• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

So ticked about possible manure contamination

 
Honora Holmes
Posts: 28
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I ordered and had 5 tons of composted horse manure delivered to my house. Now I'm reading about issues with Grazon and other herbicides that are in hay that could damage any tomatoes and beans I try to grow in soil treated with manure from animals who have eaten contaminated hay. I put in a call to the man I bought my manure from but honestly I doubt I'll get a straight answer. He said he keeps nearly 30 horse so I'm sure he's not growing all his own hay. And while I don't really know this guy I have a hard time believing he'll track down the info from his suppliers so I can know whether or not his manure he's selling will kill or stunt the plants of people he sells to. I guess I'm just cynical. I can try and find out myself with the manure but it involves several weeks growing beans in soil with the manure to see if it's bad or not. In the meantime my plan has been to spread the manure NOW all over the garden so I'll be ready to plant in a month.

I guess this is partly just a vent. I'm as much bothered by the idea of being out $160 for contaminated manure as I am just sick to death of dealing with crappy soil that NEEDS a lot of amendment and I have such a hard time finding good clean healthy straw, hay, manure etc in large and cheap enough quantities to improved thousands of square feet of garden space. I'm sick of these stinking poisons in my air, soil and water that we have to work so hard to avoid and then sneak up on us in a thousand different ways regardless. I love to garden but struggle with poor health and am trying to make my life and gardening easier. 5 tons of horse manure was supposed to help do that and now I just created more work for myself instead of less.
 
Saybian Morgan
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wouldn't stress about it if it's been composted properly, if he's got 30 horse chomping through pesticide city who's really screwed?
What I would be worried about is if the horses have been heavily de-wormed and the manure is not composted properly you could really wipe out what worms you do have in the soil.
It's why I wont feed horse manure to my worm bins, because I might never know. Mind you if you have yourself a tractor or a backhoe you could make a killer windrow or heap of compost with the horse manure to really rev up the organism's before you lay it out broadscale.
I know how you feel about being desperate to add life to the soil but if you have the means you could re-mediate any nasty's with an 18 day compost and have a more amplified effect than manure alone. I don't know where the worms come from but after a good hot compost your looking at 10 to 30 worms per square foot being added to your soil vs feeding the worms that are or are not in the ground. Either way your making positive moves, don't discount the an-entropic effects of life working for you day and night even if you "could" loose some beans in the shorterm.
 
Jim Cowperthwaite
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Arrgg, me too here on Whidbey Island Washington. My farm I built 14 years ago has been put out of commission quite effectively by the same problem as you. I can't find any help anywhere other than the state taking soil samples, but I have to sit here and wait a month for results. I picked up a few truckloads of manure from a local farm, put it in most of my beds, either by rototilling, top dressing, or making manure tea. And now I understand, under good management, I MIGHT get this stuff worked out of the soil in a few years. You have every reason to be upset, I am no spring chicken here and am not up to 50yds of soil replacement. I have been researching since July 15, emailing, contacting, all that. Pretty much what I get is T/S. Us farmers, homesteaders, don't get no respect. I have to wait until the end of August for the results, and in the meantime look at all the losses. I can't even sell any produce any more as that is illegal if it is tainted. I had a vision today of all four of our local farmer's markets full of crafters and no food. The freezer is looking like it will be bare this year, maybe next. You are not just ranting, you have every reason to be extremely hurt and upset that your land has been compromised by that which you try to avoid by growing your own, same here.
 
David Good
gardener
Posts: 522
Location: Equatorial tropics
30
books forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"I wouldn't stress about it if it's been composted properly, if he's got 30 horse chomping through pesticide city who's really screwed?"

It's worse than that. It goes right through animals, right through composting, etc., if it's one of the really nasty herbicides. Been there, done that. Aminopyralids wiped out half my garden and a bunch of blackberries this spring, thanks to a wonderful "tank-ready mix" recommended by the University of Florida and lovingly created by Dow AgroSciences. The half-life can be as long as a FEW YEARS.

I've got an article on the subject coming up in Natural Awakenings magazine - it ought to be out shortly. When I see it hit the net, I'll give it to Paul. These toxins are awful.
 
