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To The World Governments and Scientists                                                                              Feb 25, 2007

 

A simple answer to World Wide air pollution, soil erosion and water shortages

 

Scientists tell us, with ninety percent certainty, that the excess CO2 entering the atmosphere is causing global warming. Science is making progress in reducing CO2 emission in the auto, transportation and energy industry but only agricultural, forestry and horticultural can capture and reduce the CO2 now in the atmosphere.

 

Let's examine some facts;

 

Fact # 1 If you weigh the carbon lost, from our farm and ranch land from the time we started testing soil until today, and weigh the excess carbon now in the atmosphere the weight of the missing soil carbon would equal the excess carbon in the atmosphere.

 

Fact # 2 Research in South Texas by Dr. Joe Bradford of the USDA discovered that No-Till methods of agriculture allowed the organic content of the soil to increase at the rate of one tenth of one percent each year.

Plowing organic matter under with a big disc or moldboard plow, when the soil is moist, can waste as much carbon to the air as you intended to return to the soil.

 

Fact #3 There are roughly 325 million acres of cropland in the US that the organic content could be increased this 1 tenth of 1 percent annually with the adoption of No-Till farming practices. This simple action alone would take 1.8 tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere and put it back into each acre of cropland as organic matter. This would translate to taking out 540 millions tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year and return it to the soil as organic matter where it is critically needed. Organic litter and matter on and in the soil allows more rain to soak into the soil, less rain run off, significantly reduces soil erosion and can re-fill the drying aquifers while producing healthier more abundant crops.

 

Fact #4 Holistic Ranch Management, researched and taught by Allen Savory of Zimbabwe has shown to sequester carbon from the atmosphere to the soil in even greater amounts and more efficient than the no-till farming methods. There are 578 million acres of pasture in the US that could be grazed using Savory's methods. This is a possible 1.04 billion more tons of CO2 taken from the atmosphere and returned to soil each year. Poor range management has the same negative effect as over tillage in row crop farming.

 

Fact #5 The continued use of carbonless NPK fertilizers that don't contain energy the soil life needs for processing it into a form the plants can use forces the soil life to take energy from the soil to do the processing. This action releases CO2 to the atmosphere while depleting the soil of the organic matter that is necessary for good water percolation which decreases erosion and keeps the aquifers full.

 

Fact #6 Many home gardeners, urban dwellers, golf course and park maintenance people are also guilty of poor soil management causing erosion, CO2 pollution and water shortage.

 

Teaching the whole of Nature, world wide, is the only way of solving and correcting these huge problems. We need to take the C out of the atmospheric CO2 and put it back into the soil from where it came.

 

The Carbon Cycle

An article published in Discovery Magazine reports that humans churn out 8 billion tons of Carbon Dioxide every year world wide. These 8 billion tons could be captured and returned to the soil if we operated our farms, ranches, ball fields, lawns and gardens with a practice that increases and maintains the organic content of our soils.

 

One acre of land 6 inches deep weighs about 2 million pounds. Each 1 percent of organic matter in that acre represents approximately 5,400 pounds of Carbon. When soil organic testing was first done in this country the organic content was between 3 and 8 percent. Since then our ignorance has allowed more than half of the soil organic content to escape to the atmosphere as Carbon Dioxide.

 

In 1957 I started using organic mulches around my fruit trees and making compost to use in the gardens. After a few years I had top production with no insect or disease problems. The Ag authorities said my methods weren't practical on large acreage. I promptly sold the small farm and purchased a one hundred acre farm and after a few years of building the soil organic content I duplicated the insect and disease free vegetable production. From the experience on two farms with limited irrigation and totally different soil conditions, I learned the many benefits of organic matter on and in the soil.

 

In 1968 I went into the compost and mulch business. Study and research proved that just ½ inch of compost spread across a lawn in the fall of the year cut irrigation needs from 30 to 80 percent. On deep soils the water savings were the greatest. Placing a 4 inch thick organic mulch over the root zone of a shrub or tree could lessen or even eliminate irrigation in many situations. My farms and compost operation were all in south central Texas with average annual rainfall of 29 inches. Dr. Joe Bradford of the USDA duplicated some of my research and got the same water savings results. He cut his annual lawn irrigation cost from $100 to $15.

 

After much thought and study I finally began to understand why and how mulching, composting, no-till farming and proper animal grazing work.

 

The Savory grazing methods, mimicking the American buffalo, of concentrating animals in a small pasture for short periods explains it the best. When the cattle are bunched up they eat in a hurry and bite from all the grasses and other palatable plants not just their favorite. The animals are moved to the next cell before the forage is eaten too low. While crowded in the cell they drop a lot of urine and manure into the old plant litter on the soil. The plants left standing shade the sun and slow the wind. This allows for a more constant moisture and temperature. This is ideal for earthworms, dung beetles and many other macro and micro species of life that feed in this environment. This activity is releasing CO2 however, the CO2 is slightly heavier than air so it tends to stay trapped in canopy where green leaves (that were left uneaten by the grazing animals) can capture the CO2 and use it before it escapes to the atmosphere. The many species of life that feed on the plant litter, animal manure and urine burrow into the soil which creates conditions for quicker rain in soak. This life also reproduces lives and dies in the soil where the carbon from their bodies is trapped instead of diffusing to the atmosphere as CO2 . This process is at work anywhere organic mulch, compost or any organic waste is used around living plants in the garden, on the lawn, on millions of farm acres and ranch pastures. This is so easy, so economical; it works so well because Nature designed it.

 

Is this too Simple?

 

 

Research, Study, References and Resources

 

My curiosity as a child while growing up on a farm inspired me to spend most of my 70 years studying Nature. I consult with successful farmers, ranchers and gardeners. Read and study many agricultural and soil science publications to improve the soil fertility on my farm. I pioneered the static pile composting methods that expels less CO2 to the air. I attend many conferences and visit with old-timers and modern scientist. Most Important- I learned to think.

 

Malcolm Beck

 

7561 East Evans Rd.

San Antonio , Texas 78266

BeckMalcolm@msn.com

MalcolmBeck.com

210-483-1930

 

More study by Malcolm Beck

 

I studied how healthy soil affects the health of plants and how healthy food affects animal and human health and it's relation to behavior. With this study I was able to grow disease and insect free plants, healthy and contented animals and five bright, healthy children with my wife and I still in excellent health. From this life-long study I have concluded that improving the structure, biology and chemistry of the soil world wide, urban and agriculture is the only answer to the air pollution, water shortages and soil erosion.

 

Because of these past experiences I have been giving talks and color slide presentations all over the US, three in Mexico , five in South Africa , one in Costa Rica . These presentations are at conventions and to colleges, universities, farm and ranch organizations, fruit, vegetable and grape growers and many, landscapers, plant nursery and turf growers and many garden clubs. I average seven presentations per month. This is from where most of my education has advanced. Someone in the audience will always have an experience, success or failure that I haven't heard before or a similar experience that discovered a solution. Then I go home and further the research in my garden, orchard or greenhouse.

 

Besides the above experiences many companies that discovered microbes, solutions, plant stimulators, fertilizers etc. want me to study, use and research or just know their products. I charge nothing for doing a study. I am indebted to no one. I gain by the many experiences and meeting people that know things that I haven't experiences. From all of the above I have learned how little I really know and the quest for more knowledge continues.

 

 

Malcolm Beck

7561 East Evans Rd.

San Antonio , Texas 78266

BeckMalcolm@msn.com

MalcolmBeck.com

210-483-1930

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last updated:  February 25, 2007