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Hi Richard,
So your are proposing that we use excess geothermal energy at night to convert it into hydrogen and then turn that hydrogen into nitrogen fertilizer pellets, like the NPK you have access to now? You know, that process of converting energy to hydrogen wastes 70%+ of the energy needed to make the pellets. You always talk about Energy Return On Investment (EROI). Is that good common sense to waste that amount of input energy to get a fertilizer product when there are other alternatives? Industrial farming, green revolution techniques, excess inorganic nitrogen runoff are responsible for much of the greenhouse gases, depletion of the soils, pollution of the drinking water and dead zones in the oceans. How does that make sense in a sustainable world view?

What are your ideas on replacing the peak crisis on phosphorus? We live in a world of exponential growth with finite resources, maybe we should just consider how things work in natural systems rather than force our mastery over nature and accept the concepts of corporate interests of industrial farming…

You and all your readers should watch this video that explains soil biology and demonstrates how large scale farmers around the world are starting go back to the basis of farming, which is improving soil biology and not applying chemical inputs. Just an idea for you to consider…. It make much more sense and doesn’t destroy ecology, waste energy and has sustainable / profitable outcome for farmers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB16AZnWt6U

Take care Richard


The hydrogen is made with electricity that is thrown away. No sense waste it. The safest form is aqua ammonia.

Safest... Really

We throw away tremendous amounts of organic matter into landfills... our green waste, food etc. That resource that closed the loop is wasted.

Composted organic material and using cover crops give farmers all the nitrogen they need to builds soil fertility. Soil biology is the way God set things up in nature. Chemical inputs are harmful to the soil microbiology. Farmers, you included, CAN keep throwing NPK around, treating soil like dirt, and continue to have increases pressure from pests,diseases and watch your costs go up. Doesn't matter how the synthetic nitrogen is made, it's still depletes the soil. Depleted soil isn't sustainable.

By the way what is your definition of Sustainability?

Obviously you didn't watch the video or just can't understand the relationship to natural closed loop systems.

By the way what is your definition of Sustainability? And how did you like the video?


I liked the video a lot. I'm aware of all the points, but, I don't agree with all of them. The main emphasis in the movie is on healthy soils, conserving water and effective usage of nitrogen. We grow tomatoes hydroponically, so soil building is not an issue. We get 140 inches of rain and we generate our own electricity from the river. So, water is not an issue. I advocate making nitrogen from the curtailed-thrown away- electricity and run that through water to get the nitrogen. That is similar to how nature makes nitrogen--lightning. If it is made from geothermal then there is no CO2 climate change issues either. We were nationally and internationally recognized for our banana operations. We space the lines apart and mow the centers. This prevents soil erosion and acts as a fertilizer trap. We plan to mulch the invasive trees on our stream banks and use that to build up the soil for specific crop production. We rotate the bananas every so many years. We will rotate with something that kills nematodes. We are experimenting with aqua culture as a way to produce protein. The main cost drivers are oxygenation and fish food. We can use gravity or electricity from our hydro to provide the oxygen. Fish food is a challenge. But, what if we did not have to make pellets? Tilapia are vegetarians. What if we could just mow something and catch it and feed the fish? Of course the fish waste would go to grow something. We have a Korean natural farming tenant on our land and we are hoping we can learn and adopt whatever works. We like to copy successful techniques from everywhere. We try not to lock ourselves into a particular mode of operation. Sustainability? The procedure needs to be socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. We were a triple bottom line company before they wrote a book about it.

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