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Author Topic: Is there - grrrrr - any scientific justification for - GRRRRR - burning stubble?  (Read 4919 times)

Offline Geezer

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The weather is beautiful here at the moment, unfortunately we have to close all the windows because some jerk farmer is burning the stubble in his fields. I'm sure the smoke is a considerable health hazard too.

Is there any scientific basis for continuing this primitive practice, or are the farmers just exercising their rights because they are anti-social so-and-sos doing what their parents did?



 

Offline tommya300

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I guess it it the cheapest and fastest way to clear the dead stubble and replenishing the carbon into the ground.
Lucky that he does not have a mulch of liquid pig poo and sprays it on the land.
Even with the windows closed you can smell it for hours just after opening the door for a second.
The smoke will dissipate in the next rain while the poo will intensify, for longer. 
Count your blessings, he may want to put in  an air field for crop dusting nd commercial flights.
« Last Edit: 15/09/2010 04:04:47 by tommya300 »
 

Offline imatfaal

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the farms in my part of the world (which is borders of rural and urban) now just plough the stubble back in.  I haven't seen stubble burning for donkeys years.

In fact it look as if it has been regulated against in UK, although I havent read through the page carefully
http://www.netregs.gov.uk/netregs/businesses/agriculture/93431.aspx
 

Offline Geezer

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the farms in my part of the world (which is borders of rural and urban) now just plough the stubble back in.  I haven't seen stubble burning for donkeys years.

In fact it look as if it has been regulated against in UK, although I havent read through the page carefully
http://www.netregs.gov.uk/netregs/businesses/agriculture/93431.aspx

I think the practice is outlawed in most states in the US too, and even in this state, but the Native Americans down to road seem to be exempt.
 

Offline Don_1

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I think that there could be good arguments for and against stubble burning. Not being a farmer, I can only guess.

I shall don a floppy hat, smock and wellie boots and chew a piece of straw whilst standing in a cow pat, to assist my consideration of this matter.

On the plus side, burning stubble not only clears a field quickly, cheaply and effortlessly, it would also help to control crop pests and disease, reducing the amount of pesticides and fungicides required for the following season's crop. I don't know, but assume that without burning, the field may have to be tilled several times to assist the breakdown of stubble into something that the next crop can utilise for growth.

On the minus side, burning would deprive the soil of nutrients which the stubble, left to break down naturally, would release, necessitating the application of additional fertiliser. Burning, I assume, must contribute to air pollution in more than simply annoying smoke.

Other disadvantages of stubble burning would be that smoke drifting across the local village could be a health hazard and drifting across the neighbouring dairy farm could upset the cows and reduce their milk production. Drifting across roads poses a threat to safety, which I think was one of the prevalent reasons for the introduction of regulations in the UK.

Perhaps the greatest disadvantage is that in seriously peeing off a certain Mr Geezer, you might find him on your doorstep, one dark, stormy night wearing a cloak and hood and touting a large scythe with the legend 'The Grim Reaper' engraved on the blade. Or at least your actions being debated worldwide.
 

Offline Geezer

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Thanks Don.

Personally, I think the answer lies in the soil  ;D

Hmmm???..Halloween approaches. Perhaps the Geezer will go guising at his neighbours.
 

Offline ronro

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I am an agricultural scientist in the UK.

Burning stubble is a very useful method of weed control, especially for grass weeds. Weed seeds are shed into the stubble and most are destroyed when it is burned. There isn't any alternative method of seed destruction at this stage of the crop. Ploughing can help destroy seeds if they are ploughed down and left for long enough but of course ploughing releases CO2, one of the (fairly spurious) reasons for the stubble burning ban.
 

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