of wild unicorns. For alties to make anything like what they consider a minimum income (ie. what they feel they “deserve” for being so morally righteous) requires an excessive organic premium at retail. Hell, how could anyone expect to net $75,000/yr or more in a snobby place like Boulder Colorado by tending just 40 acres of ergot wheat, a 1.25 acre turnip patch and 8 square feet of garlic & basil in a raised bed? How when milking just 15 or 20 cows fed to produce an avg 6000lbs milk/cow/yr? Either you go big and efficient (not politically correct, of course) or you get Chinese and Southeast Asians to work for a whole lot less…a whole lot less. And then, yay!, everythings good, kumbaya!!!

          • hyperzombie

            It has nothing to do with scale, My uncle makes a very good living raising/milking goats in Canada, it is all about Marketing. He tried Organic, it was a big pain in the ass. So now he markets his goat milk and cheese as all Natural “no hormones added:” and gets even more money. And no paperwork.,

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Yeah, there are sometimes those lucrative little market niches. I always check out any of those deals I come across. Amazed at how much people will pay for some of that stuff. Seems like the more absurd the price marked on something, the more desperately some people want to buy it. It’s like they have no sense of value, figuring the more it costs, the better it must be. But I haven’t the ability to pull anything like that off for myself. I guess it’s because I hate to overpay for stuff I buy and I’d be apprehensive sticking it to people who do – I don’t understand them and really don’t respect them. I’d live from day to day worried they would wake up to the scam and poof would go my business. But some build financial empires doing that – like Mercola, and there’s that magic soap dude, there’s also a substantial dairy of about 500 cows in California that sells unpasturized milk to fools who pay upward of $20/gal for the stuff – that’s when he’s not shut down by the state for pathogens swimming in his milk. Just impressive balls of brass, these guys. People tell me (and not nicely) I got a pair of stones but nothin’ like that. My hat’s off to them that can. P.T. Barnum said it all.

          • hyperzombie

            Most of these small market niches only work if you live close to a major city, and can get the suckers to drive to you saving all the transport and shopping costs. My Uncle sells his goat milk and cheese for 2x more than retail and has the balls to tell the customers that they are saving money, even after they drove over 10 miles to his place to pick up the products.

            There is a sucker born every minute.

            I could never do this, I couldn’t sleep at night.

            I used to think that this was a parody, not so sure now.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Hilarious!!

            But oh, oh, it reminds me of another boring, long-winded story, so brace yourselves. About 25 years ago, when wood burning stoves were all the rage around here, I had a good friend who ran a small dairy farm near a city and worked at part time jobs to fill his time and put the kids through school. This guy was good people; he was clever, he liked to work, he was honest to a fault and he enjoyed relaxing with a home brew and some bluegrass music. Anyway, a 4 lane highway was laid out to cut through the back of his farm through some poor fields that had grown up to 2nd growth timber, mostly small stuff. So my buddy industriously knocked down all those trees (maple polewood,, mostly) and bucked ’em up into stovewood. He’d draw the firewood out by the road with his most picturesque vintage tractor and set up a facecord at a time for sale. They guy wasn’t greedy, in fact he was under the market with his price. In hindsight that probably was part of his downfall. One cool autumn afternoon I stopped by his place and over a brew casually asked him how the firewood gig was going. He floored me when he said he’d sold practically none! He was mystified. He said people often stopped by. They’d want to confirm the price, was it really that reasonable? ‘Yes, of course, because I have a lot of wood to move.’ They wanted to be sure he was cutting the wood himself, he wasn’t bringing it in from somewhere else (like, so what?). Yep, he smelled of chain saw fuel and had sawdust in the cuffs of his jeans to prove it. Still, they’d mumble and get back in their yuppie cars (Saabs and Volvos in those days) and he’d never see ’em again. Like I said earlier, I think the low price put them off because these people had no idea of the value of anything and they suspected because it was a bargain there simply must be something wrong with it. But my buddy was more astute (and he’d had more time and reason to contemplate all this!) – he concluded people weren’t interested because most of it was polewood, it hadn’t been split by hand out of large heavy blocks, and judging from their superior tone and some of their suspicious questions he rightly concluded they simply felt he hadn’t worked hard enough to get up his woodpile, certainly hadn’t sweated and bled and sacrificed nearly enough to supply those special people and their special stoves with wood that would warm their precious fat asses through the winter. Yep, to this day I believe he was right. And still he could enjoy a good laugh about it over a couple of beers. Damn, I miss that guy.

