Watch out for contaminated compost in...

The International Compost Sanitation Forum and Message Board: General Composting Issues: Watch out for contaminated compost ingredients!!
Author: Joe Jenkins
Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 9:29 pm
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Beware!

Dow Chemical is marketing herbicides that do not break down in thermophilic compost. The farm animals eat the herbicides in the farm pastures or in the hay; the chemicals pass through them into the manure and bedding (straw); and when you use these feedstocks (manure, hay, or straw) in your compost, you end up with poison compost that will kill your plants!

You can read more about it at http://www.jgpress.com/BCArticles/2001/070125.html

Author: apoppyfairy
Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 8:41 pm
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Wow. When I read your message, I thought I'd reply and tell you that it's happening in my area too. But then I checked the link and the article is about my area! All that compost is useless now and some crops have been destroyed.

Author: saths
Monday, March 01, 2004 - 8:21 am
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If you leave poisoned compost in place will it eventually be taken up by earth processes? I know that on our farm we left a small pile of cow manure & straw bedding for about 5 years & it gradually got flat with the ground.

Author: Larry
Monday, March 01, 2004 - 10:06 pm
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Time heals most wounds, and fungi help a lot.
Here in the NW the common herbicide Chlopyralid contaminated many compost piles, leading Washington and Oregon States to restrict residential use. Recent reports indicate the strategy has greatly reduced contamination of compost from this pesticide.
If you suspect toxic pollutants in your compost, do a simple bio-assay. Prepare half a dozen small pots with half suspicious compost and half good potting soil, mixed together. Fill another half dozen with just potting soil for a control. Use peas as an indicator, they are especially sensitve to Chlopyralid and other broad-leaf herbicides, and will germinate under a cold frame in cool temperatures. In 6 weeks you should be able to tell if there is a significant difference between samples. Contaminated soil will cause slow germination, curling leaves, spots, and the plants will look puny. If stable/barn bedding and manure is mixed in your compost, be aware that Chlopyralid is still commonly used in alfalfa fields. The herbicide passes through the animals, and remains active for several years. The city of Spokane is sitting on thousands of cubic yards of compost from urban yard debris, waiting for toxic levels to subside before it can be sold.
Here is an interesting web link which argues for the use of fungi to heal contaminated soil: www.fungiperfecti.com Author Paul Stamets has done a lot of fascinating research on the role of various fungi in breaking down toxic compounds into harmless hydro-carbon molecules.
The national environmental group,Beyond Pesticides, just announced a Spring campaign to raise the awareness of homeowners about non-toxic landscape management alternatives.
Larry

Author: yousof
Sunday, February 13, 2005 - 7:28 am
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want reports in use of fungi as herbicides
iwant this in ahurry
who can help me
please do

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