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 Post subject: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:39 pm 
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Brussels today is changing the licence for the use of Glyphosates (base of round up) by farmers.
Watched on TF1 news a number of idiotic farmers stating that it will ruin their lives, one angrily stating that his products will rot on the ground, another saying now it takes one hour to cover a field with the stuff but if banned it will take up to five to clean a field.
One changed 17 years ago and doesn't use the traditional method? But a new one and has better crops its called surprise---- cultivation. He passes over a field three times before sowing then under sows the corn, colsar, lentiles etc with ground covering seeds smothering weeds, which when ploughed in after harvest improves the soil.
My father was a farmer so I was brought up on a farm, during the 2ww there was a great push to plough up grass land to feed the nation, so back then even with horses and very small tractors (not the monstrosities they now use) fields were cultivated repeatedly and root crops were hoed by many tined back hoes.
Crop rotation was practised along with leaving a field fallow for a year. No weed killers were used at all and that it supposed to be a new method?.
If my memory serves me correct the worse weeds were Morgan (creeping buttercup) couch grass and ragwort.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:30 pm 
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A farmer was interviewed on TF1 saying that if he had to plough up or rotavate his land to clean it, it would cost more in terms of fuel. As for ruining their lives, perhaps they should talk to some of the farmers who have used glyphosates (and worse, like gramoxone) for years and how it has affected their health - presumably because they never used any form of protection.

The speed the tractors cultivate the fields around us, rotavating, raking and seeding is astonishing - not much time taken there.
Those monsters must use a fair amount of fuel.

When we were young we used to go roguing - picking wild oats out of the corn fields. No-one seems to bother here and despite their spraying, the poppies and cornflowers look as pretty as ever !

I think matters are worse today because farmers want to get 2 crops a year everywhere, and they throw everything into the land to get it to produce.

The next thing to ban are the pesticides that are killing bees. You can just imagine the outcry ...


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:32 pm 
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In our area you cannot (should not) drink the water as the pesticide levels are too high. Tea tastes foul unless the water is filtered first and the phosphate levels in my swimming pool are the highest I have ever recorded so it can't come soon enough.
Any sign of Monsanto/Bayer share prices being hit?

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:23 pm 
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Doubt it - the patents ended years ago and most of the stuff sold now is generic.

To address other points, land cannot be left fallow for a year, or be planted with green manures - it has to yield a return as part of economics. Likewise tractors have to be paid for - they cannot sit idle. Then there are pressures to produce more food from less land.

So something like glyphosate which is a one pass total kill has attractions. Doubtless someone will formulate something else - but likely as not that will then be patented and expensive. I remember paying £50 for 5 litres of Roundup before the patent ended.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:03 pm 
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niemeyjt wrote:
Doubt it - the patents ended years ago and most of the stuff sold now is generic.

To address other points, land cannot be left fallow for a year, or be planted with green manures - it has to yield a return as part of economics. Likewise tractors have to be paid for - they cannot sit idle. Then there are pressures to produce more food from less land.

So something like glyphosate which is a one pass total kill has attractions. Doubtless someone will formulate something else - but likely as not that will then be patented and expensive. I remember paying £50 for 5 litres of Roundup before the patent ended.

J


Ah yet another who don't care about ffn the world.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:15 pm 
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Providing people can shift their problems/costs from their balance sheets to ours and the planets that's fine by them.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:28 pm 
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Teapot wrote:
Providing people can shift their problems/costs from their balance sheets to ours and the planets that's fine by them.


+1

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:54 pm 
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Teapot wrote:
Providing people can shift their problems/costs from their balance sheets to ours and the planets that's fine by them.


An admirable attitude. Sadly, most of the less wealthy members of society may be feel slightly differently at the prospect of higher food prices.

But back to the carcinogenic properties - Glyphosate is in Group 2A of probable carcinogens.

What else is in there - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_I ... arcinogens

So, let's ban wood burning stoves - which produce Group 2A carcinogens. Or Red Meat. Or Frying. Or . . . . .

I do wonder if Glyphosate had been invented by Bayer instead of Monsanto there would be quite such a fuss. Having said that, Monsanto do themselves no favours with their GMO products and aggressive attitudes - but that is another topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:41 pm 
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Papi is right in saying that we managed before G arrived.