          • Warren Lauzon

            On one hand they claim big gains for organic, but on the other hand totally ignore the fact that without the low wages paid in all those countries we import it from the prices would be even higher than now.

          • agscienceliterate

            So true! If those workers were paid what we consider minimum wages, organic would be 4 times the price of conventional, not just 2or 3 times the price. And I don’t know if we even want to ask about working conditions — do these people have bathroom access? And a place to wash their hands afterward (ugh)?

            And in Boulder County, CO, organic farmers leasing public open space are given huge subsidies and time to transition from conventional, along with $$ for specialized equipment. On the taxpayer’s dime, of course. Despite that, something like 19 out of 25 of these taxpayer subsidized organic farmers have gone out of business in the last couple of years.

            We have gotten into the business of subsidizing a niche market that has gotten greedy and wants more, more, more of market share. And to do this? They want unfair market competition with conventional/GE, through fearmongering labels, through GE bans, and through hyped-up BS advertising about the “advantages” of organic. I think the niche market is fine, representing the 1% – 5% of all foods sold. Let ’em compete in a fair market place. But with subsidies, questionable working conditions for workers in other countries, high rates of contamination (the sanctimonious Clif Bars, which advertise themselves as “organic, healthy, non-GMO certified,” have just been subject to a contamination recall), and — importantly — pretty piss-poor metrics on soil health (tilling), water use and runoff, and diesel fuel use/ air pollution, organic looks worse and worse all the time.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Nice summation agsci. You’ve nailed it. I won’t hold my breath for any organic proponent to stop around and make a rational counterargument. Most we’ll see, if anything, is a lot of anger, denial and whining cries of “liar”, “shill” and “troll”. Oh well, that’s how they roll.

          • agscienceliterate

            True. The antis get really mad when presented with facts from farmers like yourself. They are so used to having a dumbstruck knee-jerk audience of like-minded lockstep farming- ignorant activists that they really and truly act surprised when their woo does not carry over here. The sputter, spit and fume, misinterpret old irrelevant data, call names, and then whine like petulant little babies when their ideology get rightfully skewered.
            And that doesn’t really bother me. I don’t get paid, don’t give a darn about what they think, and my thoughts are based on my own pretty-good knowledge that arose from intellectual curiosity and a quest for scientifically-based best farming practices.
            What really does bother me is that in some areas, like Boulder CO, public policy is being decided based on this misinformation, despite significant evidence otherwise about greater local yields and environmental sustainability of GE, which local electeds have just conveniently ignored solely to cater to a small group of loud anti-GE activists. Some of them, like Mary (foodwise) above, are the loudest, and get paid as organic consultants to continue to spread their garbage. If she returns to post here, she will get appropriately skewered again, I am sure, by those of us who know better than to put up with her science fiction. Then, of course, she will get petulant and whine. Par for the course.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            I have to agree, except I really don’t give a crap what they do to themselves in Boulder, CO, except to be amused by it and to understand others of their asshat Luddite cult could possibly force the same horseshit onto me and my farming neighborhood.

            As for debunking their pathetic misinformation and urban mythology, I started out mostly as a matter of dignity; the baastids were lying and badmouthing modern farming and by association my farm and my family and me. At some point enough is enough and they have to be called out. It’s about the lifestyle, the livelihood and not so particularly about money. But I must say, feeding those jerkoffs just enough rope, letting them get running with it, then snubbing it off with facts until they are twisting in the wind, well, I’m gratified to do that for free. Heck, certainly none of us are paid in any way but there’s no need, it’s like the primal satisfaction of watching flying insects incinerate themselves in those old electric bug zappers we all used to have on our back porches. Yep, ‘zap’…’pop’…’bzzzzzztsnap’ oh, yeah, that was a nice big fat one!

