Restoring the Chesapeake Bay

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By Donald E. Lewis

    I agree with the lawsuit against the EPA.
    I am concerned they do not mention the chemical companies involvement in the Chesapeake Bay pollution of the nitrogen and phosphorus. The Monsantos and other big rich chemical companies have over load farmers for years. The cow manure is not the cause as our government is trying to make us believe.
    I hope the following can clear that up with some logic. The word is that the last three decades the pollution is getting worse, which I agree with. Chemical fertilizer has been used over 80 years and at a heavier and heavier extent in the last three decades. All the money and work will not stop the water soluble chemicals without stopping the source. Following I hope I explain my theory which is not scientific but good old observation and logic.
    I have sent emails to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Environmental Protection Authority and Department of Environmental Quality.  To this date I have not received a response. Following I will explain my concerns why the Bay will never be cleaned up by the regulations on the farmers, until they look at the bigger reason for the pollution.  I did call the EPA for a discussion about how they and the Obama administration are asking for 15 billion dollars from the farmers and taxpayers. I was passed to eight different  people and they said not my department. Ended up where I started. The billion dollar chemical companies spread 100 million tons of synthetic nitrogen on the planet every year. 
    I was a dairy farmer in Vermont in the 1950s and 1960s. I did not use any chemical fertilizer, insecticides or herbicides. In 1958 I won the New England in Winter Green Pastures Contest Over many farmers using chemicals. I always want the cow manure to stay where I put it down. I do not have room to explain all my practices in this column.
    I am a lay person with years of observation and logic. All the organic matter is biodegradable and breaks down into plant food through a process that can be explained to continue in Mother Nature’s cycle. It probably never reaches the bay and the nitrogen is in the urine. The farmers are taking the hit for the bay pollution and not the rich chemical companies.
    Chemical fertilizer is made by a process that is water soluble and what is not used by the crops goes with the water to the Bay. The chemical companies and the agriculture experts recommend 20 percent phosphate made water soluble by using sulfuric acid. Nitrogen is 40 percent water soluble by chemical and a electrical process. These elements are 100 percent available to the plants even when they have just started to grow. The acid kills many of the normal functions in the soil that make plant food the natural way.
    Water soluble fertilizer will not break down but leaches with the water that promotes weed growth in the bay. The big chemical companies should be paying for the bay and other waterways cleanup. They have over loaded the farmers and homeowners and gardeners for years. Plants take 10 percent or less of their growth from the soil. There is 78 percent nitrogen in the atmosphere that can be trapped by the soil without water soluble chemicals. The Organic matter is what traps nitrogen when it rains. The acid chemicals burnup the Organic matter.
    I can write many more reasons why I changed from conventional farming to organic after three years of experimentation and observation and logic. I wish  the CBF, EPA, DEQ would check on how many tons of chemical fertilizer that has been used on the many thousands of acres connected to the bay run off. Why are the billion dollar chemical companies getting off scot free. The taxpayers  should be furious about this. Monsanto and the other chemicals companies are good at promoting the untruthful. With the 35 lobbyist in DC and plants on all agriculture committees.
    I have been very concerned about the agriculture advisers recommending no till or shallow till. All the chemical scientists want the soil to do is hold down the roots. They do not think about building up the soil with organic matter. I plow down organic matter from horse manure, shavings, and shredded leaves to 12 to 15 inches and till with a small tiller after so as not to pack the soil because it needs to breathe.
    My suggestion is learn what Monsanto and all other chemical companies are doing and hiding the truth for billions of dollars. Big financial companies invest billions of dollars to ruin our soil and cause unhealthy soil that produces our unhealthy food. Bill Gates the richest man in the US is a big investor. My theme: “Fertile soil is the lifeblood of the earth and all food comes from the soil.”