Feed the World – No Pesticides / No Herbicides...

February 2nd, 2018
Doing research, on information to record a series of videos on water, my search string turned up a video (Link below) of an interview with a South African company, Geoagro - Africa & Biofarm Solutions,  showing their services and products at an 'farmers day' being held at Bredarsdorp situated some 100 miles SE of Cape Town.

It was the answer, by the company representative, to a question from the interviewer that drew my attention. He stated that it was possible to 'feed the world without using herbicides or pesticides' which, on face value, would seem impossible given the current wholesale applications of these products by agriculture to feed and protect crops.

Further comment was that the use of microbes, by progressive farmers, on the onion growing area around Oudtshoorn (220 miles East of CT in the Klein Karoo) had resulted in record crops without using herbicides or pesticides which reduced previous input costs for these.

The application of these products is a major contributor to huge environmental problems from the increased nutrient loads in the worlds water bodies as it leads to nourishment of undesirable invasive organisms such as toxic Cynobacteria (blue algae) of which some strains are harmful to human, animal, fish and bird populations.

Deciding to evaluate the use of microbes to remediate soil, two elevated 1m2 grow boxes were filled to a depth of 6 inches (150mm) with own made compost and a simple below surface water distribution system.

An exact number each of a selection of root and leaf vegetable seedlings were planted in the same locations in each grow area.

Each area was irrigated with the same measure of harvested rain water (Serious drought in Cape Town restricts using piped water for any garden) one with a 1:2000 ratio cocktail of soil remediating microbes, well stirred to ensure adequate mixing, and the other without.

Photographs were taken every morning, at approximately the same time, to record and prepare a time lapse video showing the progress of the seedlings as they grew in their separate areas.

Photographs, below, at 7 day intervals show just how effective the addition of the microbes are to boosting growth.

Preliminary results indicate:

a) Crops were ready to harvest about 2/3rds before their normal growth period.

b) This interpolated directly to significantly less water for irrigation.

c) The reduced water required interpolates to lower energy costs for pumping.

d) No herbicides or pesticides results in reduced input costs that the application of these incurs.

e) It is beyond the my scope to test for nutritional values - see link below for some info about this.

GeoAfrica Video Link:
Revisiting nature’s own tools that enable incorporation of high fibre and protein in your products


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