          • agscienceliterate

            O, what a tangled web they weave…

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Here’s a direct link to that report:

            http://www.faircolorado.org/csu-white-paper/

            Nothing
            very profound and definitely nothing new revealed by the survey but
            well worth perusing, if only to fully comprehend the cognitive
            disconnect of Boulder, Colorado activists and political bosses. Actually
            makes me appreciate my neighborhood, even though I thought we had more
            than our share of political interlopers disguising themselves as loopy
            do-gooders.

          • agscienceliterate

            Untrue, dearie. You have “debunked” what the farmers themselves reported in terms of higher yields, less runoff, much less water use, less diesel use and air pollution, and less tillage. Twist words all you like, but the report is available for people to read for themselves. The only thing you have debunked, Mary, is yourself.

          • hyperzombie

            I have never called farmers lazy, stupid, and liars;”
            You do it constantly.

          • Foodwise

            Oh you are back. Wondered where you had been. Gotta support the cronies with lies and bs.

          • hyperzombie

            well you have to support the Organic farmers, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRlBtabKRFM

          • Jason

            I’ve been a certified crop consultant for 20 years now and have been dealing with IPM strategies the entire time. It has nothing to do with using synthetic chemicals a s a last resort. It sounds like you picked the term up on some activist website without really looking into what it was.

            Here’s an easy summary from Wikipedia: Integrated pest management (IPM), also known as integrated pest control (IPC) is a broad-based approach that integrates practices for economic control of pests. IPM aims to suppress pest populations below the economic injury level (EIL). The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation defines IPM as “the careful consideration of all available pest control techniques and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of pest populations and keep pesticides and other interventions to levels that are economically justified and reduce or minimize risks to human health and the environment

            See? Nothing about synthetics. Nothing about last resorts. It’s about scouting pests and using the appropriate control measures when economics dictate so as to have the least environmental impact. Bt has been a successful IPM strategy because the environmental impact is lower than with insecticides and they target insects that are extremely difficult to scout for. GE hasn’t caused any more weed or pest resistance than conventional agriculture has. There are 470 known weeds species that have developed resistance to a given herbicide mode of action and 35 of those are to glyphosate. So, clearly, this is not a GMO issue. http://weedscience.org/Summary/SOASummary.aspx

            As for your stuff about telling you what you know because I feel superior…. Well. if you feel inferior because you don’t know things that you should then that’s your deal. Don’t push that on me. I’m telling you what you know based on what I know that you have been told. If you’re choosing to ignore that, then that’s your own problem.

            And have YOU checked the price of GE corn lately?

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Oh well Jason, you may have professional training and 20 years practical experience in the lab and in the field but Foodfarce has maybe 30, 40 years intensive practice as a flaming sphincter, more than long enough to perfect her art. So, her woo trumps your science – hey, it’s a seniority thing. No inconvenient facts required or desired.

            If Foodtard stubbornly insists we all misunderstand IPM (hell, we manage it), if Foodclown stupidly argues “genetic protocols…were created….to depend on pesticides to work” (few are, mostly just the RoundupReady trait – not golden rice, not papaya, not bt Corn, etc.), if Foodputz decrees the moon is made of organic green cheese (uh, don’t know, haven’t been there), then by George that IS the way it shall be and no educated, experienced, accomplished professional (or 3 or even 4 professionals) are going to say otherwise without a blast of whining histrionics and another factually deficient scolding from her highness, Foodchump. So then, let us eat organic cake!

          • Foodwise

            Jason, I got the “last resort” language from that same “activist” website that you used, the FAO. http://www.fao.org/agriculture/crops/thematic-sitemap/theme/pests/ipm/more-ipm/en/. Maybe you should read what they have to say about IPM.

