The Notebooks
by Josée Fiset

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The purpose of Agriculture Raisonnée

When faced with a tiger, fight or flight is your only option. It all comes down to instinct. Industrial farming has become an issue in which evasion is no longer an option. In our wheat fields, the common sense of Agriculture RaisonnéeTM arms us with strength. With pride.

To begin, a brief history of farming: in order to meet the constantly growing needs of the population after World War II, farming became intensive. This advent brought about a massive use of fertilizers and products aimed at combatting diseases, the proliferation of weeds and all those little insects that compromise the fruit of our efforts. These farming practices, we now know, had many impacts on the water, fauna and flora and, by extension, on increasingly concerned people.

Faced with this reality, it turns out that Agriculture RaisonnéeTM brings solutions. By striving to move in the direction of organic farming without adopting all of its constraints, this type of certification-governed farming has been studied and evaluated at length and then embraced by Moulins de Soulanges, the company headed by Robert Beauchemin (La Milanaise) in which Bernard Fiset (Première Moisson) is also involved.

The name Agriculture RaisonnéeTM is the French translation of the Anglo-Saxon concept of Sustainable Farming. Halfway between intensive farming and organic farming, sustainable farming is regulated by 103 guidelines for an overall farming strategy. It involves, for example, tight management of fertilization; reduction, then elimination of pesticides; the banning of phytocides, except in extenuating circumstances that are likely to jeopardize the harvest; limiting the risks of pollution; efficient management of water resources; respect for the living conditions of farm operators and of animals; and landscape protection. This is a very fine concept!

We are light years away from a hayride in grandpa's wagon. Instead, what we have is cutting

edge techniques combined with unquestionably valuable traditional know-how.

This type of farming also, and perhaps especially, has the potential to serve as a springboard for even more sustainable ecological farming methods and allows more conventional farmers to begin to transition towards a more responsible approach and, eventually, to migrate towards organic.

It’s not just one step forward: it’s several strides towards a new reality.

“Common sense is something that everyone needs, few have, and none think they lack.”
— Benjamin Franklin


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