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Farming and Technology

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Messages: 1 - 8 of 8
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Papa Nopsis (U14479902) on Thursday, 2nd September 2010

    There are so many mixed opinions about the profitability of farming that it can be difficult to get an objective view.

    What is quite certain ( and I have one forefather who was sent to Oz for being involved in the Swing riots of 1830,with his 'literature' today on show in a museum) is that Labour and capital play an entirely different part now from what they did then.

    With my strimmer, which may be the same as a fast scytheman, a new gadget can do in ten minutes what it would take me three or four days to do.

    A farmer who has the capital to invest in very expensive gadgetry will be earning as much in contract fees as he does from any crop he produces himself, but whereas the gadget is a diminishing asset, costing say £90,000 for a new harvester, his capital invested in land, is a slow but constantly increasing one. He still only has the same farm at the end of it, whatever the apparent value.

    Nearly all farm work is done by contractors today who never so much as step out of their cabs.
    A highly technological exercice.

    Five huge and different machines are required to
    do the one job of seeding a previously unused field.

    Is this country now just the same as the corn belt of the USA or that,now, of Brazil, and is the contractors who are making the money and not the land owners at all?!

    Will there soon be a rich corn belt South of the Sahara, just like in Brazil, after the population has been decimated in much the same way as that of... the Native Indians of Brazil too???

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by vee-tail (U3161889) on Thursday, 2nd September 2010

    Perhaps you should be asking the more basic question: What is the purpose of farming? If your answer is to make a profit for the farmer, then that is one of the reasons why farming is so damaging and inefficient.
    Modern intensive farming is a form of chemical engineering which is wrecking the environment and producing a surplus of unhealthy foods.
    The productivity of a well tended allotment, or a permaculture/organic smallholding is hugely more than the average agribusiness chemical soup facility.

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  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by newdwr54 (U12275314) on Thursday, 2nd September 2010


    The counter argument to this is that intensive farming produces more crop per hectare. Do we have much choice in an increasingly populated world?

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Pumblechook (U6852342) on Saturday, 4th September 2010

    I don't buy the argument that all natural things are healthy and anything processed with added chemicals is bad. It ain't that simple.

    Bread now lasts a long time due to additives. It was stale the next day in the past.

    Microwave ovens are actually healthier than conventional ovens.. Research has been done at such as Cornell University.

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by newdwr54 (U12275314) on Saturday, 4th September 2010

    Microwaves are also much less energy consuming due to the speed at which they cook.

    Pity that everything that comes out of one tastes like wet cardboard.

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by StuartG (U14275984) on Saturday, 4th September 2010

    Sat, 04 Sep 2010 13:34 GMT, in reply to newdwr54 in message 5

    'tastes like wet cardboard' I'm not that lucky.
    I use a marine gas cooker, it looks like it's been in a foundry but it's only a year old.

    Pumble' how are they healthier? Surely not much can exist at 200C, whatever produces the heat.

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  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by Pumblechook (U6852342) on Saturday, 4th September 2010

    You can't tell any difference in most cases..microwave or conventional. My ex-wife is copnvinced baked beans do taste different. I meant to do a blind test.

    ""In studies at Cornell University, scientists looked at the effects of cooking on water-soluble vitamins in vegetables and found that spinach retained nearly all its folate when cooked in a microwave, but lost about 77 percent when cooked on a stove. They also found that bacon cooked by microwave has significantly lower levels of cancer-causing nitrosamines than conventionally cooked bacon.""

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  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by StuartG (U14275984) on Saturday, 4th September 2010

    Sat, 04 Sep 2010 14:52 GMT, in reply to Pumblechook

    Thanks, that's me told.

    Report message8

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