            Weed resistance is much more problematic with glyphosate because it is a broad sprectrum weed killer, so when it doesn’t work, you have to use the old nasty stuff again that you all said we were moving away from. Atrazine, 2,4D, etc. The biotech industry can keep stacking more pesticide resistant traits so that farmers have easier ways to deal with the weed resistance problem that was predicted and they created.

            And your superiority language has nothing to do with me. I do not feel inferior because you use it. Implying that is just another one of your bullying tactics. You show that you feel superior to me by your use of language. You can either change it or just say that you feel superior instead of pivoting to the message that there is something wrong with me.

            There is ample evidence in the scientific literature that agriculture has not instituted true IPM principles. Biological and other controls are supposed to be used prior to the use of any synthetic pesticide. Instead of Integrated Pest Management, it has been co-opted and is now really just Integrated Pesticide Management to justify the continued use of unnecessary pesticides. Blanketing seeds with neonics and spraying glyphosate across a whole field and then further using it as a dessicant prior to harvest violates all those IPM principles you say you know so much about.

          • agscienceliterate

            No, dearie. Jason is superior to you not by his “use of language,” but because of his use of science. And actual farming knowledge. Yes, he is superior in his knowledge. You can’t stand that.
            But hey! You are superior too! In arrogance and misinformation, which you spread around thicker than the alleged glyphosate soaking you keep lying about, you are superior! A prize for Mary!
            Your “blanketing seeds” and your total ignorance about weed resistance is such horse puckey, straight out of Organic Playbook 101, which pays you to promote this crap. Do you really think you are swaying anyone on this site? Dearie, we know better. You sound foolish as well as purposefully ignorant. Go put on your Birkenstocks and get a Boulder latte, and then $pend your organic-earned money at Whole Food$. And write another editorial for your local newspaper. Yawn.

          • agscienceliterate

            Foodwise (what, trying to be clever, trying to take over the dumber-than-dumb Food Babe brand?) is a paid advocate for organic, by her own admission. In several posts over the last month, she has said, and I quote: “Full disclosure. I do consulting with organic food companies and I am a scientist. I am not anti-science.” She may try to remove these quotes now that I have posted them, but I have screen shots of them.
            Well, the first part of her statement is true. The second part, not so much.

          • Foodwise

            Why would i remove those comments? I at least gave context to my comments. You can look me up on LinkedIn and post my whole background if you want. What is your science education? Experience in ag? Farming?

          • agscienceliterate

            Great! Tell us how to look you up on LinkedIn. Name, background. It’s not under “Foodwise,” certainly. Let’s see how “transparent” you really are. All mouth, no substance.

          • Foodwise

            Nice pivot. You can look it up under foodwise btw and you have as you have used my first name. Put up your name and background or shut up.

          • agscienceliterate

            Naaaah, don’t think I will do either. I have very good reasons for remaining anonymous, and it is none of your business why I do.
            Let the good people here know your name, Mary, to live up to your woo about “transparency.” You even changed your name recently to “foodwise” (food babe envy much?) on your posts. Out of embarrassment, no doubt.
            You are all mouth, no substance, Mary.

          • Foodwise

            Good reasons not to be transparent? Must be something to hide like your ties to biotech and all your shill work for the industry. I have never changed my name from foodwise and my business was around long long before foodbabe whom I do not envy. You are such a coward, hiding behind agscienceliterate (close to the genetic literacy project maybe?). As I suspected, you can throw insults because you are essentially anonymous. This is why the Daily Camera shut down the comments, not from complaints but because of the garbage spewed by you all that hide behind your stupid handles. And if someone does identify themselves, you spend more time trying to insult and shame them than read what they have to say. And I quote:

            “The vast majority of the time, the comments are dominated by a small group of people, most posting anonymously, and who, frankly, tend to simply shout down or ridicule any opposing view. Commonly, our comments sections are filled with vitriol, personal attacks, profanity, and angry and hateful speech — and worse, unfortunately.
            That is not acceptable.
            You, our readers, local leaders, officials and everyday citizens speaking to us as sources for a variety of issues deserve better.
            So we are turning off the comments.”

