Saturday 9th August, 2008
As you know we have finished our crops and have gone off to help a neighbouring group with theirs. Over the season you have seen most off the "Team", but there were two missing. On the left above is Gareth, who is the proud father of Jenson Jack. Now that mother and baby are home he has returned to the fold. Can't think why! Also in the picture is Gordon who has been with us in the peas since 1986. As well as repairing the machines when there are problems, not with a big hammer all the time, he walks miles each day fine tuning the settings to produce the best sample possible. At times you will see him run across the field when he hears that something is wrong with a viner. He's the fittest man of his age I know. Simon at CLT could take a leaf out of his book. Today the two viners working near Boston will finally return to base, be cleaned and go off to PMC for their overhaul. Whilst the new machine continues elsewhere for the time being. Not read the weekend papers yet, so nothing to bang on about. Good I hear you say!
Thursday 7th August, 2008
We've taken the new viner on a ride out to see if it will climb hills rather than the "mole hills" we are used to on the Fens! As you can see quite a steep hill, but the Group we are with would probably say it's just a slight incline. If he didn't say that I'm sure he would have something to say. I'm pleased that our Menorca Division has been keeping close tabs on us, but does appear to be missing the rollercoaster ride that is the pea season. Good article in the Telegraph yesterday about The Pea Industry by Kate Colquhoun. As good an explanation as you would get. If you missed it you can view it online.
Wednesday 6th August, 2008
2008 completed at 03:00 this morning! Now we have to clean the machines down throughly so that they can be transported back to PMC in Fakenham for their over-winter overhaul. If you do not know The Chuckle Brothers above, Mark Clayton on the left, the slim one, has just had his first season with us as our field mechanic getting regular guidance from Gordon, and I think it has worked very well. Simon Clayton on the right, the not so slim one, runs Clayton-Lenton Transport and hauls all our peas. He tells me that they offer a competitive and friendly service for all your general haulage requirements. If you are tunning in from Menorca, it has been very quiet. Did you miss the season?
Tuesday 5th August, 2008
The Boys are now in the last field of peas for the 2008 season. It has now been some 7 weeks since we started our tour around the county. In the main it has gone well, more like a normal pea season. There have been peaks and troughs, and difficult days when temperatures were high and machinery under pressure. However nearly there. The picture shows a lorry having just returned from a factory, with some graffitti on the back. On investigation it was discovered that the culprit was a Polish national. I thought that was probably his name, but we are informed it is the Polish for "clean me!" Good to have a sense of humour.
Sunday 3rd August, 2008
This is Will, he has now been our sampler for three years. Will walks all the fields in turn and takes some plants, gets a bag full and then puts them through our mini-viner and tendarometer. This gives us a reading of the tenderness of the peas and therefore when we should harvest the crop. Yet again he has been very thorough and accurate with his sampling. Today is his last day of the season. He will have driven thousands of miles in the last six weeks, with a lot of walking in between. As well as the readings from the machine, he also now has the experience to give a valued opinion of the crops. Like the rest of the gang he has been invaluable to me. Yesterday was painful with the factory running slow due to overloading. Some Groups do not seem to understand that when told to deliver 20t it means just that, not 30t.
Saturday 2nd August, 2008
We are now approaching the end of our 2008 harvesting campaign. As the factory is full, and the viners clean a rare opportunity for some relaxation for the Boys. They have now worked for the last five weeks non stop, without complaint and always with a smile and a joke, yet at the same time wanting to get the job done in a professional manner for the benefit of the Group. I am very lucky to have such a good bunch of lads. They come together for six weeks a year, but you would have thought that they worked together all year. We seem to all know how each others minds work, with the exception of Harry!, and by giving them quite a lot of information about crops and what we are aiming to achieve, their input into the Group is invaluable so that we can achieve our goal. Having reported that Gareth was last seen in the maternity unit at The Pilgrim Hospital, I am pleased to report that Gareth and Katie are now the proud parents of a baby boy, Jensen Jack, JJ. We wish them well. The last six weeks will have prepared Gareth well for the night time feeds! I was going to have a bit of a rant about what's going on in the market place, but I'll leave that for another time, just to say that a major retailer who advertises heavily on the television about their close connections with British Agriculture, has decided to purchase frozen peas, and other vegetables, from outside the UK from what is recognised as an unsustainable source. In the short term it is a cheaper option, but in the long term could prove quite expensive.