Jim Cowperthwaite
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The symptoms, general concensus of opinion here, the possible method transport, and the general location from whence it came points right at aminopyralid. I understand a product named Forefront, which is popular for hay fields, may also contain 2,4D. It is surmised it came in a 2010 hay cutting. This is incidious, that a product could be created by the chemists they must have known would be terminal to farms dependant on imported manure for their nutrients. All small farms here, at least ones I know with an occasional exception, have to import. We turned half the garden, fallow at the time (not now!), to a herd of 16 goats with the intent of making our own manure. The problem was my garden was in dire need or organic material, a large injection, as it were. All these years I had resisted import, did it twice, and got bit. Without dirt replacement, which is about as traumatic to a garden one can get (thinking about when I started with sand on top of peat and added bags and bags of various mineral nutrients). That's 1/2 an acre! Of course I was in my 40's then with lots of energy. All had to be hauled in by tractor bucket, one by one. Slowing down a bit these days, don't know if I have the energy to move 100 yds. Taking the day off today, I am runout, tired, exhausted from all this. Dirt replacment, similar to realizing a wooden boat needs to be refastened, did that last summer. Jim
 
David Good
gardener
Posts: 522
Location: Equatorial tropics
30
books forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jim - that's murder. I totally feel your pain. If I lived closer, I'd drive over and help you. God protect us from the innovations of scientists.

I'm so sorry. Good luck. I lost a few beds, a couple of trees and about 10 blackberry bushes. I tracked the Aminopyralid issue back to the farmer I'd bought the manure from - he'd sprayed it on his hay field to control spiny amaranth. The cows had eaten it (because it's SAFE!), then left their droppings, which then composted for about half a year before I used them.

The distortion in the plant growth was amazing. Twisted and curled like fractals. Some of the brassicas survived, but I wasn't sure they were safe to use.

I repaired the beds, however, by making charcoal and turning it into the soil. Then I grew grass crops, which are unaffected, then cut them and threw the stalks away. Now some things will grow again.
 
Jim Cowperthwaite
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wasn't only tired, I had pneumonia! No wonder I was out of steam.
 
Richard Nurac
Posts: 52
Location: north Georgia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree it is a continuing problem. I am enjoying "Farmers of Forty Centuries" by F.H. King written 1911 about his agricultural research in the Far East and it abounds with the manure collecting techniques of the countries he visited. They didn't have the "benefit" of all the 'cides and drugs we have developed, which now make manure recycling so problematic.

If you aren't sure whether the manure is contaminated or not, do a simple control test to find out - a couple containers of soil and manure and containers with just soil and plant them out and monitor. It will remove the uncertainty - I tried it (see my post 3/15/12) on my website, and it helped me.
 
Jim Cowperthwaite
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have split plantings of the affected plants. So I have tomatoes in this stuff, and not. Same with potatoes, beans. I think I built a bioassay on a larger scale. The difference in obvious. There are many other plants that should have showed up by now, as I plant intensively. Try to fill every space with something. When planting season is on, I get a bit crazy. I like surprises. I don't always remember what I put where when it comes to the miscellaneous. What surprises I thought I might have are either mutated (cucumbers), failed to thrive, or just not there at all, as I try to remember in my craziness what I planted out there. Since I made manure tea out of this stuff for my plant starts, I mysteriously lost some of those, and it looks like what did survive to transplant stage didn't do too well. One example is onions. I grew starts from seed, didn't have enough for the whole bed, which did not get any of this stuff, so I filled the rest with bulbs from the store. The bulbs did ok, the starts from seed never thrived. I have half a bed of carrots that got some of the 'stuff', and today noticed some wilting of the plants not present in the other half. I always put the potting soil the starts grew in with them when I transplant, trying to not shock them too much. So if there was any affect by the tea, it went into the bed with them. I really done it good! I got wind of some progress in this matter, so I have my hopes up, hopefully not for naught! Jim
 
David Good
gardener
Posts: 522
Location: Equatorial tropics
30
books forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As promised (though rather late), here's a link to my blog with a copy of the article I published on Aminopyralid contamination. I can't tell you how nasty this stuff is: it's truly the devil's work.

http://www.floridasurvivalgardening.com/2012/09/august-natural-awakenings-article.html
 
LaLena MaeRee
Posts: 148
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So that's what it's called, our WSU extension rep had warned us about this. How aweful. Jim, is your farm near Oak Harbor? We would like to help you if we can, I may even be able to round up a few extra hands around the neighborhood.
 