            Sound familiar, agscienceliterate. They are describing you and your trolling cronies. You won’t police the Genetic Literacy Project because it is based on supporting the GE industry and your tactics. Take your insults and sexism and general adolescent thin-skinned BS and talk to yourselves. You haven’t had an original thought in anything I have read from you.

          • Foodwise

            My best guess is you have ties to the CropLife America trade association, who represent the pesticide industry. They bragged in one of their publications that the Boulder County fight was a key one for them.

          • agscienceliterate

            Nope. Keep guessing. No ties to anyone. (You just can’t stand that fact, can you?). If that is your “best guess,” it is as piss-poor as your knowledge about farming and biotech.

          • agscienceliterate

            Wrong. Yet again. And my anonymity, as well as my very good reasons for it, are none of your business.
            You and your little newspaper can keep up the blinders on the drugged hippy anti-GE activists in your people’s republic. The rest of the real world will keep on keepin’ on, growing GE, being sustainable and environmentally responsible, and your Boulder will continue to be the laughing stock of the country. Have a fun day, Mary!

          • Foodwise

            No, your anonymity after berating others about transparency is dishonest and deceitful. Your actions are hypocritical, bullying and cowardly. Keep using me as a punching bag for your unresolved anger against women and anyone with a brain that disagrees with you. Your game is so transparent. Shuck, jive and repeat. Insult, puff yourself up, repeat. Lie, repeat old lies and repeat. There is a reason you are hiding behind your misnomer.

          • agscienceliterate

            Ah! I was just commenting to FWAD that you would be back, petulantly whining about being used as a “punching bag.” Poor Mary! What a baby. Anger against women? Ha, so predictable — you ain’t got nothin’ to defend your organic 101 lies, so you revert to using the ole “woman’s card” defense, eh? You and Trump.
            You have had many chances, Mary, to respond with intelligent observations about tilling and CO2 loss, water use and loss, pesticides, refuges and buffers to prevent insect and weed resistance, yield, environmental sustainability, and your very bizarre support for weeds and insects in crops. You haven’t. When presented to evidence to the contrary, you cry “shill!” and pull out the “poor woman” card and whine. And you take your organic consulting money, of course.
            You, and Boulder County, are a huge joke. The more you post here, the more people learn about you, Mary. And do not think for one second that any future potential employer who would even consider hiring you as a “consultant” won’t see your ridiculous posts here, and recognize your shams for what they are. Good luck with that! Speak up. Keep posting. You look sillier and more ignorant about farming and biotech with every post.
            Go and post some more nonsense here, Mary. Your factoids and science fiction will get appropriately skewered by people who know this stuff inside and out as they do this work on the ground every day, feeding millions of hardworking Americans. And then you will shrink back and whine about being “berated.” As I have said before, Mary, you are waaaaaay out of your league here. Go post on Food Babe’s website (she will sue you for having a name too similar to hers, but go ahead) or other sites where your organic misrepresentations will be tolerated and seen as “truth” by other lock-step activists like yourself.
            Grow a pair. Put on your big girl panties. If you want to avoid harsh responses for your fantasies, go elsewhere. Grow up.

          • Foodwise

            That is your other tactic. Berate people unti they quit responding so you are free to post you lies unopposed. Blah blah blah……

          • agscienceliterate

            Please keep posting, Mary! As I have said here, I collect the best posts, and use them in my critical thinking class. There is one other poster here who has submitted such logical fallacies, ad hoc fallacies, word-twisting, and misinterpretation that I use in my class all the time. I have used a few of yours, but I want more! Please don’t stop posting. Bring it on. The “woman card” whine is a new one, and my students will love love love it.
            A few factoids would be good, though…. please, post something you deem worthy in response to the concrete and legit points the farmers and I have been asking you over and over and over and over again.

          • Foodwise

            Oh wait. New information. You teach a critical thinking class? I guess that means to criticize everyone else’s thinking. Poor students.

          • agscienceliterate

            Your guess, once again, is as piss-poor as your knowledge about farming and biotech. Yesterday you guessed I had ties to the CropLife America assoc.
            Keep guessing. That’s about the best you can do.

