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Aminopyralid in manure

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Aminopyralid in manure

Post  Barkie on 5/13/2011, 12:30 pm

I might be a bit quiet for a week or three coz something is bothering me. Some of you may know that 2008 was a rough year for many gardeners in Britain who brought in loads of manure as usual but found that some plants failed to grow as normal. The affected plants grew contorted and stunted. The cause was herbicides containing Aminopyralid which passed through animals into their manure. There were apparently some contaminated bags of composted manure unknowingly sold as well.

I had almost forgotten about this but I read this morning on a garden fora of a new case or maybe two.
http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=76047.0

I'm going to test the bagged composted manures I bought before filling my boxes. I'm sorry for him but hopefully it was just old manure he got and it isn't a new case.

I don't think you will have a problem I had a look and found this

http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/aminopyralid/

This link shows how to do the home test yourself using peas.
http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/aminopyralid/bioassay.html
I'll use some beans I got free with a magazine.

Sorry I'm not meaning to get anyone alarmed. I did think twice about posting this at all. I'm probably worrying for no reason.

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  staf74 on 5/13/2011, 5:36 pm

Very interesting post. I didn't find it alarmist and appreciate the heads up. Many people are perhaps unsuspecting victims of such damage. Amazing really how these herbicides are carried through the digestive system of the animal and survive the journey continuing to wreak havoc on unsuspecting gardeners / farmers.

Sad really, quite sad.

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  Miss M on 5/14/2011, 2:46 am

I didn't find your post alarmist or paranoid either. It's too late to test my garden, and it's doing fine anyway. However, there are plenty who are just planting, and might want to test their composted manure before using it.

Your post could even help those who do test ferret out the brands of manure to avoid. Very Happy

For him, it was old manure:
In my case the herbicide stayed in the manure for a long time (years), until it came into contact with my plants

He, and others who have had trouble with it, are in England, it appears. It has turned up here in the US, too, though. Just a quick search came up with this, one of the comments on an article about the herbicide:

I am not a scientist but an organic gardener. Aminopyralid has turned up
in our district of North Carolina in locally sold one year old
manure/compost which is now showing the potential to wreak havoc on our
local farms and gardens. Here's how it appears to have worked: You get a
great yield of hay and straw with this Dow chemical “program”. You sell
the straw and hay to local horse and cattle farms. The horses and cows
eat the hay, and bed on the straw. You compost their manure and the
straw bedding, let it cook for a year or so, and then sell it to compost
packagers and vegetable gardeners. Our local extension service begins
to get calls about twisted tomato vines with curly leaves, wilting
eggplant, and droopy potato plants. Strawberry producers loose a
season’s crop. Suburban gardeners report wilting zinnias. And then you
suddenly realize that the herbicide was in the manure, and has now
contaminated the soil.

I am looking for advice on effective soil remediation and any known or
suspected impact on human health if we consume the crops that do not
appear to be affected. Looking at the EPA statement
(http://www.epa.gov/opprd001/factsheets/aminopyralid.pdf)says the
following "Two field dissipation studies were performed (in California
and Mississippi). The results indicate that aminopyralid is likely to be
non-persistent and relatively immobile in the field. Half-lives of 32
and 20 days were determined, with minimal leaching below the 15 to 30 cm
soil depth" which is clearly not the case.

From http://scienceblogs.com/moleculeoftheday/2008/06/aminopyralid_you_got_herbicide.php

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  Barkie on 5/14/2011, 7:25 am

Thanks.

On a positive note it shows how effective fora are for spreading knowledge which can help others. Yes, I think there were many people who, through being isolated from other veg gardeners and the growers online community, blamed frost or a virus and never discovered the cause of their crop failures.

I think the products containing the chemical were only meant to be sprayed on grassland so it shouldn't have been in straw bedding but it could have been in hay, haylage, silage used for cattle bedding and cattle and horse feed. From what I can gather from gardeners whose land was contaminated the way to deal with it in land is to remove affected manure, if possible, and repeated cultivation of the ground it was used on to break down the residue.

Dow, the makers, consider affected ground to be aminopyralid free after a year following repeated cultivation to expose it to soil microbes and break it down. Their website is
http://www.manurematters.co.uk/gardening.htm

The 5 composts I have bought are cattle, horse, and poultry each from two different sources, Horse and Mushroom compost from one source and garden waste compost from one source.