Jim Cowperthwaite
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the reply posts! And especially for the offer for help! I am on the south end. Now that the discovery, anger, grieving, and political noise made, I have been working the recovery. The problem I have now is that I have about 30 yds of contaminated soil piled up in a more benign part of the property that will have to be dealt with and need replacement. I am concerned I could get the same thing back if I do that. So, much to my disdain, I figure I will sacrifice other fallow beds for now to replace the most critical areas. I will have to face that music later. At this point I was lucky in that I planted a row of beans in my beets, not a good idea after the beets are started, but I harvested the beets and salvaged the bean row, so I am getting some in now. The clean half of a carrot bed I harvested yesterday and will process today. So things are coming along, slowly. I am not sure about the corn at this point, I had put a small amount of manure on the root zone of each plant. Then of course it rained incessantly! But we took that out along with the first inch of topsoil. I have noticed one thing though. Affected plants appear to have an odor, kind of a solvent, that gets in the breath. I have noticed that three times while moving them. Anybody else notice that? Jim
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1422
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For this very reason I have been working on 'closing the loop' here at my place. I still allow canna lilies and elephant ears to multiply in abundance. Because the large amount of lush green growth, combined with dry fall leaves, grass clippings and kitchen waste is my 'manure'.

I bought one bale of straw last year because I was impatient and boy was I sorry - that whole project was a waste and that one bale is still sitting in a corner with not even a weed growing in it.

I think the method is working pretty well. Check out pics on my link below to see what you think. The only other inputs, other than what is listed above, are from my birds. I do not use any chemical dewormer on them and they eat only whole grains, kitchen waste, bugs and vegetation.
 
LaLena MaeRee
Posts: 148
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jeanine Gurley wrote:For this very reason I have been working on 'closing the loop' here at my place. I still allow canna lilies and elephant ears to multiply in abundance. Because the large amount of lush green growth, combined with dry fall leaves, grass clippings and kitchen waste is my 'manure'.

I bought one bale of straw last year because I was impatient and boy was I sorry - that whole project was a waste and that one bale is still sitting in a corner with not even a weed growing in it.

I think the method is working pretty well. Check out pics on my link below to see what you think. The only other inputs, other than what is listed above, are from my birds. I do not use any chemical dewormer on them and they eat only whole grains, kitchen waste, bugs and vegetation.

Jeanine is right, I think I seen someone point out in another thread lately that when we break the fertility cycle we are basically barbarians who end up paying for it dearly. If we would stop transporting things so far diseases wouldn't be such an issue. The important thing is we learn from the mistakes, hopefully before it's too late. This has prevented us from the same mistake, we were about to take in manure from relatives animals but their feed can/may come from Eastern Washington which is where this stuff is used a lot so we won't be doing that now. Going to spend more time searching the property we are on for resources already here. It is a rental but we have permission to grow food and pretty much do what we want, with respect, which we show. Best of luck to everyone, may chemical producers get that sensation of it burning while they pee. /innocent face
 
bill archer
Posts: 58
Location: Oregon Zone 8b
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Honora Holmes wrote:I ordered and had 5 tons of composted horse manure delivered to my house. Now I'm reading about issues with Grazon and other herbicides that are in hay that could damage any tomatoes and beans I try to grow in soil treated with manure from animals who have eaten contaminated hay. I put in a call to the man I bought my manure from but honestly I doubt I'll get a straight answer. He said he keeps nearly 30 horse so I'm sure he's not growing all his own hay. And while I don't really know this guy I have a hard time believing he'll track down the info from his suppliers so I can know whether or not his manure he's selling will kill or stunt the plants of people he sells to. I guess I'm just cynical. I can try and find out myself with the manure but it involves several weeks growing beans in soil with the manure to see if it's bad or not. In the meantime my plan has been to spread the manure NOW all over the garden so I'll be ready to plant in a month.