          • Foodwise

            Makes so much sense now. You wouldn’t want your students to read what asshat comments you make multiple times a day or your bosses read what you write. Better stay anonymous to keep that job.

          • agscienceliterate

            My students read my comments. Hell, they help contribute to some of ’em!

            (Ooooo, “asshat” — I am gonna pout and whine that you are beating up on us poor guys, because maybe you hate men. Right? Poor me! Whine whine whaaa whaaaa whaaaa)

            Oh, and BTW — disclosure for you here, Mary. Your comments about organic, your absolute misinterpretation about what your own local farmers say, your comments about there being no prob having insects and weeds in farms, your misinterpretation about the county’s report on sustainability that showed organic at the bottom of the heap, you clueless comments about IPM, and your off-the-wall comments about pesticides (only conventional, not organic) are being shared with farmers. No prob, right? You should be proud of your words. They represent the best of Organic Playbook 101, and that is what you are paid to say. Totally ok! But you should know that I know some farmers who know some folks who are in contact with Boulder farmers. You know; the real ones, not your activist backyard gardeners. (Farming is a small world.). And your statements here will be very helpful to them as future background for whatever advocacy, public speaking, testimony, whatevah, that you do in that county to continue to promote taxpayer subsidized organic gardening.
            Your words speak for you and your values. Be proud of them! But do be advised that others, who know far more than you do, will read your own words, and you may be seeing them again when real farmers continue to advocate for best scientific farming practices.
            Be proud! Continue to speak up for your employers!

          • Foodwise

            Blah blah blah……

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Another scintillating example of Foodblah’s deep technical knowledge of agriculture. “Blah blah blah” just about sums it up. Or maybe something more along the lines of ‘pffffft’.

            You were going to lay out before us all the details of your prescribed IPM protocols for weed control pre and post planting, Foodjoke. Why haven’t you enlightened us? Why did you go abruptly slinking off from that dialogue only to sneak back here to pass gas against agsci?

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Heh, crickets. Where the hell is Foodtool with the objective information? The gasbag must have gone slinking back to the mothership again. Hope she’s wearing the appropriate red DOT “flammable” safety placard or some yuppie ag-genius Boulderite will blaze up a doobie and fertilize 40 acres in all directions with atomized Foodmuck.

          • agscienceliterate

            She is stuck on roto-blahblahblah, self-pity, and dreaming up more insults against the hardworking farmers who get up every damn day at 5am to feed her ungrateful face, and feed many local people in her county. She is beneath contempt.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Yeah, well all the same you’d better take care to extinguish any open flames until you’re sure she’s not gonna come sneaking back around.

          • agscienceliterate

            Gaseous and explosive, you mean? Beneath contempt.

          • agscienceliterate

            ….and that is all you have to say, really ? No response to these many farming issues raised over and over again? Are you that shallow?
            Well, Mary. I am sure you will agree, that your own local farmers deserve to see your very own words of utter contempt, disrespect, and dismissal you show for them. You have contributed directly to the end of their livelihood as environmentally sustainable GE farmers on open space, and they deserve to know exactly what you say about them. I’m sure they already know all about you, Mary, and your own words here will be interesting additional information for them. You are contemptible.

          • Foodwise

            Blah, say lies about me, more blah, blah, insult. I am sure you will rinse and repeat.

          • agscienceliterate

            Mary, it is not All About You. I am asking you for responses to the many farming issues raised over and over again. And all you have to say is “blah, lies about me…”? Really? You are so self-centered that you make Everything about you? And you really and truly cannot respond to any of the many serious farming issues raised in response to your Organic Playbook 101?
            You are beneath contempt.

          • Foodwise

            Yup. Rinse and repeat. You have the last word.

          • agscienceliterate

            Ooooo, wouldn’t we all love that.
            Go take your arrogant contempt for farmers elsewhere.

          • agscienceliterate

            I hope so. I sincerely hope so. Your arrogant contempt for farmers makes me sick.

          • Foodwise

            Oh and before you respond to me. I have heard it before. Blah blah blah…..

