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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan to go into farming after school and i was wondering, what would happen to the land after a nuclear bomb? How long before you can start growing crops? Would the crops be effected?

Any help?
 

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Help? Just from my non-farming brain....

I wouldn't expectmuch farming to be done on affected land unless it was only affected by fallout. Anything more serious would seem to be unworkable for decades.

Fallout is particulate matter carrying radioactive elements. It's physical, which means it is mobile. Once on the farmland, it can
....be washed away by rain
....settle into the upper layers of earth by various means, including rain
....be removed by stripping the upper layers of earth, if enough "top soil" would be left for actual farming use

How much needs to be removed? Whatever is necessary. Don't know if radioactive materials that are low enough to not register on samplers is dangerous if left behind.

Can plants take it up? I would say so. Bikini atoll showed signs of this for years after the bomb testing.


I'm sure there are others in here that know quite a bit more. There are also gov pubs that treat this topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DECLAN

I would be living on the farm and it would be my only souce of money or food, as I would be living pretty self suffieciently.
But you have a good point it wouldn't exactly be your first problem. I was only wondering
 

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From the little I remember when I was in a x-ray program (25 years ago) there is not much to look foreword to. There would be several years if not more of no sunlight and radiation would be everywhere. If you did get to grow something it would be contaminated with radition.

A British movie was made around 1985 called Threads that showed in graphic detail what would happen after the world was nuked. The short answer is whoever survives is screwed big time.
 

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Not trying to sound condescending but if you're the survivor of a nuclear war, is farming really your biggest concern? Why?
Future survival
 

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Anyone see the old movie "the Day After" 1983 with Jason Nelson Robards, Jr
 

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Found the movie and I'm downloading now.

From the little I remember when I was in a x-ray program (25 years ago) there is not much to look foreword to. There would be several years if not more of no sunlight and radiation would be everywhere. If you did get to grow something it would be contaminated with radition.

A British movie was made around 1985 called Threads that showed in graphic detail what would happen after the world was nuked. The short answer is whoever survives is screwed big time.
 

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Sportzkardnutt, please post what you think of it. I remember it was very depressing and the end was frightful. There was another movie, 1983 Testament, that was very much on target on what we were taught regarding the differnt phases of radiation sickness.

Between these two movies and what I learned how DNA is adversely changed from expose to radiation that I rather go in initial blast and never know what hit me.
 

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Weapons grade uranium has a half like of 4.5 million years... unless the radiation drastically alters our aging we won't be planting anything for sometime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Weapons grade uranium has a half like of 4.5 million years... unless the radiation drastically alters our aging we won't be planting anything for sometime.
If the half life is that long does that mean we would need to stay protected for that long or would it only effect the food?
Because if you survived the nuclear bomb how would you eat and survive if nothing can grow?
 

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What I remember from being in the military, fallout washes off BUT it will leach into the ground. Unless you have some areas that were not affected, or you have untainted top soil in storage ina a 6 foot earthen bunker... IMHO the likelyhood of growing edible food is going to be slim.
 

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Pasona O2: Urban Underground Farming
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 07.31.07



Two years ago we first covered Tokyo's underground farm; It is called Pasona O2 and was set up as a means of providing agricultural training to young people who are having trouble finding employment and middle-aged people in search of a second career. Of course, since we first posted the interest in local food has increased dramatically and there has been much more interest in urban farming. We also came upon some new information:




The Pasona Group has a traditional farm in Ogata, but they want the "freeters" (Japanese slackers who hop between part time jobs) to get a taste, so to speak. It also is open to middle-aged people in search of a second career. There are a thousand square metres (10,000 SF) growing 100 different kinds of produce.

"In the absence of sunlight, the plants are sustained by artificial light from light-emitting diodes, metal halide lamps, and high-pressure sodium vapor lamps. The temperature of the room is controlled by computer, and the vegetables are grown by a pesticide-free method in which fertilizer and carbon dioxide are delivered by spraying. Hydroponics, in which plants are grown in water and hardly any soil is used, is one of the methods of cultivation used in the facility."


Room 1 Flower field. White LEDs are used. Plant cultivation by RGB LED.
Metal halids spotlights are used.


Room 3 Shelf rice field. Metal halids lamps and high-pressure sodium lamps are used.
It explains that it is possible to do by three crops a year.


Room 4 Fruit/vegetable field. Cultivation of tomato by hydroponics.
3 wavelength, 5000 deg. K, High-frequency fluorescent lamp.


Room 6 Seedling room. Lettuces are being grown with fluorescent lamps.
2xFour steps cultivation bed.

