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Wally Richards
Wally Richardshttp://www.gardenews.co.nz
Wally Richards has been a gardening columnist for over 30 years. Check his websites - for gardening news and tips visit www.gardenews.co.nz. For mail order products visit www.0800466464.co.nz. Wally also has a gardening problem help line on 0800 466 464.

Gardening with Wally Richards: Iron vs. Copper

Iron vs Copper in gardening.

Recently a reader sent me an article which I found very interesting so I will share this with you.

Iron gardening tools versus copper gardening tools: What we were never taught

Iron or Copper Equipment in Farming In the 1930s.

A Walter Schauberger was invited by King Boris of Bulgaria to examine the reasons for the great decline in that country’s farming production.

During his trip through the countryside he noticed that in the areas populated by the Turks, the harvests were more plentiful than elsewhere. It was here that the old wooden plough was still used.

The rest of the country had replaced these with modern iron ploughs imported from Germany as part of a general modernizing of Bulgarian agriculture.

The first steam ploughs had also been introduced. Schauberger drew the logical conclusion that the reduced cropping was a consequence of the introduction of iron ploughs, but it was not until later that he developed his theory of the detrimental effect of iron machinery on agriculture. His work with water jets gave him a new perspective on the problem.

It was shown that if a small amount of rust was added to the water in these experiments, no charge developed; the water became ’empty.

He abstracted this finding to the use of iron ploughs and thought their effect on harvest yields must relate to this.

When the iron plough moves through the soil, it becomes warm, and the disturbed soil is covered with a fine dust of iron particles that quickly rust. He had previously noticed that iron-rich ground was dry, and that the turbines in power stations ‘discharged’ water.

The conclusion of all these observations was that iron had a detrimental effect on the water characteristics within the soil; it expelled the water and ‘drained’ it of its power.

When the steam plough, and later the tractor plough, were introduced, the situation worsened as a result of the increased speed with which the blades moved through the soil.

Walter Schauberger has said that water disappears from fields that have been ploughed in this way, for straightforward physical reasons; the iron plough’s rapid passage through the soil cuts through the fields magnetic lines of energy, causing an electrical current to occur in the same way that a coil in an electric generator rotates in a magnetic field.

This, in turn, leads to an electrolysis in the soil which separates the water into oxygen and hydrogen.

The electrolysis also damages the microscopic life in the soil and this leads to an even higher temperature occurring in addition to the iron blades’ friction with the soil. It is especially with iron that these phenomena occur.

With ploughs of wood, copper and other so-called ‘biologically magnetic’ materials, the soil’s magnetic field is not disturbed.

The conclusion that Schauberger drew from these observations, was that another material other than iron should be used for farming equipment.

His attention focused on copper. Copper rich soils retained their ground moisture well, and so he began to experiment with copper ploughs as well as other equipment made from copper.

To begin with he merely covered an iron plough’s cutting surface with copper sheeting and made tests with this.

The tests took place under controlled conditions, dividing the field up into segments, some of which were ploughed with the prevailing iron machinery and some with the adapted copper machinery.

The results proved very favorable to the copper, which showed a 17-35 per cent increase in harvest.

A large firm, Farmleiten – Gut Heuberg, near Salzburg, showed an increase of 50 per cent.

On a hill farm outside Kitzbuhl tests showed an increase in the potato crop of 12.5 times the quantity sown.

Throughout there was an increase in quantity, but also a marked increase in quality.
The baking potential of corn was increased, and potatoes were not attacked by the Colorado beetle, though neighboring potato fields ploughed in the more usual way were still attacked, and the nitrogen requirements of the soil were reduced.

During 1951-52 controlled tests with the copper plough were made by the Farming Chemical Test Station in Linz. The tests concerned the cultivation of oats, wheat, kohlrabi and onions.

Certain sections were worked only with iron machinery, others with iron machinery and added copper sulphate, and a third area with only copper machinery.

In certain tests the copper sulphate was exchanged with pure copper dust. A significant increase was observed in these tests also.

Rumors of these successes spread to farmers around Salzburg where many of the tests had taken place, and they started to call the copper-wonder ‘the golden plough’.

It was manufactured in large quantities but soon considerable opposition arose from an unexpected quarter.

In 1948 Viktor Schauberger had signed a contract with a company in Salzburg for the production of a large number of ploughs.

Then suddenly one day he was visited by a high official from Salzburg’s treasury office. The latter arrived in an elegant car, and the following ensued: the treasury director:

‘There has been a rumor that the Salzburg town corporation has carried out successful tests with your ploughs, and, naturally, this is of interest.

But now I must ask you face to face – what is is worth to me, if I support you?’

Schauberger said: I don’t understand what you mean.

‘You are from the treasury, you have nothing to do with support I have paid my fees for the test and everything is complete.’

The Treasury director went on: ‘I must make myself clear. The fact is, I have an agreement with the nitrogen industry whereby if I can stimulate the farmers to use more nitrogen than usual I receive a royalty for each sack being sold. If now the farmers were to change to the copper plough the demand would permanently diminish, and thus I need royalties from your ploughs as compensation. Can’t we come to an understanding as old friends and make a good deal for us both?’

Schauberger replied furiously: ‘I have only one thing to say to you – you are a greedy rascal – a thing I should have understood at once – when as a representative of the people you drive around in a luxury car.’

It was after this exchange that there was a surprise termination of the contract from the company that was to have provided the ploughs.

Representatives from the local agricultural society also started to warn farmers against using the copper plough as it could cause over-production which would give lower prices.

Thereby their production and use were totally halted. In 1950, Schauberger, together with engineer Rosenberger, however, obtained a patent on a method of coating the active surfaces of farm machinery with copper.

Interesting how iron can effect the soil and crop production.

Moral of the story; Corruption is always in the higher places and we see the same today all over the world.

Image credit: Czapp Árpád

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