Thursday, July 24, 2014

Burning the soil

Look at the breaking news about the Department of Agriculture,

The findings were included in a scathing new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), on the $34 million program. It found the program has been marked by mismanagement, poor government oversight and financial waste.

Part of the problem is that Afghans don’t really like how soybean products taste and past measures to push the super-food onto the culture have tanked.


1. The USDA is poorly run

2. Afghans don't like how soybeans taste compared to their food which is pretty obvious for a country in central Asia where there is a variety of great foods and spices.

3. Soybeans are not a super food - nor is their promotion good.

Why?  Let me give some insight into Soybeans :

Overproduction Of Soy Could Turn Argentine Soil To 'Sand'

Argentina's key resource, its agricultural soils, are being depleted by lack of crop rotation as soy farming encroaches on areas once used for corn, wheat and cattle grazing, according to local experts and a government source.

The loss of fertility is a slow-burning threat to crop yields at a time when importers are counting on the world's No. 3 corn and soybean supplier to increase output to help meet the boom in demand expected over the decades ahead.

The geopolitical stakes are high after Arab Spring and other uprisings were sparked in part by high food prices brought on by crop crises over recent years. Argentina is the top exporter of livestock feed to China, where an increasingly demanding middle class has come to expect a high protein diet of beef and pork.
Soy takes more out of the soil than farmers can afford to put back by way of fertilizers. Only 37 percent is restored, meaning that 63 percent of each season's loss remains lost, according to government data.

"The process of land degradation is a fact," said a government source with direct knowledge ofthe problem but who asked not to be identified.

 "The soil is getting burned by the lack of organic material left behind by each corn crop," the government source said.

"The lack of crop rotation will not cause a disaster over the next five to 10 years, because Argentine soils are naturally very rich," the Argentine government source said.

"Over the longer term the physical structure of the soil is being depleted. The consequences for future generations are unpredictable."

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