          • Jason

            Sure… Clearly you have it all figured out. Despite the fact that you’ve demonstrated that you don’t have any experience in this subject.

            Good luck with all that.

          • Foodwise

            Silly me. I respond to the content of your discourse. You can only respond that I don’t know what I am talking about. This is why it is important to present alternative points of view. Maybe, just maybe someone reading this will question the rhetoric repeated over and over by the GE lobby.

          • Jason

            Why bother? You obviously know more about the topic than someone who’s been practicing it for two decades.

            Besides, what can one say when faced with an overly verbose version of “nuh-uh”.

          • agscienceliterate

            She is educated by inter-woo science fiction, lives in Boulder, and works for the organic industry. ‘Nuf said. Uneducable. Curious why she hangs around here banging her head against the wall.

          • hyperzombie

            Maybe you should read what they have to say about IPM.”
            i did and pesticides are a fundamental part of a good IPM system. Today almost all pesticides are used as a last resort, but unless you can find a weed free insect free field, they are needed and nothing else will control them so it is a last resort.

          • Foodwise

            Using glyphosate as a “burn down” is not last resort and you know it. And using it as a dessicant before harvest has nothing to do with IPM. You all forget the three steps before pesticide application. And you don’t need weed free and insect free fields. That is exactly why IPM was developed. Maybe you should read a bit more.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            OK Foodfake, if a herbicide treatment like glyphosate as a burn down is “last resort”, what is “first resort”? You must be prescribing moldboard plowing and what else? Here’s where you get to wow us with your lofty knowledge of IPM and weed control, Foodload, so set forth the details of your protocol, we’re all listening.

            Oh, and uh, it’s your petulant rejection of the need for “weed free and insect [pest] free fields” that’s causing so much yield sapped from organic crops by your friends the weeds and bugs. So is this why you argue so furiously and incoherently and incorrectly about yield gaps?

            Finally, I don’t personally know anyone who uses any glyphosate dessicant pre-harvest around here. You will have to identify them for us. I hear a few bodgers do in the UK and maybe northern Europe, but out here in America real professional farmers plan our cropping, select our seed and get our field work done timely so we can harvest ripe crops that are not choked with green weeds that prevent drying and that tangle in the harvester. Those clean ripe, plump grains bring the highest price, you know – test weight and all that, but being a profound farm expert of long standing I should think you’d already know all that, Foodwuss.

          • agscienceliterate

            And, to add insult to injury, their damn weeds and insects, if they don’t control them, end up in your field. Nice, huh? So much for social responsibility. Not.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            That is a fact. We farm some pretty good ground next door and downwind from an organic or quasi-organic menagerie. I swear their definition of biodiversity is to drag in every weed they can, then protect and nurture every damned one to full fruition. The place looks like Chernobyl with tall weeds growing through the junk equipment and shreds of plastic strewn everywhere…but I digress. Anyway, come springtime we have the nicest catch of bright green tender baby weeds you’ve ever seen where the snow drifts into the low spots. From the cab of the pickup in the dead of winter I’ve actually watched the wind zinging weed seeds from the neighbor’s place across the crust of the snow to come to rest in our snow drifts. A few times it made the snow drifts look brown, like the wind had been eroding soil. Nope, weed seeds – but they’re “organic” so it must all be good, eh? And these organic assclowns establish buffer strips against me. Go figure.

          • agscienceliterate

            It is sanctimonious hypocrisy. And old hippie foodwise represents that attitude of arrogance to its worst degree. “Oh, there’s no need to get rid of weeds and insects, “she blithely and selfishly says. It’s not her damn farm that she has to worry about. And she sure doesn’t give a damn about you losing crop and profits as a result of her selfishness, either.

          • hyperzombie

            Using glyphosate as a “burn down” is not last resort and you know it.”
            Nope, would using paraquat and diquat along with massive amounts of tillage be better?
            Yes using glyphosate preharvest has everything to do with a good IPM system, it removes the perennial weeds that will be a problem next year. Lowering the amount of pesticide used, with no carryover issues,

          • agscienceliterate

            Total BS, Mary. Talk to your own county’s farmers. Oh, I forgot … you don’t want to talk to anyone except organic farmers, who pay you for promoting this false nonsense.