We can of course manage again. We do however need to recognise that things have changed a lot in the last 40 years.


Over 40 years there has been a major reduction in the number of people working the land per hectare.
Crop yields have increased per hectare.
The world's population has increased and a significantly higher proportion of them are now better fed than 40 years ago.

These are not all due solely to the use of G but it has had a significant impact.

There will therefore be a cost in banning its use. Personally I think the ban will be beneficial.
It is easy to dismiss the risk on the basis that the risk category is "only 2A". That is as judged today. Many materials originally given low or no risk categories end up in a higher group. As for other low risk materials, they too are under scrutiny and measures are being taken to reduce exposures:

Stated desires to eliminate diesel cars by 2040
Prohibition on burning green waste
Prohibition on use of open wood fires I towns and cities - restricting burning to stoves and inserts where the combustion is more efficient and production of carcinogens reduced.
Health campaigns to encourage people to eat less red meat. etc.

I see control of the use of G in the same vein.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:08 pm 
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I'm talking of sixty years, yes crop yealds have increased over that time, it started before I left farming in 1959 with new strains of cerials much shorter stalks to take the weight of the larger of seed heads, done by selection not genetic engineering, just to mention one instance, all before the use or G. But with a great increase in furtilizers, the reason for a lot of drinking water polution with run off as now there are no hedges, copises to hold it up.
A man on a modern tractor also covers a minimum of three times the acrage in a day than back then.
The infamous G is already banned in communes and very much restricted for private use.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:50 pm 
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It is a big discussion topic and I see good and bad points coming out.
Less people working the land because of G etc, put them to work in factories making G and other chems we never knew we needed. Ok that's a simplistic point but similar to the pool chems I deal with, not many are really needed but it doesn't stop them making them and putting misleading names like anti algae on them. That by the way is the same as the anti mousse you buy in bricos! it's nasty stuff and I wouldn't want to bath in it. It's not needed in a pool.

What a bout the poor people, I am still against the British "affordable" housing simple pay better salaries, throughout the recession the order books have continued to swell for Rolls Royce and learjet etc etc no recession at the top!

Yes we should ban the crappiest of wood burners as they don't burn clean enough but people need their jobs even if it is making crappy polluting wood burners when there are good models to be had at reasonable prices.

Red meat, it's a bit of bad science as veggies get cancer, too bloody easy for passing that one as science and jumping on a bandwagon.

Monsanto and Bayer are one, maybe that's why it's being investigated by the EU as someone trying to get around some legislation or buy off some EU members, time will tell.

Although the yields have gone up, the nutritional quality has gone down so they look the part but don't have the goodness, some schools of thought think that's why we can't fight some of the diseases off and become more reliant on antibiotics so we create our own issues there with resistant strains, probably natures way of restricting our population.

The funny thing is over use of these chemicals/drugs etc means the excess ends up in our water courses and oceans and we eat the toxic chems which makes us ill, daft isn't it.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:19 pm 
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I'm with Papi and Teapot on this one

Bigger fields for bigger machines, which equals more weight, and more hard pan of the sub soil, to break up the sub soil pan, equals bigger tractors maybe caterpillar tracked, with a deeper tyne, also larger fields can lead to more wind blown top soil erosion not counting the loss of the birds and animals that reside in the field edges and hedge rows

I would like to see more mixed farming, than the monoculture that some of todays farmers are doing, if they want to do "shed farming", for gods sake, make the units deal with the animals shit and urine on site, by methaneisation instead of spreading it on the land, and letting the runoff pollute the watercourses

Cut out the bag fertiliser, use mustard and other crops, to plough in for green fertiliser, use other crops like clover and peas to add nitrogen to the ground, also to give the field a rest let a heard of pigs turn it over, over winter, or from harvest time until a week or so before christmas, they will dung the field and will eat the grubs in the ground

Also is pork classed as red meat now, or is it still classed as a white meat

If the crop has to be sprayed use a bloody helicopter, to do it, and keep off the fields as much as possible, until harvest time