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aminopyralid - again

Post  miss digger on 6/28/2011, 6:08 pm

just continuing the saga of this poisoning - we had to use this chemical 3 years ago to kill of a dense sward of buttercups that were killing livestock. The local agrochemical expert had recommended this particular product. The manure from 08/09 was left to rot, and applied to our garden last year, and we encountered all the problems that people have reported previously after applying contaminated rotted manure to the garden. The remainder of the manure generated that year was sent back to the fields in spring 2010. We then made more hay for our winter forage, and it was eaten by housed animals this winter. This year we have applied winter 2010/2011 manure to our garden - and we are experiencing exactly the same problems as before. The point of my post - that although this chemical was applied 3 years ago, it has now cycled through 3 grazing seasons - it is still in the (new) manure and still toxic. This is not the old original manure - this is manure from last year's growth, 2 years after this chemical was used. We are still noting the the grass in our 2 fields does not give the same growth as our neighbours - so this chemical is actually still in the soil and is limiting the growth of the sward. In the polytunnel is is creating mayhem with the tomato plants (not to mention all the other veg), and it is noticeable that the pepper plants are stunted. We have 8 plants growing - 4 on heavily mucked soil, and 4 on non-mucked soil - these are twice the size of those in the mucked area.

Sorry to be so detailed - but this is just to warn that this product hangs around. If anyone yet has a method of encouraging micro-organisms that will break it down in the soil we would love to know please

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  Barkie on 6/29/2011, 5:36 am

Miss Digger, I'm sorry to hear of your difficulties but I'm glad you posted. It's a very serious problem if as well as your garden you have to deal with your own fields which supply your winter feed and fertiliser.

I don't know if you are in Devon, England or USA but the Uk advice would hold good for USA I think. Green Lane Allotments website contains a substantial amount of info gathered since 2008 and is very useful.
http://glallotments.co.uk/ACManure.aspx

I don't know how to encourage soil micro-organisms other
than supply them with sufficient air and moisture by frequently turning
the soil over. The advice from Green Lane is to remove as much of the manure as possible before turning the soil over frequently for 6 months.

I think, and it is only my opinion, that cultivating to shred the manure to expose the maximum amount of manure to microbial action and watering when dry would help. This is viable on garden size plots but one would likely be very reliant on rainfall to water a whole field.

If you are in the Uk and have a quantity of contaminated manure stacked up DOW Agrosciences were removing affected manure heaps upon the request of those affected and may still be doing in Uk. The e-mail address to contact DOW is on http://glallotments.co.uk/Manure7.aspx

Good luck

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  miss digger on 6/29/2011, 6:38 am

hello Barkie

thank you for your reply, and for the link to Green Lane allotments - very useful. We are in Devon UK, so normally plenty of rain (though not this year or last). Unfortunately the spray was applied to 2 fields which are in continuous grass production, and to dig, plough and till, to let the air in and encourage the microorganisms to break down the aminopyralid, would mean no grass for animals to eat, or for the coming winter's food, and yet more expense when we then have to reseed etc. Fortunately we have no large muck heaps - it is spread each year after having been rotted and is returned to the land that it came from - (or perhaps unfortunately - we could have got DOW to come and remove it ...) Meanwhile, we all are hoping that with enough rainfall, and the passage of time, the situation will ease and we can once more use our muck to nourish the garden, and I am currently busy researching green manures and other schemes for adding organic matter to the veg patch.

We have dug up and moved the potatoes that had just started growing and showing all the classic symptoms - so we will see whether they pull themselves together in a new bed, and have tried moving some of the affected tomato plants to see whether they too can recover - watch this space. I fear that we will only be producing a mere fraction of the 55kg of tomatoes that we grew last year. Don't think that there is much more we can do though to alleviate the problem

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/7/2011, 6:28 pm

I figured this was worth a bump....

I've been reading about horse manure being contaminated with the herbicide aminopyralid. From what I gather from these couple of posts, it seems to be sort of "limited" to the UK. Other articles that I've come across suggest the same thing.

Now I'm wondering about all of that horse manure I added to my compost bin. Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  camprn on 11/7/2011, 6:31 pm

@Too Tall Tomatoes wrote:I figured this was worth a bump....

I've been reading about horse manure being contaminated with the herbicide aminopyralid. From what I gather from these couple of posts, it seems to be sort of "limited" to the UK. Other articles that I've come across suggest the same thing.

Now I'm wondering about all of that horse manure I added to my compost bin. Evil or Very Mad
Perhaps it would be prudent to ask the horse farmer the manure came from... was it someone local?

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/7/2011, 6:35 pm

I already sent her an email about it.

I don't know when she'll get back to me so I figured I'd ask you guys and girls.

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  janezee on 11/7/2011, 6:42 pm

Thanks for the heads-up on this. I live near Whatcom county, where they're talking about in that link, and was just about to buy some steer manure by the yard. I'll be looking into it more carefully.
jz

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/7/2011, 6:48 pm

I already added about 30 gallons of horse manure to my compost bin. Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/7/2011, 8:47 pm

I just got an email from that woman and she said that her horses are fed locally-grown timothy alfalfa hay and grain. I'm waiting to hear from her if she knows if that alfalfa hay is treated with aminopyralid.

