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Researcher Offers 'Magnetic Harvest' To UN

by Reg Crowder Governmental Affairs Staff

Friday, June 14, 1974

GREEN COVE SPRINGS - An independent researcher has developed a method of treating grain seeds with electromagnets which he believes can increase food production in some crops by as much as 30 percent.

Albert Roy Davis, who will be 59 Tuesday, has offered the development free to the United Nations in the hope that it might be used to head off a predicted food shortage next year.

"All we ask is that the nations freely exchange information on the process", he said. Davis is now obtaining a patent on the process.

Essentially, the process is one of exposing seeds to magnetic energy prior to planting. Experiments so far have dealt with radish, beet, sugar beet, oat, rye, wheat, corn, okra and cabbage seeds.

One-fourth pound of each type of seed was exposed for eight hours to the energies of each of the poles (north or south) of a long cylinder [magnet] using a gauss strength of 2000 units for magnetic force.

Another group of seeds of the same types was kept away from magnetic fields and used as a "control group" to determine the normal performance of untreated seeds. 

Davis said all seeds then were grown under identical conditions.

These are the basic results reported by Davis:

-After three days seeds exposed to the magnetic south pole germinated and came up first. Neither the "control group" nor the north pole treated seeds had shown germination.

-After five days growth, the south pole treated seeds were 1 1/2  inches above ground. The north pole treated seeds hadn't germinated. Growths from the control group were about one-half inch high.

After 10 days the growths from the south pole treated seeds were 3 1/2 inches high.  Growths from the north pole treated seeds were one inch high. The growths from the control group were two inches high.

"As a result of 280 separate treatings, [plantings] and harvestings, it is apparent that the two poles of a magnet are totally different as to their effect on rate of seed germination and rate of plant growth", Davis said.

Davis said his seed experiments have shown that the south magnetic pole stimulates growth, while the north pole represses it.

The concept that magnetic fields have an effect upon organisms isn't by itself new. A search of recent scientific journals uncovers a series of articles on the subject, although not a great number of them.

A Canadian scientist, Dr. Urban Pittman, has done work quite similar to that of Davis.

Working at the (Canadian) federal agriculture research station at Lethbridge, Alberta, Pittman as reported increased crop production of 12 percent through the use of magnetic fields.

"I'm years ahead of him", Davis said.

The point overlooked by other scientists, Davis said, is the different characteristics of the north and south magnetic poles and how to measure and apply them.

Davis admits to being a rather unconventional scientist and contends that factor has given him the freedom to work in areas not open to government and corporate researchers.

"The corporations are incentive killers", he said. "They are robbing the initiative of young people to research and develop new ideas and not stay within the confines of established science."

Davis studied physics and electronics at the University of Florida in 1936 but didn't stay in school.

By his account, he became interested in the effects of magnetic fields on organisms in [1936]. The Albert Roy Davis Research Laboratory was established [in 1938].

The lab is crammed into Davis' modest frame home at 520 Magnolia Avenue, a sleepy tree-lined street just off the main highway running through Green Cove Springs.

Davis said that until recent years he supported the lab through teaching and the sale of science courses he wrote.

About three years ago, he began receiving support from Biomagnetics International, a corporation located in Jacksonville and headed by attorney Walter C. Rawls.

I've been able to go about my work much more intensively since then", he said.

Davis said neither he nor Biomagnetics International has any intention of making money from the seed treatment process.

The patent Davis is now in the process of obtaining covers several magnetic field applications, in addition to the seed treatment procedure.

"They hope eventually to recover their investment from other parts of the patent", Davis said.

The process was offered to the Untied Nations two weeks ago in letters sent to UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, Rene Maheu, director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and John A. Scali,  U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Davis said there hasn't been any response yet.