I guess this is partly just a vent. I'm as much bothered by the idea of being out $160 for contaminated manure as I am just sick to death of dealing with crappy soil that NEEDS a lot of amendment and I have such a hard time finding good clean healthy straw, hay, manure etc in large and cheap enough quantities to improved thousands of square feet of garden space. I'm sick of these stinking poisons in my air, soil and water that we have to work so hard to avoid and then sneak up on us in a thousand different ways regardless. I love to garden but struggle with poor health and am trying to make my life and gardening easier. 5 tons of horse manure was supposed to help do that and now I just created more work for myself instead of less.


Sorry to hear about this very unfortunate experience! I picked up some free horse manure today. I hear from another gardener there who uses it that it was doing well for him. However after reading the consequences (up to 5 years and possible water contamination) I'm going to do this test on it before widely using it on the Hugelbed:
Maybe a better test than I posted before?
Source: http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/soilmgmt/Pubs/CloBioassay.pdf
 
                    
Posts: 238
Location: AR ~ozark mountain range~zone7a
9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
farmandranchfreedom.org/sff/Huber-May2011-Acres.pdf

james beam
 
LaLena MaeRee
Posts: 148
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks James, Dr Huber is also featured in the new Genetic Roulette Movie, which is currently free to watch until saturday. I just heard a rumor that Insurance companies are preparing for zombies. Before you call me crazy think about it, nano technology + gmo + pesticide = mutations we will not live to see the end of, scary stuff.
 
bill archer
Posts: 58
Location: Oregon Zone 8b
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Question
I received some free compost, 3 years worth, recently from a "free" ad on CL. Much of it has living creatures in it - beatles, meal-worms, even spiders but some parts had nothing at all (could have been due to less compost material thrown in these areas).
I was thinking of stuffing my new hugelbed with this, but was wondering if it's possible to test hay using the methods above to make sure it's not contaminated? Any ideas very much appreciated.
 
greg patrick
Posts: 168
Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most horse owners de-worm their animals every quarter. Most compost piles have a quarter's worth of manure in them, so guess what? Part of that pile has bio farm-a sue da cull residue! If you want good worms, don't use manure with de-wormer in it! Know your sources!
 
Kris Minto
Posts: 137
Location: Ottawa, Canada -- Zone 4b/5a
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This thread makes me wonder if I should order some topsoil for a new garden beds. The problem I face if I moved into a new development with anything from 4-6 inches of dirt like soil and below that it's typical backfill with clay and lots of rock. I've order two load since I moved in two and half years ago and I have had no issues but that does not mean there is not other chemicals like de-wormer in it which could be affecting my health long term or the life in the soil.

 
LaLena MaeRee
Posts: 148
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Kris Minto wrote:This thread makes me wonder if I should order some topsoil for a new garden beds. The problem I face if I moved into a new development with anything from 4-6 inches of dirt like soil and below that it's typical backfill with clay and lots of rock. I've order two load since I moved in two and half years ago and I have had no issues but that does not mean there is not other chemicals like de-wormer in it which could be affecting my health long term or the life in the soil.



clay and rock you say? Have you ever watched Back to Eden ? Some people do not like it because he mentions god, he has enough bible knowledge that he can recite it, and he does. However, it is pretty packed with good information too, and I have seen many people online say they contacted Paul and he was quite willing to give away secrets and tips to anyone wanting to garden how he does. He may be of use to you.
 
bill archer
Posts: 58
Location: Oregon Zone 8b
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
LaLena MaeRee wrote:
Kris Minto wrote:This thread makes me wonder if I should order some topsoil for a new garden beds. The problem I face if I moved into a new development with anything from 4-6 inches of dirt like soil and below that it's typical backfill with clay and lots of rock. I've order two load since I moved in two and half years ago and I have had no issues but that does not mean there is not other chemicals like de-wormer in it which could be affecting my health long term or the life in the soil.



clay and rock you say? Have you ever watched Back to Eden ? Some people do not like it because he mentions god, he has enough bible knowledge that he can recite it, and he does. However, it is pretty packed with good information too, and I have seen many people online say they contacted Paul and he was quite willing to give away secrets and tips to anyone wanting to garden how he does. He may be of use to you.


