china rice growing experiment

Michael Perelman michael at
Tue Aug 22 10:11:07 MDT 2000

Carrol, you are correct.  One use of the term is economic.  Banana republics
become dependent on monoculture ....  The other refers to the genetic diversity
within the field -- same crop, different varieties.

Carrol Cox wrote:

> 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.
> Carrol

Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael at

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