Comment 280

By Dick (anonymous) | Posted March 26, 2006 at 03:56:41

Typical "First World" food production is very wasteful. In the US, the contribution to a person's ecological footprint is cut by 90% is local organic production is substituted for industrial production model. Livestock, properly managed, can contribute to increased water infiltration and more vegetation, both reducing the EF by increasing ecological efficiency. The proportional productivity of land increases as the seasonality of rainfall increases (greater difference between wet and dry seasons), which often is correlated with a lower annual rainfall. However, these alternatives imply a seasonal food supply with less variety than we take for granted. The Land Institute (Salina, Kansas) is developing perennial grain crops, which can be planted in a polyculture with legumes, giving longer seasonal production, continuous ground cover (little or no erosion, improved soil fertility) and further reduce the resource imput while increasing annual output. This will support both crop and animal production on the same area with increased ecosystem functionality, including wildlife diversity, and needs no fossil energy, only solar energy, in principle. This does not solve the human greed and ignorance problems, but it offers alternative ways of thinking.

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