It is all very energy-intensive; we would prefer to see more use of Parans type piped natural light or heliostats but this could be the start of a new underground movement.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/07/pasona_o2_urban.php
 

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Pasona O2: Urban Underground Farming
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 07.31.07



Two years ago we first covered Tokyo's underground farm; It is called Pasona O2 and was set up as a means of providing agricultural training to young people who are having trouble finding employment and middle-aged people in search of a second career. Of course, since we first posted the interest in local food has increased dramatically and there has been much more interest in urban farming. We also came upon some new information:




The Pasona Group has a traditional farm in Ogata, but they want the "freeters" (Japanese slackers who hop between part time jobs) to get a taste, so to speak. It also is open to middle-aged people in search of a second career. There are a thousand square metres (10,000 SF) growing 100 different kinds of produce.

"In the absence of sunlight, the plants are sustained by artificial light from light-emitting diodes, metal halide lamps, and high-pressure sodium vapor lamps. The temperature of the room is controlled by computer, and the vegetables are grown by a pesticide-free method in which fertilizer and carbon dioxide are delivered by spraying. Hydroponics, in which plants are grown in water and hardly any soil is used, is one of the methods of cultivation used in the facility."


Room 1 Flower field. White LEDs are used. Plant cultivation by RGB LED.
Metal halids spotlights are used.


Room 3 Shelf rice field. Metal halids lamps and high-pressure sodium lamps are used.
It explains that it is possible to do by three crops a year.


Room 4 Fruit/vegetable field. Cultivation of tomato by hydroponics.
3 wavelength, 5000 deg. K, High-frequency fluorescent lamp.


Room 6 Seedling room. Lettuces are being grown with fluorescent lamps.
2xFour steps cultivation bed.

It is all very energy-intensive; we would prefer to see more use of Parans type piped natural light or heliostats but this could be the start of a new underground movement.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/07/pasona_o2_urban.php

Umm, underground farming will not work after a nuclear war due to the fact that there will not be any energy available to operate the lights and irrigation systems, and back-up generators still need fuel.

However, I think the OP was trying ascertain what is required if there was nuclear fallout in a rural area that was not directly impacted which is the more likely scenario. To the best of my knowledge, you have to scrape the topsoil and it would be best to do this BEFORE it rains. Generally you get the first 2-6" of topsoil. With this in mind, the real question is were do you put millions of cubic tons of radioactive topsoil from a typical small farm?

I think that the most likely scenario would be that most farmers would only cultivate a small patch for local survival and trade, while the average home owner would probably scrape and then plant a garden on their lots. Farmers would expose more land for cultivation with time, but it would be a very long process. We would all need to revert back to the way of the native American Indians - cultivating and using only what we need for our local community. It will probably take 3-4 generations to overcome the effects of the radioactivity and have large areas of sustainable land.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You said there is would be no energy after a nuclear bomb but surely you could use wind turbines, solar panels or other "green" alternatives, or would these ideas not work?

Another point is wouldn't you die from the radiation while disposing of the top soil?
 

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You said there is would be no energy after a nuclear bomb but surely you could use wind turbines, solar panels or other "green" alternatives, or would these ideas not work?
Yes, they will work, but you would have to have an overwhelming amount of them just to run the lighting systems. The lamps used in underground farming require absolutely HUGE amounts of energy to operate. Also, the pumps for irrigation on such a scale would also consume very large amounts of energy. Now, add to that the climate control systems, and there is just no reliable way to create enough power to operate an underground farming facility in a sustainable way with current technology and still sustain other human requirements.

You should also note that as with any typical war (nuclear or otherwise), one of the first things destroy is a country's ability to produce, hence take out power and transportation systems first along with military and government facilities. You can certainly bet that is someone had the balls to launch a nuke, they did everything right and took out the power generating facilities as well.

Another point is wouldn't you die from the radiation while disposing of the top soil?
If fallout from a distant nuclear strike is all you have to worry about as far as radiation is concerned (meaning that the center of the blast was many miles - 30-200+ - away from your farm, then with the proper precautions, one could effectively remove the topsoil without undue exposure to the radioactive fallout. Rain will wash away fallout in this type of situation. However, it also will wash it into the soil. The trick is to remove the soil to an adequate depth so that any remaining soil is viable for planting edible crops. You may also have to plant several crops (plants absorb radiation) and then destroy those crops before you will be able to eat anything from the land. It all boils down to how much radiation exposure the land was subject to.

As a farmer who may be concerned with the consequences of nuclear fallout, you would not go wrong picking up a geiger counter so that you would be able to test the soil yourself. Get one now, and you may even be able to write it off on your taxes as part of your farming equipment. Especially with the 2008 stimulus package as most equipment purchases can be fully deducted the first year.
 
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