Pseudo-science: a threat to agriculture

Fields in Mexico where wheat the "Green Revolution" wheat varieties were bred.

There is a regular flow of salespeople driving the roads calling in on farmers selling products which will ‘increase farm production by 20%’ or ‘improve soils’. Some of the products on offer are backed by quality research and many are simply ‘snake oil’. With so many products on offer to ‘save’ our farming enterprise, it’s almost impossible to sort the muck from the magic.  I always feel if someone wishes me to spend our money on a product the seller must be prepared to spend some of their money on quality research to prove their product will meet their claims.

Doug Edmeade’s paper presented at the Grasslands Society of NSW Conference earlier this year provides an insightful look into the challenges facing agriculture.  This paper will be confronting for many people but it is well worth the read.

“The ongoing application of pseudo-science in agriculture is very dangerous it is wasteful of science resources, results in misleading advice to farmers, undermines farmer’s confidence and cost millions of dollars in lost productivity…..”Doug Edmeade

The full paper can be found on the The Grassland Society of NSW web site.

Another intersting paper on similar subject on the GRDC web site.

Evidence base agriculture – Can we get there?

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