This was an excellent film, and the fact that it's free was awesome too. I could relate to it because of the clay based soil, it made me feel like there was hope to accomplishing a lot good growth and soil on our land, although woodchips, soil and manure are expensive when buying from big names so we will start slowly. I'm going to watch it again this weekend, thanks for reminding me
 
Kris Minto
Posts: 137
Location: Ottawa, Canada -- Zone 4b/5a
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It happens to be a good weekend to watch film since they are calling for rain all weekend in Ottawa, Canada. I should said that I some small pocket of clay they just back filled but it's mostly rock and dirt that makes up the back-fill. So far I can't really complaint after seen the results this year.
 
greg patrick
Posts: 168
Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
bill archer wrote: although woodchips, soil and manure are expensive when buying from big names so we will start slowly.


Woodchips are free. Contact your city maintenance crew, or the crews that work for the local utilities. They will probably deliver them to your home when they have a load.

Manure is free. Contact your local stables, ranches, etc. Equestrian centers have tons and will sometimes deliver it for free.

Soil is free. Collect green waste from your local farmers, tree trimmers, supermarkets and farmer's markets. Go rake leaves in the local parks. Compost them and turn them often and you'll have all the rich loamy soil you can use.
 
Chris Stelzer
Author
Posts: 118
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Honora Holmes wrote:I ordered and had 5 tons of composted horse manure delivered to my house. Now I'm reading about issues with Grazon and other herbicides that are in hay that could damage any tomatoes and beans I try to grow in soil treated with manure from animals who have eaten contaminated hay. I put in a call to the man I bought my manure from but honestly I doubt I'll get a straight answer. He said he keeps nearly 30 horse so I'm sure he's not growing all his own hay. And while I don't really know this guy I have a hard time believing he'll track down the info from his suppliers so I can know whether or not his manure he's selling will kill or stunt the plants of people he sells to. I guess I'm just cynical. I can try and find out myself with the manure but it involves several weeks growing beans in soil with the manure to see if it's bad or not. In the meantime my plan has been to spread the manure NOW all over the garden so I'll be ready to plant in a month.

I guess this is partly just a vent. I'm as much bothered by the idea of being out $160 for contaminated manure as I am just sick to death of dealing with crappy soil that NEEDS a lot of amendment and I have such a hard time finding good clean healthy straw, hay, manure etc in large and cheap enough quantities to improved thousands of square feet of garden space. I'm sick of these stinking poisons in my air, soil and water that we have to work so hard to avoid and then sneak up on us in a thousand different ways regardless. I love to garden but struggle with poor health and am trying to make my life and gardening easier. 5 tons of horse manure was supposed to help do that and now I just created more work for myself instead of less.


One solution to your problem for next year or at a later date would be finding a rancher who grazes livestock and doesn't give them any toxic shit, IE wormer or antibiotics. Hopefully he manages his cattle and moves them daily, and maybe one day he could bring his livestock/cattle into the area you need to improve and "park" them there overnight. They will manure the shit out of this area and add fertility. Of course, finding a rancher like this is very hard. Maybe ask your neighbors? I feel for your situation because I'm a rancher and it can be hard to "convince" other ranchers to do this in a more sustainable and non-toxic way. Good luck.
 
David Good
gardener
Posts: 522
Location: Equatorial tropics
30
books forest garden
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
On manure from off-site, I don't trust anything anymore. Between workers, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, etc., who knows what poison is in that stuff?

As for testing to see if stuff is toxic to your plants, you can transplant some tomatoes into a sample of it and start a few beans as well. They'll start getting whacked out pretty shortly after germination. Look for the twisting and curling to start if you've got Aminopyralids.

One thing that helped my contaminated beds: biochar. I mixed a bunch of crumbled charcoal I made from scavenged sticks. Put that all through the beds and the new seeds and transplants are doing fine.

 
Enjoy the full beauty of the english language. Embedded in this tiny ad:
Quality Hand Tools for the Garden, Homestead and Small Farm.
https://permies.com/t/58443/Quality-Hand-Tools-Garden-Homestead
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!