Thursday 31st July, 2008
As we begin to disect the season we all seem to think that it has been the most frenetic for years due to the good growing conditions, high temperatures and something like normal yields. Anyway only a few more days and then we can all reaquaint ourselves with our families and homes!
Friday 25th July, 2008
B Boy oh boy are we under pressure! The peas are maturing rapidly and we are still in good yields. This means that we cannot get the acreage cleared and that we are having to by-pass crops. These are not wasted, and we shall combine them at a later date, and use the peas for seed, and the excess shall be sold off for feed. Not a disaster, but a pain as my season gets extended! The boys are now harvesting in the Bicker area and will then move down to Boston West for 100 acres. They have worked relentlessly over the last four weeks and continue to give it their all. Hello to the Farmer from down under, whom I believe looked in on the blog yesterday. I understand that it was raining with you there. It's not here, dry and 28C!
Saturday 19th July, 2008
I note that it has been six days since I did a blog. I have an excuse, busy, busy, busy! The crops we are in at the moment are yielding OK, but then the last two years have been dreadful. This means we have been chasing crops all week and we nearly got there, but we have had to by-pass 60 acres. These will be combined at a later date, and if suitable be used for seed next year. Those that are surplus to requirements will be sold as dried peas. Tomorrow we shall finish harvesting in Holbeach Marsh and then move across to Moulton Eaugate and Whaplode Drove. Once they are done we shall be at Pinchbeck and Market Deeping before settling at Tonge End for 300 acres of Serge.
Sunday 13th July, 2008
We are harvesting the last of the Organic peas today. If you look at the picture closely there are some peas there somewhere! The photograph does however illustrate what crops could look like if the proposed banning of certain chemicals within the EU is allowed to go ahead. This would have a severe effect on yield. We are in some good crops of Novella at the moment , and need the machines and the factory to perform well if we are to stay on top. It has now clouded over also which should help.
Tuesday 8th July, 2008
Not a particularly good photograph, but it does show that we do run 24 hours! It was a busy weekend in the Friskney and Toynton area. We are moving at some pace because the Organic peas and Conventional peas south of Boston look like they will begin to push us. They were reading in the low 90s yesterday so we should be down there in 48 hours which is about right. I am pleased to see the cooler temperatures from a harvesting viewpoint, but a bit more sun for those in flower would be welcome. (Never satisfied!) Today will see us clear up the Premio, and then we shall go to some Gonzo at Wrangle which has grown incredibly tall and looks a very good crop. However you can never tell until you get into them. As far as yields go generally campared to the last two years they are OK. I think the pressure will still be on going forward, and we therefore need to maximise our machinery and the factory space. I could bang on about the G8 summit and what the so called experts are saying, but it does intrige me the the PM is advising us not to waste food. I don't think he is somehow qualified to comment on how not to be wasteful!
Saturday 5th July, 2008
As you can see we don't travel light. This was taken after a big move with the consequence being that you have all the lorries stacked up and no peas for them! All peas through the programme are now moving and I cannot see us stopping for some time now.
The crops we are currently in are being harvested as AA150 minute peas. This means that the first pea harvested will be frozen within 150 minutes to maximise its freshness and quality. They are expensive to produce and to command a premium, which they need to as the haulage costs are almost double for these types of crops. I do think that the blue touch paper has now been lit, and that peas will keep coming at us. No stopping now.
Wednesday 2nd July, 2008
Having had the weekend to allow the peas to mature we're off again 24hrs on the Heath north of Sleaford. The viners are in a crop of Style supplied by Church of Bures. It is not a variety that we have grown before, but due to the general shortage of seed we had no choice. It does look as though it will perform well, so by accident we may well have found another variety that we can grow on the Heath. Another 100 acres up here and then over to Toynton, followed by Tattershall. On the hottest day of the year you do expect problems with harvesting machinery and factories having to work under high temperatures, I'm pleased to say that both performed well.
It was good to meet the ASDA buying Team who visited the field to see first hand what we actually do. As we know Retailers are price/quality driven, there seem to be no issues with the quality, but the ever rising oil prices and firm markets for Oilseed Rape and Wheat will inevitably mean that Growers will not be asking if there is going to be a price rise for 2009, but how much will the price rise by. These discussions will not doubt start over the coming weeks.
