I have been reading Discover magazine. Talk about a trip through fantasy land! These people are Greenies from the word GO.
I looked at one article about the awfulness of raising hogs and using their manure to fertilize the fields used to grow the hog food. And good ol' Discover was against it. The world is trying to clean up its act a little bit and these people are against using hog maure to fertilize their fields. Seems like a good idea to me. I'm not too happy about oil based fertilizers anyhow.
The routine for enriching the soil on you farm with hog manure consists of a lagoon, which the farmer puts in, and a spray system to get the liquified hog shit out to the fields. You use a barn sweep to get the hog manure from the floor of the growing pen. It's really simple. I went to a Hutterite farm operation up in South Dakota and they had one of them operating.
They let the manure build up in the lagoon until it's time to plant. Then they fertilize the field. Their system was a pivot irrigation applicator. You have seen them many times and maybe didn't pay any attention. They are quite long and anchored at one end. From that end they are turned by an electric motor. The anchored end goes no place. The end that is free goes around in a huge curcle. The liquid manure is pumped from the lagoon to the pivot. Right at the reception mouth of the pivot is a whirling chipper head that everything going into the irrigation system must pass through. Thus there is no chunks to block the sprayer. And that is all there is to it. The pivot is just like every other pivot in this country. Worerks the same way. The only difference is that the Hutterites use the biggest nozzles you can buy. They want no clogging. They want that hog manure to go out there in the field where it can do the most good.
This is a pretty closed system. It takes a little electricty to run the pump and the pivot for a while, but try disposing of hundred of tons of hog manure any other way. Nasty business.
The reason for such systems is producing enough food for everybody. This Hutterite farm sold all of its pork to McDonalds. Sausage, Biscuit , and Egg has to come from SOME place. They had two or three semi-load of pigs go to market everyweek. And that is how you get a big buyer like McDonalds to buy your hogs. You have to have that truck at the packing plant on time every time.
The pivot fertilization system is to assure the field of as much success as possible. The hogs for McDonalds have to eat food on a regular basis in order to attain the proper weight and size. That grain is not allowed to fail if humanly possible. No lack of nutrients nor lack of water is allowed to interfere with the production.
One side effect from this kind of hog raising is the odor, if you happen to get close enough. The Hutterites had their trip together enough that the farm village itself didn't get any odor. In fact the farrowing barn was pretty odor free too. I could hardly believe that people were raising that many hogs without a terrific stench, but they sure were doing it.
And it's pretty much oil free farming. They spend a little fuel laying in the seed and harvesting the grain, but that was about it. No bad odors and very little fuel being used. And no oil based fertilizer being added to the nations soil. Simple, practical, and most definitly cost effective. When I saw it a few years ago I was very impressed with the system.
Reading through the list of contributors of Discover I found that one of the writers was a co-producer or co-director of Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth. I am trying to figure out why anybody in their right mind would be against using a pivot system to fertilize their fields. And the truth hit me. They were doing it for the money. These people are taking their fantasy's and selling them through the media. But they can ruin our food chain. They can put all of our hog raisers between a rock and a hard place. They could become a new PETA and make money off of endorsing whom they will.
I am extremely wary of these people. So watch them and stay alive.