I might add, that I have worked in porcheries in Brittany 1500 head of pigs dont half make a din, worse than PM's question times, and they make more sense than the MP's, done chicken picking as well, 5 in each hand then loaded into a crate, that is what you call back breaking

I remember reading in the farmers weekly, in the '70's a professor of meat saying that it would be better to shoot the animals in the field, because there would be no stress to the animal and hence no build up of lactic acid in the meat

The first farm that I lived on, used to spray sulphuric acid over the potato halums, to stop any further growth of the potato, and the last farm I lived on used to give the cows potatoes to the cows for a fill belly

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:31 am 
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Of course we can manage without G. As I said, the chances are that someone will invent an alternative. The issues will be the cost - as I said earlier G was £50+ whilst under patent and now under £20 for 5L.

I am not sure there are many other broad spectrum systemic herbicides out there today. There are other broadleaf herbicides like 2,4,5-T but they won't touch grasses. There are knock-down herbicides like paraquat that will hit grasses, but not kill the roots requiring multiple sprayings. G fills a niche.

We can rotate land. Whilst not as old as Papi :-) I can remember playing in fields of clover sown as a rotational break-crop. It was ploughed in and the land yielded nothing for that year.

Blackgrass, the scourge of arable farmers, can be reduced with a year out of production as well.

We can encourage farmers to buy smaller tractors once a quarter of their land is out of production (assuming a four year cycle) to reduce their equipment outlay. But can we encourage banks to reduce repayments on loans taken out to buy land?

Can we cope with the likely loss of food production if productive land is taken out of production for a year?

What will be the impact on food prices?

Meanwhile land area for farming decreases. In France it fell from 35.8 to 33.5 and in UK it fell from 29.7 to 25.8 between 1961 and 2014.
(Source: World Bank)

To discuss a few of the other points raised:

Dietary changes will bring their own pressures (I mentioned red meat simply to make the point that many things fall under 2A). I doubt the world will ever go vegetarian - but livestock tend to be fed on things that humans don't / won't eat - such as grass and poorer quality grains. If we reduce livestock numbers do we plough up grazing lands? introduce the poorer grains into the human food chain? More a vegetarianism issue than a G issue - but worthy of discussion.

I do not think helicopter spraying will ever come to much in Europe. Great for spreading insecticide over vast malarial swamps but wasteful in agriculture (not to mention the highly polluting drift). Instead the trend seems to be moving towards GPS tracking and varying dosage at the nozzle dependent upon the part of the field being sprayed linked to data from previous harvests.

I also like hedges and smaller fields - however this will again reduce the area under production - increasing costs.

Personally I also like the idea of returning waste to the soil. Run-off into water courses is down to farming malpractice. Ploughing in within 24 hours of spreading and injecting the waste beneath the surface both address the issue.

It is an interesting topic, and interesting to discuss. My personal take on the G issue is that if the extensive lobbying from the chemical companies fails, then we are likely to see a replacement developed - hopefully not as harmful - but likely many times more expensive.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:38 am 
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Lots of interesting points in the last few postings. Supply and demand and cost influence the way farming is done today and the changes we see are not necessarily all for the better. Weedkillers and pesticides have become contentious subjects and there is little doubt that pesticides have had a huge impact on wildlife, particularly bees and other insects.

Hedges and trees were ripped up in the Paris basin decades ago to create huge swathes of agricultural land suitable for using big machinery. There doesn't appear to be a problem with erosion because it's relatively flat and the only problems might be caused by flooding. Today's big tractors aren't compatible with smaller fields as bigger ones are quicker and easier to work. With cattle being kept in sheds during the winter, farmers can keep larger numbers of cattle on a lower hectarage. They would argue that hay and silage contain more goodness than grass in the winter.

House building and industrial estates are presumably responsible for the loss of agricultural land : industrial/artisan zones in France are vast but people want out of town shopping with easy parking and a vast choice all in one spot. So more and more land is swallowed up and lost to agriculture.

Shed/battery farming takes up less space and is presumably far more economical for the farmer. But what of the suffering of the animals/poultry and how this affects the quality of the meat ? That’s a subject in itself.

