Organic Crop Insurance Modification ha-9-9-12



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Organic Crop Insurance Modification HA-9-9-12


By Anthony J. Sanders

sanderstony@live.com
Chemically grown vegetables may be eaten for food, but they cannot be used as medicine Masanobu Fukuoka The One Straw Revolution (1978) pg.100

Part I Food Quality Improvement…………………………………………………………...pg.
Art. 1 Food and Agriculture……………………………………………………………………2

Art. 2 Organic Certification……………………………………………………………………8

Art. 3 20th Century Agricultural Subsidies…………………………………………………..13

Art. 4 Third Millennium Food Consumption………………………………………………..20
Part II Successful Organic Farming
Art. 5 Small Organic Farm Treatment……………………………………………………….32

Art. 6 Soil Conservation……………………………………………………………………….43

Art. 7 Plant Biology……………………………………………………………………………50

Art. 8 Plant Pathology and Breeding…………………………………………………………54

Art. 9 Prescription Marijuana and Tobacco Tax……………………………………………65
Part III Environmental Concerns
Art. 10 Irrigation………………………………………………………………………………76

Art. 11 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations………………………………………….79

Art. 12 Prescription Pesticides………………………………………………………………..89

Art. 13 Prescription Fertilizers……………………………………………………………….95

Art. 14 Waste Management…………………………………………………………………..99

Art. 15 Thermodynamic and Organic Laws of Climate Change…………………………103
Part IV Conclusion
Art. 16 Summary…………………………………………………………………………….114
Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………………115
Figures
Fig. 3-1: Workforce Employed in Agriculture and Share of GDP 1900-2000……………13

Fig. 4-1: SNAP Participation and Costs 1969-2011………………………………………..21

Fig. 5-1 Approximate Amount of Labor Needed Each Month for Selected Home-Production Enterprises in the East Central States…………………………………………32

Fig. 5-2: Higher Plants of Allergic Significance in Continental United States…………...35

Fig. 5-3: Major Causes of Food Poisoning…………………………………………………..37

Fig. 5-4: Bristol Stool Chart………………………………………………………………….40

Fig. 6-1: Approximate Amounts of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium Removable per Acre Annually by……………………………………………………………………………..45

Fig. 6-2: pH Readings………………………………………………………………………...46

Fig. 6-3: Limestone Requirements: Approximate amounts of finely ground limestone needed to raise the pH of a 7-inch layer of soil as indicated in tons per acre……………..47

Fig. 6-4: Crop Rotation Sample……………………………………………………………...48

Fig. 7-1: Seeds Required to Sow 100 Yards of Row………………………………………...53

Fig. 8-1: Severe Losses Caused by Plant Disease……………………………………………55

Fig. 8-2: Additional Diseases Likely to Cause Severe Losses in the Future……………….57

Fig. 9-1: 17 states and DC that have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana………..65

Fig. 9-3: Effect of the CHIPRA on Tobacco Tax Rates…………………………………….73



Fig. 11-1: Select Pathogens Associated with Animal Manure………………………………85

Fig. 11-2: Typical Pollutants Found in the Air Surrounding CAFOs……………………..86

Fig. 11-3: Size Classifications of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)…..88

