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Straw

 
Sam Squires
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Hi, Ive got some wheat straw to use in my conpost, but it's been sprayed with a weed killer and it's had a anti fungal treatment in the growing field. Will this be safe to use or shall I give it back.
Many thanks
 
Troy Rhodes
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It really depends on which herbicide and fungicide were used. If you can find the name, and google it for it's half life, that will tell you a lot.

Some of that crap has a half life close to a decade...not good.

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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I would turn it into biochar.
If you use anything that has had fungicide used on it you run the risk of killing off the very organisms you are wanting to promote to grow.
While many herbicides advertise their half life, the studies usually figure this only for usefulness at surface level, not for when the sprayed items are dug into the ground or even were they to be used as mulch.
Roundup is such a herbicide, the half life is reported as short and yet we can find it for months after the plant material has been dug into a field as a "manure". This means the half life is only relevant for it doing the job it was developed to do, not persistence of the compound.

In the end it is all up to the individual. I personally, will not use anything that I find (through testing in my lab) that has even the slightest amount of any "cide" being used on it.

My straw and hay comes from a farm where they practice no spray organic horticulture. It is free of any pesticides, herbicides and fungi/ bacteriacides. It is the only place I will by straw and hay from.
For me this makes the best sense for my hogs and my gardens / orchards.
 
Sam Squires
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Many thanks.
Looks like I won't be using it then.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I'd use it. There aren't any organic sources here in big farm country. I'd use it on something that wouldn't be harvested anytime soon. Herbicides aren't usually used on wheat though. With fungicides it depends on the weather. Sometimes none is used. Sometimes a lot. I've never had any problems from wheat straw but there may have still been a measurable amount of chemicals in them.

You could compost it. I would think it wouldn't compost until any funcide was gone.

I much prefer organic and get pretty close. 100 0/0 organic on every type of plant is very difficult. Anything you grow yourself is likely to have a lot less chemicals than food you buy.
 
Sam Squires
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Hi I'm not going to use it as I need it quick.
Many thanks
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
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I would take it and set in a big pile all by itself in some obscure, somewhat private, out of the way place, then pee on it every chance I got for a couple of years and then either plant directly into it or use it for mulch. Eventually some sort of fungus will move in that should remediate the herbicides, plus solar exposure, and adding nutrient to the mix will neutralize most anything that wants to stick around... but that's just me. I take advantage of every opportunity to bring in free or cheap organic matter. It all will eventually add to your overall fertility, it's just a matter of how long you're willing to wait. If you're paying for it then go someplace else but if it free or really cheap take advantage of the situation, you may not get the opportunity in the future.
 
Sam Squires
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Many thanks
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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