As for helicopter spraying ... the cost would be exorbitant and as already said, there is risk of drift and pollution. The big tractors and the huge sprayers they can carry today can do the job far more efficiently in the long run.

Every so often we hear of farmers who have over-stretched themselves and are having to give up. In most cases, it seems they have taken out loans to expand beyond what they were capable of. Is this down to bad advice or bad management ?

They do seem to practise crop rotation round here, and after harvest, the residue is ploughed back into the land. The smell of what is left of the cauliflowers and cabbages after cutting is powerful !! But I don't see land being allowed to rest. Instead they add nutrients/fertilisers. They all seem to get 2 crops a year.

What happened to farmers being subsidised for leaving land fallow ? Or was that supprimed years ago ?


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:48 am 
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Peake caterpillar tractors have been around for years and exert less pressure than wheeled ones, think of an elephant compared to man. My father bought a halftrack fordson just after ww2 which was so much better on his low lying wet fields.
Modern tractors with huge extending arms for weed killers/pestisides and fertilizers always run in the same tracks after seed sowing so only compact those runs.
I have always hated mono crops, a neighbouring farm has grown maize in the same fields for over 30 years and had a great row with our mayor a couple of years ago when the new rule came in that unless farmers diversified they would lose their grants, now even he has by growing tomatoes on one field last year,
Have others noticed how many fields now grow soya instead of oil seed or maize? Even in the UK thousands of acres are growing it with new varieties suited to their climate, I suppose climate change helps.
Even as a young lad on the farm I didn't agree to substidies people should pay the cost of the production, after all the grants don't come out of the air but we pay them by taxes, perhaps if people paid the right cost you never know they just may not throw so much away 30% to 50%. Super markets have a lot to answere with their large hype in product prices whilst killing off farmers.
My near farming neighbour four years ago told me he was losing 2000 euro a month due to the ridiculously low milk payments, I said at the time I would be prepared to pay a euro a litre if farmers got it.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:17 am 
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Interesting topic - husband uses a generic sometimes on our land (half hectare.)
There also seems to be an increase in the number of farmers "going bio" - the field around our house is an example.
Do they get an EU subsidy for this?


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:42 am 
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Most of modern day farming is to produce food, not for humans but for animal feed, the reason there is a growth in soya production is that new strains are available more suitable for the British climate, the reason why farmers want to grow more soya is that it contains more that twice the amount of protein of other feed crops, so they need less of it or they can double their stock. I have read an interesting book on this subject, I didn't agree with all the points made in it, but if you want a read its called "Planet Carnivore" by Alex Renton, I am not a veggie, and I fish and have hunted and raised my own animals for the table, but I can and always will be able to agree to disagree on any debate. Spec


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:54 am 
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I don't think there are subsidies for bio farms but there are higher sales prices.

Regarding G being banned because Monsanto is not an EU company but maybe if Bayer had invented it, things would be different; all I can say is that being an EU based company did not stop the moratorium on Nicotinide insecticides invented by BASF. I think the evidence is of a reasonably even handed approach.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:02 am 
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Farmers registered Bio with the AB symbol have a lot of criteria to fulfil and it costs them money, hence the higher prices for bio food. We've come across farmers who say they cannot afford to go officially bio but that their crops and animals are raised as 'naturally' or bio as possible. It takes several years for non-bio land to become bio and there is always the fear that a neighbour will use undesirable sprays and contaminate the bio land.

Growing only one crop is not without risk if there's a bad harvest. I imagine the argument would be "not enough land to diversify".

I've noticed some fields around here growing soya - I wasn't sure what it was at first, just some sort of green stuff. In this area, they grow a lot of vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, leaks, onions and spuds - huge fields of them. But there are more and more bio products as there seems to be a big demand. There are also a lot of farms that sell directly, or via farmers' markets.

Our local pig farmer said that they were losing money when they reared in sheds. They decided to transform their business and since they have fewer pigs who live outside, they are doing a roaring trade, selling directly from their farm shop.

By the way, is anyone else affected by the butter shortage or is it only Brittany ? There's no butter to be had anywhere round here.


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:08 am 
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Patf wrote:
Interesting topic - husband uses a generic sometimes on our land (half hectare.)
There also seems to be an increase in the number of farmers "going bio" - the field around our house is an example.
Do they get an EU subsidy for this?