Fig. 15-1: Drivers of Climate Change……………………………………………………….105

Fig. 15-2: Concentration of Gases in the Atmosphere……………………………………...107

Fig. 15-3: CO2 Concentration Projections…………………………………………………..107

Fig. 15-4: Climate Indicators…………………………………………………………………109
Part 1 Food Quality Improvement
Art. 1 Food and Agriculture
Combined, the food and agriculture sector accounts for roughly one-fifth of the nation's economic activity (National Infrastructure Protection Program ’12) - $3.2 trillion of the United States’ (US) $15.6 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 2012 and $15.79 trillion of the $78.95 trillion Gross World Product (GWP) 2011. There are an estimated 2.2 million farms, 900,000 restaurants, and more than 400,000 registered food manufacturing, processing, and storage facilities in the US. The 1.9 percent of the US population who work full or part-time as farmers receive 0.7 percent of the GDP - $109 billion – significantly less than half of the $275 billion administered as payroll, grants, loans and food stamps by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at a cost of $148 billion to the FY 2012 budget. Off-farm work has played a key role in increased farm household income; and while farm household income was once deemed below the national average, in 2002 it exceeded the national average by nearly $8,000 (Dmitri et al ’05: 3, 2)
This application makes long term improvements to food quality under the Organic Food Production Act of 1990 7USC(94)§6501-6523 by (1) modifying crop insurance so that farms that have been certified organic pay 5 percent less and chemical farms pay 5 percent more in crop insurance premiums under 7CFR§400.711, (2) legislating a section requiring “Genetically Modified Organism (GM)” and “recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone” labeling on food and textile products in Title 21of the Code of Federal Regulation in Chapter 1 FDA Subchapter B Food for Human Consumption, Part 101 Food Labeling Subpart B Specific Food Labeling Requirements Sections 101.22-101.30, (3) providing organic farmers with access devices to receive payments from low-income consumers for food and seeds under the Food Stamp Act of 1977 7USC(51)§2014(a) & (k)(1-2), (4) allowing certified organic tobacco producers and retailers to be 100 percent tax exempt, 14 years a year for rolling tobacco and 17.5 years a year for small cigars, for each year the excessive excise tax of 2009 was imposed in violation of 26USC(F)(65)(B)§6423(c) and (5) the preventative use of artificial pesticides and fertilizers without a prescription must be halted under paragraph 11 of the Nuremburg Code.
Intensively farmed organic crops are an estimated 5 percent more, rather than less, drought and flood resistant and have less of a problem with weeds and pests than chemical farms. There is however a three-year transition period from chemical dependency to organic certification.

Experts on insect damage estimate that losses in the first year after giving up insecticides would be about five percent. Loss of another five percent in abandoning chemical fertilizer would probably not be far mistaken. That is, if chemical fertilizer and pesticide spraying were abandoned, the average losses in the first year would probably reach about ten percent. After this initial loss, harvests would increase and eventually surpass their original levels. Chemical fertilizer drains the earth of its vitality. If it is used even for one generation the soil suffers considerably (Fukuoka ’78: 70, 71, 61).