Saturday 28th June, 2008
A busy week harvesting peas at Sleaford and on Lincoln Heath. We completed what was ready in the early hours of Saturday morning and are now parked waiting for a couple of days for the next fields to mature. Whilst it has been a pretty pleasant week weather wise, we still could do with more sunshine and heat to move all crops along. Next week will see us get all the heath peas harvested and move over to the Spilsby area, before we drop down into the Fens for a variety called Jaguar.
Compared to previous years we are running about a week behind on the calendar, which shows just how cool the spring was. This could catch itself up, but I doubt it.
After last year and the shortage of crop, people are asking how are the yields? It is really too early to call, but we've had nothing outstanding so far and whilst some of the mid and late crops do look well, lack of continued sunshine will begin to have an effect.
Thursday 26th June, 2008
Harvest continues up on Nocton Heath near Lincoln. We had a visit from a retail customer today to enable them to get a feel as to how the season may progress. It's a bit early to start forceasting, but we are begining to see signs of footrot (where the roots die and crop yields are devastated) in some of the later crops. This will be due to how the previous crop was harvested and the soil has compacted, leading to poor root development. We will keep monitoring it.
The Boys are in a 180 acre field, approx 90 football pitches! This will keep them busy for a couple of days. They are crusing along nicely, the only hiccup today being a few factory problems which happen, nothing major.
Friday 20th June, 2008
We are away! The Boys made a good start on two crops at Sleaford and Wilsford this week. It is too early to call as to how the crops will do, but we have an ongoing battle with rooks and crows that were damaging these two crops severely so I decided to take them a day or two earlier than we would normally do. The machines ran well after their winter overhaul, and the new one also performed well. It also must be said that Pinguin's factory at Bourne also performed well. We will now take the weekend to carry out a couple of jobs and then start at 4.00am on Monday morning running 24 hours.
There are a number of fields that will be ready in the Sleaford area and then we will make for Lincoln Heath for two fields, before coming back to Sleaford to clear up the rest of the crops in that area. (that's the current plan but we have to remain flexible as to where we go so as to maximise crop yields). However carefully you drill/plant the fields they do not always come in order. This can be down to a number of things, but it is usually previous cropping.
The peas in the Tattershall, Scrafield and Toynton areas are behind those on the Heath which is good. So we have a bit of pressure on early next week.
Tuesday 17th June, 2008
Today was PGRO open day where people from the vining pea and pulse industry gather to look at the trial work they carry out. It is an independent organisation and is recognised and well respected around the world.
As well as the formal part of the day it is also a chance to catch up with other growers from around the UK. There were two topics that seemed to be foremost in peoples minds. Ever rising costs that were out of our control and the future plans of the EU to ban certain chemicals that we use. The first point unfortunately we are in the hands of the hands of the oil producing countries. For the second point the correct and safe use of chemicals allows us as growers to produce food of sufficent quality and quantity for the population. If these chemicals are withdrawn it can only lead to less food at higher prices. You could argue and debate the topic for some time.
As the reading of the bill nears there will be strong lobbying from all sectors of our industry to the relevant MEMP. It is also worth noting that our own government has a duty to protect the food supply for the UK under the food act of 1947!
Thursday 12th June, 2008
Today we had our pre-season get together at Swineshead. It's a day when the men fine tune what we need to take with us for the season, almost like packing for a holiday! Whilst it is a relatively relaxed day all of the "team" appeared up for it, which is important given the fact that when we start that's it for six or seven weeks. No social life, but just peas, peas and more peas!
There are only one or two more items to bring together then we are ready to roll. The cooler weather has slowed things down but we will start sampling the crops on Monday and see how we go from there.
Tuesday 10th June, 2008
Road trip today around peas south of Boston, starting at Kirton, then Algakirk, Sutterton and through into Holbeach Marsh. Down to Whaplode Drove, Spalding, Crowland, Bourne, Dembleby, Donington, Swineshead Blackjack and finishing in Boston West. Over 200 miles. Not good for the carbon footprint! Anyway the crops looked well. There are odd pockets of pigeon damage and the crows are begining to land on those crops that are near to harvest. They make a hell of a mess. What I was looking for was how good the weed control had been and if the crops were flowering in sequence. I'm pleased to say that in the main weed control is good, and, with the exception of one field, they are flowering in planned order.
