china rice growing experiment

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Tue Aug 22 09:33:09 MDT 2000

Michael Perelman wrote:

> The US has been coercing countries around the world to adopt monoculture
> -- moreso now with the genetically modified seeds.

Michael, on a similar debate sometime in the last year the term
"monoculture" caused a lot of confusion. As you use it here it means
planting one variety of rice in a field as opposed to planting two varieties
in the same field. As I have always seen the term used *both* practices
would be monoculture, unless the farmer also (for example) raised peaches
and lettuce. Monoculture as I have always understood it (and as many I
believe understand it) means concentrating on one or a few cash crops. From
my earliest memories of my grandfather's farm (mid-30s) he raised a number
of different fruits, but he gradually narrowed down to (mostly)
strawberries, dewberries (a fruit somewhat like the blackberry but much more
labor intensive -- and much better tasting), peaches, and concord grapes.
And I believe that since the '50s some farms in southwestern michigan have
began to raise *only* peaches* (but probably several varieties).

Monoculture in both senses may be (probably is) undesirable -- but in
discussing it we need a clear vocabulary.


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