In 2012, Midwest corn farmers planted the largest number of acres in 75 years, and yet as the result of drought they are set to have one of the most disappointing harvests in recent memory. The USDA projected that 2012 corn yields will total 10.8 billion bushels, down 13 percent from 2011 and down 17 percent from July's projection. Soybean yields are also projected to be 12 percent lower than in 2011. Average corn yields are expected to be only 123.4 bushels per acre, the worst since 1995. And only 24 percent of corn acreage was rated as being in "good to excellent" condition. Last year, at this time, that share was 62 percent. The Farm Bill of 2012 prudently limits crop insurance reimbursements to insurers from $750,000 to $50,000 under the Farm Bill of 2012. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported that its Food Price Index, a measure of price changes across a variety of commodities, shot up 6 percent in July after three months of declines. This index measures only raw commodities, but it points to higher food prices in the near future for global consumers. The FAO reported that this increase was in part due to drought's effects on global corn prices. As a result, the U.S. is feeling renewed pressure to divert more of its corn to food. Currently, around 40 percent of US corn is used in ethanol. José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the FAO, urged the US to observe “an immediate, temporary suspension of that [ethanol] mandate would give some respite to the market and allow more of the crop to be channelled towards food and feed uses" (Kurtzleben ’12). GMO crops with high levels of chemicals cannot be fed to humans or and animals. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is encouraged to publicly regulate weather modification to ensure that cloud seeding is done prudently, to prevent drought and flood, in a manner that is acceptable to science and open for public comment.
Maize thrives in regions averaging 35 inches of rainfall with 18 to 22 inches of that coming during the growing season of 90 to 120 days, and where summers are warm and long. But there are ancient varieties that grow in hot deserts of Mexico and high cool mountain ranges of the Andes. The Navajo cottage farmers and other have popularized some of these corns and built successful small businesses with their blue cornmeal (Logsdon ’94: 153). Ohio State Extension agronomists have been growing corn continuously on four acres since 1989. They are averaging on the four acres about 230 bushels per acre, in a state where the average yield is about 120 bushels per acre and where 200 bushel yields, even with irrigation, are rare. To get such high yields, seeding rates of 35,000 kernels per acre or ore (normal is 22,000 to 26,000 and 18,000 per acre with open-pollinated corn). In the first six years nitrogen was applied at the rate of between 400 and 500 pounds per acre, and in later years about 300 pound per acre. Rates of phosphorus and potash at first ranged from 100 to 200 pounds per acre and 200 to 400 pounds per acre, respectively. In the last four years however, soil tests indicated that no more phosphorus and potash were needed. Despite continuous heavy applications of fertilizer and optimum moisture conditions, the corn yield leveled off after reaching the 230 bushel per acre level. Irrigation is kept at 18 to 22 inches over the growing season. Another farmer said he had grown 200-bushel corn acres but it cost $3 to do it and the corn was only worth $2.50 that year (Logsdon ’94: 159).
The food system, which includes food being grown, harvested, processed, packaged, distributed, shipped and marketed, has increasingly come under the control and ownership of a small number of giant corporations like Cargill, Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Monsanto and ConAgra. They determine what is planted or fed, how much, by whom, and at what price. The most extreme example of corporate control can be seen in the invention of the “terminator gene” a genetically modified plant that produces sterile seed. The effect of this biotechnological advance is that farmers cannot save their own seed for next year’s planting (thereby saving considerable sums of money, as well as securing farm self-sufficiency, but must purchase their seed at the store each year (Wirzba ’03: 1). Speaking to the world leaders on the Millennium Development Goals, in October 2008, Miguel d’Excoto Brockmann, president of the 63rd UN General Assembly, stated - The essential purpose of food, which is to nourish people, has been subordinated to the economic aims of a handful of multinational corporations that monopolize all aspects of food production, from seeds to major distribution chains, and they have been the prime beneficiaries of the world food crisis. A look at the figures for 2007, when the world food crisis began, shows that corporations such as Monsanto and Cargill, which control the cereals market, saw their profits increase by 45 and 60 percent, respectively; the leading chemical fertilizer companies such as Mosaic Corporation, a subsidiary of Cargill, doubled their profits in a single year. The United Nations reports that 75 percent of the change in commodity prices is due to diverting crops to make biofuels (Rodale ’10: 43, 113).
According to 1997 USDA statistics, 61 percent of total US agricultural product is now being produced by just 163,000 farms and 63 percent of that production is tied to market or input firm by means of a contractual relationship. 1.3 million American farmers are classified as part-time or retirement or residential farms, accounting for only 9 percent of total national agricultural product. There are approximately 575,000 farms, classified as small to midsize family farms that produce 30 percent of total national agricultural production. Twenty-seven percent of these farms are tied to a marketing or input firm by means of a contract that determines at least some of the management decision on the farm. So while we still have nearly 2 million farmers in America, the majority of agricultural production comes from a handful of very large firms. (Kirschenmann ’03: 102, 103). In 1994 there were fewer than 1,800 farmers markets listed nationally, by 2006 there were almost 4,500 (Allen ’11: 199). 108,000 small farmers started farming in the last 5 years (Rodale ’10: 115).