    • Damo

      Some “synthetic” pesticides are allowed as well. It is just the common “boogeyman” ones that aren’t–which is ironic since they are the least damaging.

      Otherwise, glad to hear you are being a good steward of the earth.

      • Mark Benjamin

        Yes on some synthetics, would love to sit down with those who came up with the lists.

  • Diana Pena

    Too little, too late. Organic at this point is like an ex-girlfriend who tried to spread nasty rumors about you, but wants you back later.

    Your side has used dirty tactics, chemophobia, and misinformation to try and kill conventional farming and demonize those who practice it.

    Seriously, you are more than happy to throw all sorts of punches, but when the backlash comes back with facts to refute you, you ask for a truce.

    You started it, so fuck you and everyone like you. Too little, too late.

    • Farmer with a Dell

      I have to agree with Diana here, right down to the nitty gritty of her parting sentiment. The author of this article plays it pretty cute – she claims to be all things to all people…and a reformed pro-organic hate monger, to boot. Problem is she still manages to paint conventional farmers like me as somehow not getting with the program around here. But, fact is conventional producers, like myself, ARE good stewards, we ARE sensitive and responsive to ALL worthwhile techniques and technologies – and we grow 95% of the abundant, safe, affordable food marketed in the US. The operative term here is “worthwhile” when it comes to adopting practices, and that pretty much rules out dictates that are naive, irrational, impractical, authoritarian…you know, pretty much everything and the only thing organic ideologues stand for.

      • Damo

        You know, I didn’t see it from your point of view. I agree with what she said, but I also agree with you, I ALREADY see many, many “conventional” farmers doing a great job being stewards of the land.

        • Farmer with a Dell

          Thank you! We try.

  • Benjamin Edge

    Nicely said, Janna.

  • Farmer with a Dell

    Ms. Anderson still doesn’t quite grasp the situation around here. The “third way” of farming she proposes is, in fact, modern conventional agriculture as it exists today, and as it has existed for half a century or more. We are “good stewards of the earth in a way that encompasses the best of all our
    farming practices without excluding those parts of technology that can
    reduce pesticide use, increase yields and productivity” — none of this is new to any of us commercial scale modern farmers, none of it.

    OK, so some of us farm thousands of acres instead of just tens of acres. And we do it responsibly and successfully. Of course there are alternative approaches and each is welcome to his or her own…so long as he or she minds his or her own business and doesn’t stoop to sabotaging the competition (something organics has specialized in, sadly). Looks like Ms. Anderson has stumbled onto a very, very lucrative boutique niche — she’s standing proudly alongside one hell of a big shiny new piece of diesel powered iron in the picture there, something that few operators of 20 to 50 acres could afford (or could even use on such confined acreage of orchards and little seed plots). We used to routinely work 500 – 800 acres with a machine that grand, and we had to in order to justify the payments and operating cost, so Ms. Anderson has something figured out with organic premium pricing, I guess.

    For all the outsize noise and stink from organic proponents, and after more than 40 years of flailing around organic food still only comprises 5% of the market. Only 5%! To hear them tell it, organic is the big player poised to shut out conventional ag completely in just a few more seasons. Most of these irrational asshats have gone to believing their own BS. And the few, like Ms. Anderson, have figured out how the fleece them, and fleece them good. And they love it! Go figure.

  • Damo

    Wow, she is saying the same thing I have been, only much more eloquently. There are good and bad farmers of all stripes. And there are good and bad practices that all farmers use. But you can be– and often are–sustainable and conventional, or unsustainable and organic.

    I would propose that instead of “organic” certification, we have “sustainable” certification that says this farmer adopted all the Best Management Practices that he could to protect the land, the water, the soil, and the wildlife. Let’s stop arguing over silly names and focus on actual conservation of the land and soil and doing no harm WHILE growing an abundant crop.