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Monday, March 15, 2010

Working with Nature

My friend Kelly Robertson sent a few of us a video about fish farming with nature. I did not understand the commentary entirely, but the video does prompt a question. Are you working with nature or fighting nature in agricultural production? I think we don't necessarily do a good job implementing the idea of working with nature. An example is " Why do we run cattle on the range in the west?" Bison are adapted to the environment much better than cattle. I know there are not enough Bison to "feed" the world, but we could work in that direction. I am not sure why we are doing research on Miscanthus in the Midwest when we can grow switchgrass. I know there is an issue of energy content, but I bet there is some "super" switchgrass out the there somewhere waiting to fill that energy need. Intensive grazing is an excellent production system that works with nature. The idea was started as something called holistic grazing. I think the term was unpopular with the general ranching community because it sounded like something out of Mother Earth News. The idea behind intensive grazing is to use a system that simulates how the bison grazed. The good news is that it is a highly productive system. It easily doubles production over conventional grazing systems.

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