It's a good time to look at the crops at this growth stage, because it is the first real opportunity to assess if you are going to have any clashes at harvest, or fields coming out of order. A major problem we do face this year is volunter potatoes. We did have a chemical that we could use, but this was withdrawn last year. Over the last five years considerable research has been done into what we can use to get effective control. Unfortunately a solution has yet to be discovered, but the work continues.
The Organic peas have been an eyeopener this year. Mechanical weed control was not easy, but the pea plant has grown much taller, and very nearly smothering the weeds. They look well now and if the weather carries on like this they should do better than 2007.
Friday 6th June, 2008
Back from my travels, and how things have changed! All crops have moved on tremendously, and you can see by the photograph that they are begining to pod up. At this stage the Sleaford area will come pretty much all at once, followed by those on the Heath. Which is good. It is vital to maintain continuity of harvesting for both ourselves and our customers.
Last year was dreadful in terms of management due to the weather, and tested everyone. I hope that this year we have a much more consitent run with the harvest. The peas on the coast at Friskney have good flower on already, with little south of Boston, so fingers crossed north and south will not clash!
Prepartions are well underway with the machinery to get them ready for harvest, with little left to do. All the men will come over to Swineshead next week and familiarise themselves with the machines again, and then all we have to do is wait. The wet weather of the last ten days has put back the predicted harvest date, but I still anticipate this to be early 20s of June.
Wednesday 4th June, 2008
Still abroad, now in Spain looking at peas! We are guests of Elsoms Seeds and Danisco Seeds. It has been very wet here, similar to our problems last summer! In Spain though it dries very quickly. They have nearly completed their season and say that they will be under budget. I am with the brains, allegedly, of the UK industry and we all agree that there has been huge investment in the industry here in factories and technology. It would appear we are lagging behind. I will post a fuller report on my return.
Sunday 1st June, 2008
Bit of a busman's holiday today. It was Farm Open Day around the UK today, where farmers invite the general public to see how crops are grown and also get up close to livestock. So we took our Pygmy Goats off to Bishop Farm Partners near Sibsey not really knowing what to expect. The day was very well run with a lot of attractions for all ages, from steam engines to modern tractors, and a wide range of animals.
It was quite evident that a lot of work had gone into the day and this all paid off with a lot of people coming through the gate. It is now becoming an important part of the Agricultural calendar, and gives us an opportunity to engage with the public, and I think it works.
The Agricultural correspondent from The Lincolnshire Pride was there, so if you live in Lincolnshire I am sure that you will be able to read a full report in the next issue.
Thursday 29th May, 2008
This little beauty is owned by someone who produces oil. They would need to the fuel tank holds 20000 litres. The mind boggles 20000 pounds to fill up. Makes the pea viners look cheap!
Wednesday 28th May, 2008
A bit of rest and relaxation this week. I don't think the owner of this boat is involoved in agriculture! When you do come on holiday it is amazing that you can still live like a king despite the problems around the globe with the food supply chain!
Thursday 22nd May, 2008
Today saw the delivery of the new harvester for the 2008 season. It is a PMC 979-CT, built in Fakenham, Norfolk, by PMC Harvesters (formally FMC Harvesters). We have a long history with this company, and this will be the twenty-second harvester that we will have operated. There are many subtle differences between the CT and AT model, but from the outside the cab is what catches the eye and will no doubt improve driver comfort.
I also had a visit from one of our customers today and we drove around the early Twinkle pea crops in the Sleaford area. They are all well in flower, and with the exception of two fields look very well. The two weaker fields are still quite good though. Costs are extremely important in any business, but seem to form a larger part of the conversation than they used to, in particular energy costs! Fuel prices continue to be in the news and currently are above 60 pence per litre (red diesel). Every 1 pence rise per litre, from this point, will see our fuel costs increase by around 40 pence per acre. Frightening! Whilst fuel continues to rise, food will have to follow.
Monday 19th May, 2008
As you can see the early peas are now well in flower and look well. A bit of a worry that the night time temperatures are going to be so low this week, the last thing we want now are frosts as this can make the trusses abort and severly deplete the yield of the crop. All the peas in the Sleaford area are in flower, and there is flower begining to show on the Heath. Which is good as this indicates crops will follow on. Peas at Tattershall have yet to show any signs of flower.