Chemical farms are in production on about 930 million acres in the United States and 3.8 billion acres globally – the vast majority of all agricultural land in the world – while organic farming practices are in use on approximately 4 million acres in the United States and 30.4 million acres globally (Rodale ’10’ 47, 138). There has been a six-fold increase in the amount of synthetic fertilizer used since 1945 (synthetic fertilizers are now an 8 billion dollar industry), and the seventeen-fold increase in the use of pesticides for the same period (Schwenke ’91: 4). World pesticide expenditures totaled more than $35.8 billion in 2006 and more than $39.4 billion in 2007. Pesticides accounted for 3.1 percent, $7.3 billion of $237.8 billion total expenditure in US agriculture in 2006 and 2.8 percent, $7.95 billion of $283.5 in 2007 (Grube et al ’11). Chemical weed-killers cost $15 or more an acre, slug killer and insect pesticides cost another $10 an acre (Logsdon ’94: 155). Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with states and other agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are responsible for regulating the production and use of pesticides in the US (Grube et al ’11).
After the Second World War, the Americans introduced modern chemical agriculture to Japan. This enabled the Japanese farmer to produce approximately the same yields as the traditional method, but the farmer’s time and labor were reduced by more than half. This seemed a dream come true, and within one generation almost everyone had switched to chemical agriculture. For centuries Japanese farmers had maintained organic matter in the soil by rotating crops, by adding compost and manure, and by growing cover crops. Once these practices were neglected and fast-acting chemical fertilizers were used instead, the humus was depleted in a single generation. As the structure of the soil deteriorated crops became weak and dependent on chemical nutrients. To make up for reduced human and animal labor, the new system mined the fertility reserves of the soil (Fukuoka ’74: Xxvi). Since 1950, insecticide usage in the US has increased from 15 million pounds to more than 125 million pounds. Over this same period crops lost to insects nearly doubled from 7 percent of total harvest to 13 percent, and numerous studies have verified the suspected link between pesticides and diseases (both plant and animal) (Wes ’03: 144).
There is a great deal of concern these days about the deteriorating quality of the environment and the resulting contamination of food. Citizens have organized boycotts and large demonstrations to protest the indifference of political and industrial leaders. The most commonly used chemical fertilizers, ammonium sulfate urea, super phosphate and the like are used in large amounts, only fractions of which are absorbed by the plants in the field. The rest leaches into streams and rivers, eventually flowing into the Inland Sea. These nitrogen compounds become food for algae and plankton which multiply in great numbers, causing the red tide to appear. Of course, industrial discharge of mercury and other contaminating wastes also contribute to the pollution, but for the most part water pollution comes from agricultural chemicals. So it is the farmer who must shoulder major responsibility for the red tide. The farmer who applies polluting chemicals to their field, the corporations who manufacture these chemicals, the village officials who believe in the convenience of chemicals and offer technical guidance accordingly. Spreading straw and growing clover produce no pollution (Fukuoka ’78: 79, 83).
Since 1998, when “Roundup Ready” GMO seeds were first introduced 91 percent of all soybeans, 85 percent of all corn, and 88 percent of all cotton in the United States are grown from GMO seeds. These plants are exposed to heavy applications of the herbicide and survive. Before Roundup Ready soybeans were on the market the tolerance for Roundup was 3 ppm. Soybean seeds were meeting that requirement. By the time Roundup Ready soybeans showed up at the marketplace, they had concentrations up to 20 ppm, indicating that farmers upped the application rate since it wouldn’t kill the plants. So Monsanto went to the EPA and asked to have the tolerance raised. The tolerance was raised not only in the US but in Australia and other countries where substantial amounts of Roundup Ready soybeans were being grown, but not in the European Union, which has still banned GMOs. GMO products do not need to be labeled as containing GMOs and should be assumed to be in everything not labeled organic or non-GMO (Rodale ’10: 33) until the FDA legislates a section requiring GMO labeling on food and textile products be written in Title 21of the Code of Federal Regulation in Chapter 1 FDA Subchapter B Food for Human Consumption, Part 101 Food Labeling Subpart B Specific Food Labeling Requirements Sections 101.22-101.30.
The USDA and scientists everywhere have been measuring the nutritional value of different foods for more than 50 years have found significant nutrient declines in all crops in all regions over the past several decades. Scientists are unsure of the cause (Rodale ’10: 35). The amount of protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin C have all declined noticeably in all harvested fruits and vegetables in the United States from 1950 to 1999. Riboflavin, a B vitamin that helps the body convert food into energy, that is necessary for healthy skin, eyes, hair and liver, declined overall in fresh foods during that time period by nearly 40 percent (Allen ’11: 189). Of every 100 children child born today, one will be diagnosed with autism before the age of 8. About 4.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Rates of asthma, diabetes and childhood obesity are at all-time highs and child food allergies have increased 18 percent in the last decade. People who eat organic foods reduce their pesticide intake by as much as 90 percent. Some organic foods include up to 5 percent non-organic ingredients, but GMOs and their promiscuous pollens are sneaking into organic fields and contaminating our food. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has called for an immediate “moratorium on genetically modified food” citing serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver (Rodale ’10: 35, 18, 124, 34).