In a word yes, by diversifying.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:26 am 
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Blaze wrote:

I've noticed some fields around here growing soya - I wasn't sure what it was at first, just some sort of green stuff. In this area, they grow a lot of vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, leaks, onions and spuds - huge fields of them. But there are more and more bio products as there seems to be a big demand. There are also a lot of farms that sell directly, or via farmers' markets.

By the way, is anyone else affected by the butter shortage or is it only Brittany ? There's no butter to be had anywhere round here.


Not to mention the fields and fields of globe artichoke, was surprised by how many when touring a couple of years ago.
Not noticed as yet because we did a couple of huge shops before my op as I can't drive for at least 4 weeks and although mami drives here to local markets, she had never in her life liked it, to do so in town is a bit stressful to say the least, she did drive across Bergerac a few times to the clinic when I was in, very proud of her for that.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:45 am 
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Blaze wrote:
Our local pig farmer said that they were losing money when they reared in sheds. They decided to transform their business and since they have fewer pigs who live outside, they are doing a roaring trade, selling directly from their farm shop.


Do you think this is down to the higher quality of the product or their ability to sell directly rather than via rip-off supermarkets?

J


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:28 am 
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Both, J. Pigs living outside with piglets free to race around is already an attraction in itself : people see them from the road and are drawn to the farm. It's not a common sight these days and when people find the product tastes good, business booms. The meat is not full of water and is a good healthy colour, not a bit like the insipid-coloured pork I remember seeing in the UK.


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 2:33 pm 
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some interesting reading on Soja en France.
and below in the uk.


https://www.planetoscope.com/cereales/1713-consommation-de-soja-en-france.html

https://www.innovationfarm.co.uk/sites/innovationfarm.co.uk/files/imce_uploads/presentations/Soya-prospects-for-the-UK-D-McNaughton.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:03 pm 
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Timed out to comment that.
yes soya has got a very bad name because of amazon basin deforestation to grow it, also it's a plant which is the most genetically modified.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:33 pm 
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Hello,

I live smack dab in the centre of France. In April every farmer's field is overflowing with "soja". It's like a yellow ocean ... quite striking to look at, but I discovered that the smell is disagreable. I am very happy when they switch to sunflowers and corn.

Have a nice evening.

Amy B


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:08 pm 
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amyb wrote:
Hello,

I live smack dab in the centre of France. In April every farmer's field is overflowing with "soja". It's like a yellow ocean ... quite striking to look at, but I discovered that the smell is disagreable. I am very happy when they switch to sunflowers and corn.

Have a nice evening.

Amy B


Sorry Amy B, but I think you are talking about oil seed rape, colsar , which looks good but once turned to seed as you say smells putrid, a soja field just down the road from us had no smell before it was harvested a week ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:27 pm 
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I thought the same, Papi. Colza flowers around April and doesn't have a nice smell :( Here is a view near us that I took in April :

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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:00 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:13 pm 
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but on the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, so that the needy of your people may eat; and whatever they leave the beast of the field may eat. You are to do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

The bible had it sussed :
Exodus 23:11/12


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:01 am 
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Colza it is. I stand corrected Papibryn and I thank you . Blaze, are you sure that you were not in my neighborhood when you took that picture?

Have a nice day.

Amy B


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:09 am 
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Location: Ille et Villaine (35)
amyb wrote:
Blaze, are you sure that you were not in my neighborhood when you took that picture?
Have a nice day.
Amy B

:lol:
It's not very clear, but if you look carefully, you can just see the Mont Saint Michel and the sea on the horizon !


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:32 am 
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Location: Lancashire and Allier 03
It can be bad for hay fever sufferers too !

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Pat


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:41 am 
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We know Seed Rape has yellow flowers, around here there is more and more fields of blue flowers, it sands about 70cm high any ideas?, also this year some farmers are growing a type of tall grass its about 1.5mt tall could this be for fuel ? Spec


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 Post subject: Re: Glyphosate
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:47 am 
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The fields of blue flowers are probably linseed (flax) which has many uses, including bio fuel.
As for the grasses - I don't know !


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