Archive for May, 2010

Mr. President- Appreciate Your Concern But?

May 9, 2010

I do not question your sincerity in paying a lot of attention to the oil spill in the Gulf and concern for the potential loss of species that could result. However why have you not demonstrated any concern for the annual Gulf oxygen dead zone which covers much more area and the entire water column? As a result the dead zone kills finfish, and many more species than the oil spill. We have these annual dead zones in many estuaries including the Chesapeake Bay. The cause as pointed out by President Clinton’s Gulf Hypoxia Study Group in 2000 is over application of fertilizer partially paid by Government subsidy, another victim of our flawed agricultural policy. Lets not continue to let our concern for our precious species be influenced by the pollution perpetrator and give a free pass to some while punishing others.

Donald Kerstetter



May 8, 2010

US Government funded grain subsidies which are the direct cause of over-application of fertilizer to grow corn cause over-production of corn. Corn is unique in that it has the highest nitrogen need and the lowest uptake efficiency of any crop. Corn production is the direct cause of the destruction of our rivers, our soils, and ultimately our Eastern Estuaries including the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay.

Corn has replaced grass as the dominant animal feed and its overproduction has promoted a new processed food industry.

Corn fed animals are up to 7 times higher in saturated fat than grass fed and a big contributor to our sudden loss of longevity after many decades of increase.

Denuding vast acreage of farmland to plant corn is the direct cause of the Nations Soil Loss disaster.

Fourteen products made from corn including high fructose syrup, corn oil, and corn starch are the basis for the processed food industry another major contributor to our obesity and diabetes epidemics.

Isn’t it time to unravel these government created disasters by eliminating grain subsidies?

Please respond with your view.

Don Kerstetter

President Visits Gulf Disaster

May 7, 2010

He’s a little early to see the real Gulf disaster, which occurs later in the summer. But if he were to take a helicopter ride up the Mississippi he would witness the real source of the real disaster. Right now there are millions of gallons of fertilizer being sprayed on the fields of most Midwestern States most of which eventually reaches the Gulf and causes the oxygen dead zone, the toxic tides and the loss of millions of species every year.

Of course he could also fly over the Delmarva Peninsula right now and witness the tanks of fertilizer trailing behind tractors and planters, which has caused the destruction of Chesapeake Bay.

When will the President, or the Secretary of Agriculture, or the Governor, or even a legislative delegation go out and witness the real environmental disaster?


May 7, 2010

Some are calling the current oil spill in the Gulf the largest environmental disaster ever.

The largest environmental disaster ever is the annual application of fertilizer to corn, which is happening right now throughout the Country. Only about a third of the fertilizer is used by the corn. A fifth is denitrified in aquifers, drainage ditches and wetlands. About half leaches into aquifers or reaches surface water in runoff. During drought years the crop does not use its third and more goes to surface water. This annual application of excess nitrate causes increased eutraphication of surface water resulting in toxic tides and regular oxygen dead zones. This annual fertilizer application is the greatest environmental disaster ever because:

It is annual

The Gulf, Chesapeake Bay plus 400 bodies of water worldwide have permanent oxygen dead zones. The area in the Gulf where species cannot live is the size of the State of NJ.

The nutrient stimulated algae die and cloud the water preventing light to underwater grasses. These grasses were the basic food and habitat for the Chesapeake Bay. More than 90% have disappeared from the Bay Tributaries.

So when talking about largest ever environmental disasters; nothing compares with the annual chemical fertilizer application Nationwide.

Don Kerstetter


May 6, 2010

Last week I returned to Texas and traveled between Dallas and out to beyond College Station. This marked an absence for me that began when I left my Army assignment in the mid-50’s. I found that, unlike most of the Country, Texas had not succumbed to corn and soybean production and maintained most of the land in pasture. The cattle breeds had changed from the traditional Texas longhorn to a variety of meat producing breeds. There were some Jersey but the dominant breed was the Black Angus. Texans unlike those in the great Midwest, and many other areas have preserved their precious land resources and are poised to provide healthy meat products to the rest of the world, which is losing its productive land. Texas, a right to work State, is also financially sound unlike many Union dominated poorly managed States.

Ending Our Health/Environmental Disaster

May 5, 2010

Back in the 1970’s the Nixon administration stopped controlling the price of corn by controlling production and started full subsidy of corn and other grains. This expedited a movement toward growing all animals in corn based feedlots including ruminant animals, and the development of 14 new elements from the corn molecule including high fructose corn syrup. As a result new high processed food system evolved. Since corn has the highest nitrogen need and the lowest uptake efficiency of any crop the dominance of corn accelerated the eutrophication process in the Nations Waters and the loss of species in Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and all other Eastern Estuaries. Grain farming and feedlot animal production became dominant. Small family farms disappeared and large corporate farms also became dominant.

In addition to the destruction of our Natural resources including our soil resources, corn-based food was higher in fat and sugar and obesity of adults and children became evident. We now recognize that 19% of children are obese and a third of adults. Longevity of the population is now in decline for the first time in American history. The sustainable agricultural movement, which started at the Universities, has long recognized this basic misdirection of our agriculture. What is new is the general public recognition and recently the recognition of Government agencies including USDA, FDA, the recently the First Lady and many in the press.

The first step in unraveling this food and ecological disaster is an ending of grain subsidies. Unfortunately a strong bureaucracy led by the American Farm Bureau, the Fertilizer Institute, the Pharmaceutical Industry, and others who benefit from the current system are giving massive amounts of money to maintain farm subsidies and the status quo. Only you, the taxpayer, armed with knowledge can stop this assault on our Health and our Natural Resources