Changing Mindsets

January 22, 2024

Back in 1938, William Albrecht quoted that “Insects are natures garbage collectors and diseases are her cleanup crew.”

Do we believe that? Is it actually possible for a plant to become resistant to insects and diseases? And what might it take to make that happen?

We know today that our mind is often the blockade to getting most anything that we want. This is so beautifully illustrated by the story of Roger Bannister, the first documented human to run a mile in less than 4 minutes. In his time, this was said to be impossible. Yet, on May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister did it. While that was certainly incredible for his time, what is even more incredible to me is that within the next several months, many more runners had also achieved this feat – simply because they now knew that it was possible. Roger Bannister had opened the way.

Why might this be important to point out? It is a lesson to never assume that something can’t be done, just because nobody you know of has ever done it. If it is something that you want to achieve, you may want to ask yourself “How can I”, instead of “Can I”?

While William Albrecht’s message is certainly gaining momentum, too many people today still think it is impossible to grow crops without chemical inputs. It is interesting that many growers put on chemicals proactively because they have been taught that they need to do so in order to get a crop.

Let’s explore this from a human health perspective. Would you like to avoid getting cancer? Have you ever considered that if we would treat ourselves like we treat our plants in conventional farming, we would take chemo proactively to avoid a cancer diagnosis? That is essentially what we are doing when we use a bactericide, fungicide, or pesticide proactively to avoid an outbreak. WHOA!

A bactericide is meant to kill bacteria. Generally speaking, it will not differentiate between the good and the bad. This is unfortunate because bacteria are what makes the soil minerals available to plants, and also the good bacteria can be present on the leaf surface to prevent attack from the bad bacteria.

A fungicide is meant to kill fungi. Generally speaking, it will not differentiate between the good and the bad. This is unfortunate because fungi help to break down residues and also bring in nutrients to the plants (think mycorrhizal fungi. Also the good fungi can be present on the leaf surface to prevent attack from the bad fungi.

A pesticide is meant to kill pests. While these pesticides are generally somewhat selective, there is still the intent to kill and many times, they do not differentiate between the pest insects and the beneficial insects. According to Jonathan Lungren, there are about 1700 beneficial insects for every pest. So by using a pesticide, we may be killing the beneficial insect that would control the pest that are we are concerned about.

Finally, I would like to point out that the motive in whatever we do, of then makes a difference. It is almost impossible to have positive outcome out of negative focus. In this case, when you want to use a bactericide, fungicide, or pesticide, the basic intention is to KILL, KILL, KILL, when it should really be to enhance the immune system of these plants and get them so healthy so that they can be resistant to insects and diseases. Wouldn’t that be the better way for us and for future generations?

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Source: Melvin Fisher | Sponsored by Keystone Bio-Ag LLC