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Herbicide effects on livestock breeding and progeny

 
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Preface:

The next post is my reply to a couple posts in the Animal husbandry hypothetical, breeding stock thread found here: https://permies.com/t/130098/animal-husbandry-hypothetical-breeding-stock

My reply I wish to post highlights some important concerns mentioned in the other thread and it is not appropriate for that forum and must be put here in the cider press, and I also think my reply could spawn (see what I did there?) it’s own discussion, which must be contained herein. I think the concerns highlighted in the other post are valid and extremely important in todays world, need consideration and certainly warrant healthy and polite discussion, hopefully with more focus on alternatives and solutions.

As a reminder, moderators will have little tolerance and forgiveness of posts that are not nice and don’t leave room for other peoples ideas. If a post does not meet these or Permies' publishing standards it will likely disappear with no explanation and the user may have a few less apples to boot.
 
James Freyr
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Carla Burke wrote: My personal thoughts are that anything the bull/buck had previously eaten would then be deposited on your land, and any damage done to his dna, from his normal lifestyle would have to potential to show up, in your herd's dna.




Travis Johnson wrote: Genetically, unless the animal was exposed to some really nasty stuff (for instance, Agent Orange, which is a nasty thing that gets transferred through sperm to the next generation [and up to 5 generations with Agent orange]), it should not be a problem.




As time goes forward and more research is done on nasty herbicides, evidence is being revealed that common herbicides have been having unforeseen affects on animals that are exposed to these pestilent chemicals. Glyphosate, one of it not the most frequently used herbicides, is now being shown to have a negative affect on sperm DNA in animals that are exposed to the poison. The following quote comes from a paper titled Assessment of Glyphosate Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Pathologies and Sperm Epimutations: Generational Toxicology authored by Deepika Kubsad, Eric E. Nilsson, Stephanie E. King, Ingrid Sadler-Riggleman, Daniel Beck & Michael K. Skinner

The entire paper may be found here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-42860-0

Therefore, the glyphosate lineage sperm were found to have altered DNA methylation in direct exposure F1 and F2 generations, as well as the transgenerational F3 generation



and

Observations indicate glyphosate can promote germline epigenetic alterations in DNA methylation.




The procedure and analysis may have been done on rats, not grazing livestock, but the results show that glyphosate exposure has unforeseen consequences that include, and may not be limited to, altering sperm dna thus affecting the next generation. Glyphosate is, unfortunately, only one of thousands of toxic chemicals used in agriculture. One challenge with understanding pernicious agrochemicals is the cost and time associated with testing them, and even more unfortunately they are assumed safe and approved for use until proven otherwise. It appears to me that glyphosate has been under a lot of scrutiny in recent years, with findings showing just how deadly it really is, and perhaps on the other side of this coin equally toxic and noxious chemicals aren't getting the testing and scrutiny they deserve.

I think it’s important to consider if borrowing a bull from a neighbor for example, to know the neighbors feeding program and farm practices. Perhaps the neighbor supplements grazing in the off season with gene modified grain containing glyphosate residue, or the farmer sprays pastures with chemicals that have currently unknown and undocumented affects. I believe one good solution for those that are concerned with raising healthy livestock and maintaining genetics for the future is to keep their own bull for cows for example, and maintaining total control over what the animal eats and forages on. Maybe keeping a bull or a buck goat isn’t practical for a particular farmer, and an alternative might be to connect and communicate with other ecologically minded farmers so quality genetics can be preserved.


 
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James,

Interesting!  And exactly what I was thinking about.  Thanks very much for looking this up for me.  I would not have considered this myself.

Eric
 
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That does not surprise me. Agent Orange, and Round Up are kissing cousins. They work, not by just mere contact, but by breaking down the genetic barriers on what they are applied too.

My brain cancer, and my father's, is directly linked to Agent Orange, a chemical my father was subjected to several times in Vietnam. He was a "River Rat", so he went on river patrols in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. I cannot remember the number of times, it was either 3 or 5 times, that he was directly sprayed by planes while on patrol. He is now disabled from it, and it will ultimately kill him, as it will ultimately kill me. But because of the genetic breakdown in that chemical, it travels with the sperm, and gets passed down to the next generations. That is plural, in fact it is a full five generations, so my great, great grandchildren might get brain cancer as well, obviously kids who have yet to be born yet.

The biggest culprit is the Pituitary Gland followed by the Thyroid. As you know, I got cancer in both.

I never knew where it came from, I thought perhaps all the welding I did that involved X-Ray, or the exotic armor plating I welded...sometimes 4 inches thick, but when my father was diagnosed with the same thing I had, at another hospital, by another doctor, we started figuring things out. I mean Pituitary Cancer is THE rarest form of cancer in the United States with only 300 cases a year out of over 300 million people. Of those 300, 75% have the cancer found during an autopsy. What are the chances that a father and son would have the same rare brain cancer living in very rural Maine of the 75 living people it is found in per year? But my Endocrine Dr was a former Veterans Administration Dr and told me that is where it came from.
 
Eric Hanson
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So this is an extension of the original question.  I don’t want this to be about advocating toxic Gick, but rather recovering from.

Take this extension of the original question:  if a person were to buy/inherit/acquire/whatever a parcel of land that had been farmed using toxic Gick, what would a person have to do to rehab the land?  What crops planted, what animals graze, etc.  I don’t think the answer is that the land is toxic for all time.  I think that there must be steps that could “cleanse” the land, but I am not certain what these steps would be.

Again, I am asking about recovering from and not using toxic Gick.

Eric
 
James Freyr
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Eric Hanson wrote:

if a person were to buy/inherit/acquire/whatever a parcel of land that had been farmed using toxic Gick, what would a person have to do to rehab the land?  What crops planted, what animals graze, etc.  I don’t think the answer is that the land is toxic for all time.  I think that there must be steps that could “cleanse” the land, but I am not certain what these steps would be.


Eric



Some noxious chemicals have a shorter half life, and some are much more persistent like aminopyralids for example. Some can break down in sunlight, others not so much, especially if rain has washed it into a soil. One good way to remediate a soil is with mycoremediation, which I think is the best way, using mushrooms or really the mycelium in the soil. Fungi are incredibly good at breaking down nasty man made chemicals into their simple elemental parts. This could involve making mushroom slurries in a blender and applying this to a soil that is in need of remediation. Easy to do in a garden but this could be laborious if it involved acreage, but slurries could be applied in spots forming a grid, and they can spread and meet each other halfway, with time. I believe nurturing the soil bacterial and fungal life already there will help in this area as well, but depending on the situation these native soil microbes and fungi may be severely depleted because the chemicals kill the soil life, in which case there are products available to kick start rehabbing a neglected or abused soil.

Another method is phytoremediation, or using plants to clean a soil. Sunflowers are a good example, and they are good at pulling things like heavy metals from a soil, but I am unsure how well this plant in particular is at pulling chemicals from a soil. The down side is, from my understanding, it doesn't really cleave chemical molecules into elemental parts, so the mature sunflowers have accumulated the metals or toxins in the plant tissue and then need to be removed from the site.

 
Eric Hanson
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James,

I wholeheartedly agree that mushroom magic is a great part of the solution!  I am definitely on that bandwagon!

I was sort of wondering if one were to plant a cover crop with the express intent of having it simply rot/decay in place, preferably by spraying some sort of mushroom slurry over the whole parcel as a way of enlisting fungi to do the mycoremediation.  Maybe pair sunflowers with fungi just to get things off to a good start.

Any thoughts?

Eric
 
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