To date no insurance company has been willing to insure the biotech industry. In our society insurance is the litmus test for safety. If the insurance industry isn’t willing to bet its money on the safety of a product or technology, the risks are too high for them to take the gamble. There is today no insurance whatsoever against the kinds of catastrophic losses and tragedies that could ensure form introducing transgenic organisms into the environment and into the human food chain. In 1999 the EU announced its governments had drawn up a five-point Emergency Response Plan to cope if GM plants result in widespread illness or the death of wildlife. In France a band of 120 farmers broke into a storage facility of the biotech company Novartis and destroyed 30 tons of GM corn. In the US, Germany and the Netherlands GM crops have been destroyed by angry citizens. In 1999 the seven largest grocery chains in six European countries, Tesco, Safeway, Sainsbury’s Iceland, Marks & Spencer, the Co-op and Waitrose, made a public commitment to go GMO free. In December 1999 a statement was posted to the cafeteria of the Monsanto Corporations United Kingdom headquarters in High Wycombe, England – In response to concerns raised by our customers…we have decided to remove, as far as is practicable, genetically modified soy and maize from all food products served in our restaurant. We will continue to work with our suppliers to replace GM (genetically modified) soy and maize with non-GM ingredients… We have taken the above steps to ensure that you, the consumer, can feel confident in the food we serve (Robbins ’01: 324, 373, 345, 346).
According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service, there are only half as many honey-producing hives in the United States as there were in 1980. Scientists are concerned that the widespread use of certain pesticides throughout the U.S. and Europe is impacting the central nervous system of bees, impairing their ability to perform the waggle dance effectively or carry out the other delicate tasks that are necessary for their ability to survive as a colony. Bees are responsible for producing as much as one of every three bites of food that we eat. A honeybee may visit as many as five thousand apple flowers a day, and bits of the female pollen get stuck to its body as it flies from flower to flower, creating the conditions in which an apple flower can pollinate then fruit. Were bees to disappear, we would lose much of our ability to produce many of our healthiest foods. Honeybees do not exist for themselves but work together for a common good. The queen bee devotes her entire life to laying as many as two million eggs. Scout bees are the first that are sent out from the hive to search for food – nectar and pollen. If the bees find the food more than a hundred feet away, they will return to the hive and perform a “waggle dance” for the other forager bees. The dance is one of the wonders of the natural world: a complicated bit of vector calculus that communicates where food is located. The orientation of the waggle dance in relations to the top of the hive indicates the food’s direction. The bee is somehow smart enough to adjust for the sun’s constant movement in the sky, altering its dance direction one degree for every four minutes that have passed since it was at the source’s location. The frequency with which the bee “waggles” gyrates its little body – indicates the distance of the food from the hive (Allen ’11: 165, 166).
In 1890 researchers for the U.S. Census Bureau ranked professions that had the highest rate of suicide. Tailors, accountants, bookkeepers, clerks and copyists suffered the most. At the bottom of the list was a career least likely to lead to self-harm: farming. Today, the suicide rate for American farmers is double the national average for everyone else. In an effort to combat mental health problems among farmers, Congress authorized the creation of a Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network in 2007. For the farmer already in debt, who rises early and works late, the mental weight of a drop in prices can be too much to bear. In upstate New York in early 2010, one dairy farmer shot fifty-one of his cows before turning the gun on himself. When the price of milk dropped precipitously in February of 2009 a string of suicides among dairy farmers in Vermont and Maine made local headlines. Male farmers take their own lives at several times the rate of female farmers (Allen ’11: 183, 185). The number of suicides in Iowa was 398, the highest number since the Great Depression. The suicide rate among farmers in 1983 was 46 per 100,000 approximately double the national rate for adult men, and this probably underreports hunting accidents and heart attacks (Logsdon ’94: 78). More than 160,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the past decade. The favored method of suicide? Ingesting chemical pesticides. Bhatinda in Punjab has the second highest rate of farm suicides. Over the past few decades, costly pesticide use has increased there by 6000 percent (Kirschenmann ’03: 125). In the Ankola region of Maharashtra, India, where there were 5,000 suicides from 2005 to 2007, a local textile company started contracting with a few hundred small farmers to grow organic cotton for them. The textile company pays a fair price and trains the farmers how to grow organically. The farmers seem happy and the textile company has been able to provide organic cotton fabrics to meet the growing global demand. There have been no farmer suicides since the program started (Rodale ’10: 63, 64).
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