I'm wondering if I can have the horse manure tested for presence of aminopyralid.

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/7/2011, 9:19 pm

I got another email from the woman and she says that her father used the manure for his tomato garden and the production has been crazy. No mention of anything wrong with the plants so I don't know.

I would still like to get the manure tested if it's possible.

Most of what I found on the internet about aminopyralid is from UK based websites. Is it just not common here?

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 11/8/2011, 11:04 pm

I read an the article about testing for the presence of aminopyralid in manure. Here's the article... http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/aminopyralid/bioassay.html

The testing seems to be pretty easy but it doesn't mention anything about testing "fresh" manure. It seems as though the manure needs to be composted/aged. I just got this manure over the weekend so does that mean I have to wait a while before I can even test it??



Like I said above, the woman said the horse manure must be safe, but I won't rest easy until I know for sure.

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  southern gardener on 8/19/2012, 1:06 am

Has anyone ever done this home test?

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  mollyhespra on 9/29/2012, 8:08 pm

@southern gardener wrote:Has anyone ever done this home test?

We just got a load of 2-3 yr old cow manure dumped out back and I'm thinking we just might try this little experiment before using it on our SFG.

Here's another article http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/programs/ncorganic/special-pubs/herbicide_carryover.pdf that might be of interest. It's also found in some lawn sprays. I'd rather have dandelions than poisoned dirt.

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  camprn on 9/29/2012, 8:15 pm

There are a few older threads about this too.

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  mollyhespra on 10/6/2012, 4:46 pm

Update on the "experiment": I told DH about this issue & we went out to where the manure pile is, both of us wondering if it was safe to use when he pointed out some green stuff in the manure...upon closer inspection it was a dandelion clearly growing out of the manure. It looks like it got dislodged when the pile got dumped and there's also a number of other green things growing here & there, and none of it has the curled leaves which would indicate a problem. So for now, we're going to risk it, as it looks like safe poo to use. YAY!!!


Last edited by mollyhespra on 10/6/2012, 4:47 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  plantoid on 10/6/2012, 5:22 pm

I think your observations of decent weed growth on a real manure heap are one of the best yardstick to use when looking for uncontaminated with chemicals manures.
Though you may find that restarting the composting using clean straw , water & some of your own green waste with the rotted manures is the way to go for you can kill off the weeds & seeds in the manure .
( I found my first big batch of anerobic decayed stable muck was full of weeds & seeds so I took the above route to sort it out ).

I feel it's far better to use these rotted manures for making MM than the commercially bagged composted waste stuff that is often presented & sold as a viable rich compost.

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killer compost another chemical

Post  walshevak on 1/25/2013, 6:09 pm

From my latest Mother Earth newsletter, a newer weedkiller showing up in feed and manures.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/herbicide-damage-zmgz13fmzsto.aspx?newsletter=1&utm_content=01.25.13+FG&utm_campaign=2013+FG&utm_source=iPost&utm_medium=

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  southern gardener on 1/25/2013, 7:12 pm

Very interesting. I'd love to know if this might be our problem..............

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  llama momma on 1/25/2013, 7:20 pm

Thanks, Kaye. But this topic drives me crazy. Here we try to control the quality of our food then some nasty persistant herbicide can sneak in anyway if we're not vigilant.

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  littlejo on 1/25/2013, 9:03 pm

It's just a d___ shame, we try to get greens and browns that haven't been sprayed, then you get the manure, well what did you feed that animal, and where did the feed come from.

I'm going to the feed store(I have my own chickens) and try to find out about the feed, and if it has been exposed.

I guess I need to figure out how/who to test the feed, but, testing each bag or even each lot would be cost prohibitive. I guess I must grow enough stuff to feed the chickens.
Jo

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

Post  southern gardener on 1/25/2013, 9:23 pm

@littlejo wrote:It's just a d___ shame, we try to get greens and browns that haven't been sprayed, then you get the manure, well what did you feed that animal, and where did the feed come from.

I'm going to the feed store(I have my own chickens) and try to find out about the feed, and if it has been exposed.

I guess I need to figure out how/who to test the feed, but, testing each bag or even each lot would be cost prohibitive. I guess I must grow enough stuff to feed the chickens.
Jo


I totally agree Littlejo. It's so frustrating to attempt to grow things, and have them just sit there for months on end. Chemicals that kill beyond that first stage should not be allowed to be used. What a huge mess that could go on for how long? What is it doing to our food/health? No No

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Re: Aminopyralid in manure

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