Herbicide in Horse manure

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by stevo, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    I just read this from someone in native bee facebook group and thought I'd share.....

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    My partner and I thought we hit the jackpot when we found 30kg bags of manure for $4 each siting out the front of a cute lil horse farm, so naturally we bought 8 bags and turned them through our soil ready for our spring planting. Now over a month later I've been noticing abnormal changes to the tomatoes and potatoes. After hours of reading and trying to narrow down the symptoms I've discovered the likely issue affecting the crops is a result of manure contaminated with herbi...cide. The selective herbicide named aminopyralid is routinely applied to grass crops to get rid of broad leaf weeds before harvesting to make hay, which is then sold to farmers as feed, the chemical is so strong it passes right through the animals into their **** - and then in my case; gets turned through soil. The manure breaks down and releases the herbicide, poisoning whatever's in the vicinity. Aminopyralid stays present in the soil for a minimum of 3 years. Crops won't grow and any that manage to will have the herbicide present within their bodies and fruit. This is a substantial blow to our lives. This seasons harvest was planned out to be preserved and put away to help us get through the first year on our new farm before we've set up crops.
    I hope others can learn from this.

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    Some more info here:
    http://www.dowagro.com/en-us/range/forage-management/aminopyralid-stewardship
     
  2. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Crikey that's a can of worms opening up!

    I've been very skeptical of mass produced feed since we eat our poultry and eggs I'm careful to feed them products which are either organic or at least pesticide free (hopefully herbicide free).

    Since the latest news this year by German scientists proving round-up doesn't break down as easily as they thought and can be found in food likely causing cancers, it's worrying how we all could be exposed.
     
  3. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    yeap, and we can be exposed to things we don't know about as we're 3rd or 4th inline down the chain, all that info doesn't get passed along.

    In my other horse poo thread I mentioned I was given some horse poo, and I don't even know where it came from.
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    It certainly raises several good points and things to consider before just going out and buying horse manure from anyone. But it can't be good for the horses though surely? You'd think some of the chemical must be absorbed by the animal and how can it be in such high amounts that it "passes through the horse" and then still affects crops? It's still possible the account from that lady on FB is wrong because the signs and symptoms of abnormal problems in her vegetable crops could have been caused by manure burn from uncomposted poo or over nutrients from too much of it...
     
  5. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Well this really got my attention Steve! I'm also thinking of it from the point of view of the health of the horses that eat this hay.
    I must ask the guy who I buy my 'organic' hay from, if he sprays the original plants that constitute the crop.

    He lets me know if he has weather damaged hay that was not sprayed with anything during it's growth since the last cut. I buy those damaged pure lucerne bales for $8 each by the ton for my garden. Obviously he uses something because he is able to harvest a pure lucerne crop.

    I wonder if it is a systemic, which would mean it is in the plant from time of spraying & therefore shows up in subsequent growth following a cut. It shouldn't be, because as you say Steve, it is to kill the broadleaf plants.

    I have used a lot of it around my fruit trees as a top mulch then tried to grow all sorts of things in the mulch including more lucerne. On the whole most seedlings have failed except tomatoes, pumpkins, a small number of chia plants(which is a salvia) & mung beans. All else has died or failed to germinate or thrive which was very confusing for me since the 'new' soil produced by the various mulch & compost layers was supposed to create friable fertile soil.

    I am unable to afford true organic hay since it is around $30 a bale & I have already used over 100 bales here in just 1 season.
    It seems everyone has to put a price on the level of 'organic' they are capable of affording.
    The less affluent you are, the lesser quality your 'organic' will be.

    After recent discussions with the people at Nutri-tec Solutions at Yandina, we have decided I should stop using home grown manure & compost ingredients because they all propagate the inherent nutritional/mineral deficiencies of the native soil.
    So I have started watching as I drive along to find cow & horse manure for sale on the side of the road.

    What do I do now if I can't even buy that?

    Luckily I don't feed my own horses any hay these days & they get 'processed' feed only every 3rd day in the form of 1cup of elcheapo pellets, just enough to hold their mineral supplement & salt combined with a little copra (which IS organic!).
     
  6. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    I don't think any tests were done so there may not be any proof, but I think it's something to be aware of. Looks like you've just got to try to check where it's coming from, which could be hard sometimes.

    I did a quick google and saw this from 2013 - https://www.organicgardener.com.au/blogs/herbicide-alert

    Quote: "Also you are much safer to buy lucerne hay or pea straw for mulch because these herbicides cannot be used near lucerne or peas."
     
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  7. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    That's good to know Stevo. A bit of a relief really. Cheers
     
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