Again food appears on the front pages of the papers today. When will politicians learn that at some point they do not need to listen to experts who disseminate statistics, but talk to the people that actuatly grow the crops and see what solutions there are!
Thursday 15th May, 2008
The above picture shows some of the last peas bing drilled at Sibsey. Hard to think that 9 days prior to this it was too wet to drill! There is still a lot of growth in the crops on a daily basis, even though temperatures have cooled a little. Early peas are in flower and I will look at them tomorrow and now start to turn some attention to getting things ready for harvest. The "boys" have been to Fakenham to learn about the new machine today. They already have a lot of knowledge about the machinery, but with each new model comes slight variations which it is important to understand.
Over the next week I shall contact all the regulars to give them an update as to when I think we shall start so that they can get some holiday in before then. They are an extremly committed buch of people who I have come to rely on over the years, and they have never let me down, working endless days through the summer months.
Monday 12th May, 2008
Barring a natural disaster we shall finish drilling peas this week, currently 95% are drilled. In terms of how that compares with previous years it's about where we want to be. The warm and windy weather has had a two-fold effect on the peas. Rapid growth on those that are in, they are really motoring on now, and a rapid loss of moisture on land that has yet to be drilled.
It is incredible just how quickly the land has dried. Having said that it is still wet underneath in places, a legacy of last summers torrential rain.
Friday 9th May, 2008
A trip around the early peas, Sleaford and A15 towards Lincoln area, gave an insight as to what to expect at the begining of the season. The picture shows peas that should flower within the next seven days given the current spell of glorious weather. This is about the normal time, but one to two weeks later than the previous two years. Whilst it is hard to be specific, it looks like a harvesting start date of about 20th June. Pigeons still remain to be a thorn in our side and have caused considerable damage in some cases.
On mainland Europe, Portugal and Spain are now harvesting, with Italy and Hungary not too far away from starting. It is far too early to call how their crops will do. As far as drilling goes, we completed the South of Boston area on Wednesday and have now moved North of Boston. All being well we shall complete drilling all the peas by Wednesday next week. Peas, as well as other crops are now growing rapidly. Some pea crops are emerging within six days!
Friday 2nd May, 2008
After 24hrs of inactivity we have five drills going today, hitting it hard while the conditions are good, as you can see by the picture above. We are now drilling Serge in Boston West and will continue tomorrow and then reconvene on Tuesday morning. Having put it a considerable area today and tomorrow it would be prudent to hang fire for a couple of days to ensure that the crops do not all mature at once.
I was able to confirm the last piece of the jigsaw with regard to our harvesting labour for this year. For those of you in the know Adrian, Freddy, Richard, Harry, Michael, Glen, Paul, Gareth and James return from last year and many other years! Doug is also coming back after doing other things in 2007. Gordon expressed a wish that he did not want the commitment of last year, so Andy Barber is coming back to Fen Peas and making sure that the machines perform to their full capability. If we do get in the mire then Gordon will be on hand to help which I greatly appreciate. He has so much knowledge of these machines learnt over a period of 25 years
Wednesday 30th April, 2008
What a difference a few days of warm weather makes! Having struggled for a few weeks now, the peas on the silts north of Boston welcomed the sun and warmth of the weekend. In fairness all crops picked up over the weekend, and those crops that had problems, wind blow, look a lot better now. Peas drilled last week, up to and including Saturday have all got good chits on. It is the first time this spring that they are growing as you would expect. So that gives you confidence to press on with the drilling, and what happens, we get 12 mm of rain!
Diesel has now joined food as the headline makers these last few days, and rightly so. Diesel for the harvesters last year cost 39.9 p per litre, the same fuel this morning costs 57.9 p per litre. A whopping 45% increase. Fuel last year cost Fen Peas £14.68 per acre, simple maths gives you a current figure of £21.29 per acre, and rising! One headline yesterday suggested that the $200 a barrel price for Crude Oil could not be as far away as we think, so by the time harvesting starts in June who knows where the figure will be!
Friday 25th April, 2008
Another week of what seems to be a settled pattern with the weather this spring. Again despite temperatures being below normal, there is growth. Peas drilled in Cowbit Wash last Wednesday now have 2 inch chits on, so anything going into the ground is growing away quickly. There has been noticable growth in those that are emerged, but still well behind where they were at this time last year.
