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Innovation Could Mean the Difference Between Feast and Famine

October 27, 2012

Innovation Could Mean the Difference Between Feast and Famine


“I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman’s cares.” – George Washington


The market can reveal as much to the shrewd farmer as the almanac, if he will but listen when the market speaks. And lately the market has been crying out for innovation.

Farmers have always faced seemingly unsolvable problems. It is part of what it means to work the land. This is why that vocation is considered sacred in many societies: it truly is a noble act, a fool’s errand by the standards of those who fear the risks and work involved with putting your trust in the land, and asking its trust in return.

But for the farmer, saying a problem is unsolvable simply means a solution hasn’t been found YET. At some point, nearly every significant problem seems unsolvable.

Accustomed to inventing and adapting as he goes, the farmer knows that innovation is the solution to many of his problems. Hence he says yet: we haven’t found a solution yet. Almost magically, innovation turns yet into NOW.

It is this principle – the hardheaded, traditional principle of innovation in the face of obstacles – that Benjamin Franklin describes when he says that farming is “a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favor, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry.”

Innovation is that virtuous industry Franklin referred to, because farming is innovation. Adapt or die.

Yet how does one adapt to drought conditions? This seems to be a considerable farm-related unsolvable problem: how do I thrive when there is less moisture to go around?

The answer seems to be to make the moisture you have go around more. If one can figure out how to make the most of the water he has available, he can make it go much further than the farmer who just resigns himself to the drought and hunkers down against it, determined to wait it out.

This is where organic compounds (as opposed to chemical fertilizers) can make a difference. Products, such as the innovative formulations we carry and integrate into max-precision fertility programs, were developed in ideal conditions in academic laboratories in the United States and are specifically designed to retain water rather than allow runoff like conventional fertilizers. Not only does this inhibit the further leeching of any soil contaminants remaining from past attempts at chemical fertilizations, but it also retains as much valued moisture as experts have so far found possible. And in times of drought, every drop matters.

This could explain the phenomenon of some farms thriving in the current drought, compared to the dense tide of those who not only did not thrive, but atrophied. Drought seems an unbeatable foe, the supreme unsolvable problem. Yet once again, forward-thinking, optimistic innovation leads the way.


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