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Genetically modified crops - February issue

Robert Seago rjseago at zetnet.co.uk
Sat Feb 6 14:04:01 EST 1999


In article <36BC6C79.64E40693 at uga.cc.uga.edu>, Wayne Parrott
<URL:mailto:wparrott at uga.cc.uga.edu> wrote:

> Overall, I think current trends are ameliorating some of the hazards associated
> with high-yield agriculture.
> 
I think that without doubt the persistence of Organochlorine pesticides,
and the general toxicity of some of the older broad target pesticides
has subsided. I do however think, that the general efficiency of the
system now, is creating new problems.

If the weeds and their associated insects are eliminated, whether it be
by armies of people or hoes, there will be nothing for the birds.

In fact my opinion is that several farm birds have two difficult seasons
in their life cycle, they are the winter when birds used to find stubble
fields very helpful, and spring when they really need to find
invertebrates, to feed young. Nowadays, it seems that the few stubbles
left over the winter get a dose of something very broad to kill
everything. The general strong growth of crops in spring, and the often
clinical tidiness of the fewer hedgerows, cut the availability of
invertebrates.

I fully recognise also that other factors, such as weather, and the
balance of predators have a bearing to.

According to a reort of the BTO that I saw fleetingly, several
categories of birds have increased, but farm birds have decreased,
nearly every species of farm bird infact. While the RSPB and others have
done much for Wetland, and more recently Heathland and Woodland birds
with success, I sadly am starting to think, that someone will have to do
the same for birds of farmland. In my view, some of the payments to
farmers, for conservation measures have certainly not been ideal for
that purpose. To mention just one, I think that the rush to spray, or
cultivate set aside on June 1st each year, is about as bad as it could
be for Skylarks, though the habitat before that is ideal for them.

Just a lot of thoughts related.


 Regards from :     Using a      :  Software for RiscOS:Conservation Pages
 Robert Seago : StrongArm RiscPC :  http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/rjseago/
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