We should complete drilling in the Bourne/Deeping area in the morning (Saturday), and then start at Donnington on Monday. Having looked at most crops this week there are good crops and weak crops out there. If you were asked at the moment to give a prediction for 2008 it would be not a full crop, but there is still a long way to go.
The biggest worry is those peas drilled mid March on good silts. The rain that followed more than capped the land, but set the top 3 inches like concrete. They are coming, but slowly. Our local supermarket is now failing to deliver some very basic items on out internet order, flour, English streaky bacon and olive oil. On calling the supermarket the explaination they give is that they are being shorted by their suppliers. I wonder if that is just a convienient answer given all the publicity of late! It may be that some products are becoming so expensive in relative terms, that it is erroding into their margin.
Monday 21st April, 2008
Hopefully, if the weather forecast is to be believed, we are about to experience a rise in temperature. This is greatly needed, a lot of pea crops are only just sat there and need a boost. The picture above shows peas drilled on 19th February. They should be much further on than this. Last year peas drilled at the begining of February started to flower at the end of April. This is quite clearly not going to be the case this year.
The crops need to fill out and give some cover to stop pest damage, and also smother and weeds that are growing. Drilling went at a steady pace last week due to the low temperatures, but what did go in went in well in the Whaplode Drove, Moulton Eaugate area. This week will see us completing the Markado in the Spalding area and starting the Serge in the Bourne and Deeping areas. Food prices again hit the papers at the weekend, but more of that later in the week.
Thursday 17th April, 2008
I looked at all the early peas yesterday, from the Twinkle through to the Jaguar, which included Avola, Sherwood and Style. With the cooler weather this spring, crops are not as forward as they normally would be. However there are some problems already. You will see from the photo above that we have fields that have been damaged by wind blow, where the winds picked up soil and shaves the crop off at ground level.
Those peas affected have grown a new side shoot, as in the photo, but it will affect yield and the maturity date as well. So we will have to keep a close eye on these crops. I don't think we are at a re-drilling situation yet, but who knows. I know some of you look at the Blog, and you will notice that we have a Grower making regular comments. I know he has a qualification in computing, but the rest of you can comment as well!
Monday 14th April, 2008
You can see from the picture evidence that the peas are not too frightened to show their faces in the cold weather. We keep reading all the time about measuring our Carbon Footprint. If you look at the pea crop, it uses Carbon Dioxide in its growing habits, and once the crop has been cleared it leaves 50kg of actual nitrogen per hectare! That is a lot and would take an awful lot of energy to manufacture. We shall have to explore the carbon efficency of the pea crop.
Sunday 13th April, 2008
Despite the extremely low overnight temperatures this week, peas continue to grow. Those peas drilled early last week have now got 10-25mm chits on, so that gives us just cause to continue drilling. We are now in the depths of Holbeach Marsh drilling Geneva.
This time last year it was very dry and to get a satisfactory seedbed it took a lot of hard work, and expended a lot of fuel. This year with more moist conditions, it has made it a bit easier, and conditions are currently quite good. If only we could get higher temperatures all crops would grow quickly.
Thursday 20th March, 2008
This morning a quick trip around 750 acres of early peas gave me the chance to assess how the crops were faring in this cold weather. I was pleasantly surprised that there has been good growth despite the semi arctic conditions. The first blocks at Sleaford were all emerging, you can just make them out on the attached picture, and the second block that is up the A15 towards Lincoln are all just about to come through.
Given what the weather forecast is for Easter, they would be better off with their heads underground. The peas that were direct drilled at Sleaford look well, and one obvious benefit is the fact that by drilling them this way it does reduce wind blow and therefore soil erosion, something that we must be mindful of. Can't see much happening over the next few days as more rain is forecast tomorrow
Thursday 13th March, 2008
A quick look around the peas drilled last week is encouraging, All have chitted despite the cold winds that we had. There are just 110 acres north of Boston to drill before we start on our Organic peas. This year there will be 74 acres of Organics, which are a challenging crop to grow given all the weed pressures that we have.
We obviously cannot use chemicals, and rely on mechanical techniques, which can be damaging to the crop, and hand labour which is very expensive. Hence the higher prices needed to grow such crops. In these days of measuring our carbon footprints, whilst we do not use pesticides in the Organics, we do use a considerable amount of fuel trying to get the crop weed free. Can Organics ever be carbon neutral? An interesting thought. It's all about getting the balance right.