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ENERGY: The ESSENCE of AGRICULTURE

EARTH: The only known planet to support and sustain life, home to many beautiful, fascinating and wonderful forms of life. All of these life forms are sustained and maintained by a thin layer of Topsoil.

That thin layer is created, kept fertile, healthy and productive through the decay of rock for minerals and decay of organic materials for structure and energy.

The quality of that topsoil determines the quality of all life on earth, including the fish in the sea. If we allow the thin top layer to degrade to any degree, the life it supports degrades along with it. The Earth surface is approximately 74 percent water and 6 percent ice leaving 20 percent dry land. But, only about 8 percent is suitable for food crop production.

All life, humans, animals, insects, plants and microbes must have FOUR things before they can grow and reproduce.

1. OXYGEN----the air contains 21 percent oxygen and is kept in balance by the growth of green plants through photosynthesis.

2. WATER-----cycles between the clouds and earth; 74 percent of the earth is covered by water.

3. MINERALS—-comes from rock being dissolved by processes and organic acids from the activity of life.

4. ENERGY----beamed down daily from the sun and collected by green leaves.

All four ingredients are of equal importance. The quality of our top-soil determines their availability and the quality and quantity we are able to use. In modern agriculture

OXYGEN, WATER and MINERALS are given attention. ENERGY in the soil is mostly IGNORED.

The energy we use, be it gasoline, diesel, coal, natural gas or wood, and all the food we eat, come from plant life. Green plants alone have the power to use the energy from the sun to combine carbon with hydrogen to make carbohydrates, an energy source that can combine with other elements to serve as food and energy for all other life forms.

Plants store energy in their roots, limbs, leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds. We now have solar cells but, their efficiency at collecting the sun's energy cannot come near the efficiency of plants, and solar cells can't make food. The energy collected by plants can be stored as a liquid, solid, gas or food to be used immediately or stored for later use.

Science tells us there are more numbers of species and tonnage of life under ground than above. All life in the soil below ground and all animal life above ground must get its energy from living or decaying plant life.

Most of the agricultural soils in the U.S. and around the world are low in energy. Many of our food producing soils are dangerously low in energy rich organic matter.

The agriculture books tell us that the soil microbes must first process fertilizers, organic or chemical, into the proper form before plants can properly use it. This is true, but the microbes cannot do the processing without a sufficient supply of energy.

Organic fertilizers contain an abundant energy supply. Whereas chemical fertilizers are lacking the energy the soil life needs for processing. This forces the soil life to use from the soil energy reserves, eventually depleting the soil energy to a point where chemical fertilizers can no longer be properly processed. The unprocessed fertilizer salts cause plants to stress.

The stressed plants require more irrigation, attract troublesome insects and are susceptible to diseases and are less tolerant of hot or cold temperature.

Soils lacking organic matter starve the microbes, earthworms, grubs, springtails and other beneficial soil life that creates the proper crumb structure for aeration and water percolation. Without good soil percolation, rainwater runs off which causes soil erosion and flooding. Springs and creeks dry up, aquifers and water wells dry up. During droughts the soil is hard packed, irrigation becomes less effective resulting in poor crop production.

Soil organic matter is being depleted faster than Nature can replace it. The two main causes are improper and over tillage (which oxidizes the soil) and the over use of energy deficient fertilizers. California alone is losing 10,000 acres of productive soil to desert annually. Sixty percent of the farmland in Mexico is severely degraded. Worldwide productive soil loss is estimated to be 24,000 acres per day, every day of the year. Here in Texas, many farm acres are far below the necessary levels of organic matter to produce healthy food crops. Soils tested in the Rio Grande Valley are as low as 2/10 of 1 percent organic matter. Originally it was between 3 and 5 percent.

Loss of organic matter from our farm soils cause greater needs for irrigation while much of our rainwater is being lost down rivers to the salty sea instead of soaking in the soil. All the while, man's population is continuing to grow demanding more food and water. We appear to be on a collision course with our destiny.

Organic matter has the energy to make agricultural soils productive. Science tells us that we cannot create or destroy energy, but energy can change. Energy may be found in many forms such as light, heat, sound etc. Every action in Nature involves a source of energy. There can be no life without energy.

ENERGY: the Essence of Life

Life is ENERGY ~ Life is Disciplined ENERGY ~ Life is ENERGY with design ~ Life is ENERGY operating within the laws of Nature ~ Life is ENERGY made manifest through the elements of the Earth that are woven together in masterful art ~ life is ENERGY with a strong desire to reproduce ~ LIFE is ENERGY programmed with the intelligence needed to survive and perform its duty in Nature

LIFE'S duty in Nature is to glorify its DESIGN ~ LIFE'S ultimate duty is to glorify The MASTER designer.

Man is the only life form on Earth with a FREE WILL. Only humans are free to glorify the designer of energy and create beautiful artifacts, buildings, music and poetry. Man is also free to waste energy and use it to pollute and destroy.

All animal life, man included, must be sustained by food and energy form plants. Depleted soil, low in mineral and organic energy cannot support a healthy, mineral and energy rich plant.

Could depleted soils cause man to lose his ability to reason and think logically? Why can't the people in charge realize our farmland is depleted? Why does man use energy to war on and kill his own kind? Even animals, considered stupid by man, don't war on their own.

A thin layer of topsoil supports all life on earth. The quality of the topsoil determines the quality of the air, the water and food for living organisms. As the quality of the topsoil goes down the life it supports can only go down with it.

Are the minds and brains of the world leaders and teachers being properly nourished? Why do the populations/voters allow lame brains to teach and lead?

Malcolm Beck


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last updated:  January 15, 2004