Saturday, August 13, 2011

Herbicide Carryover: From Digestive Tract to Your Garden

Herbicide Carryover Injury
Considering getting manure from your local farmer for your garden?  Dear gardener, you might want to be cautious about this!

Dr. Tony Koski, CSU Extension Turf Specialist, recently informed staff about an excellent publication from North Carolina on the topic of herbicide carryover. 

North Carolina State University received reports from organic farmers and home gardeners of damage to vegetables following application of aged and composted horse and cattle manure to the soil. The symptoms exhibited on the crops are twisted, cupped, and elongated leaves; misshapen fruit; reduced yield; death of young plants; and poor seed germination. They found that one source of this crop injury is the presence of certain herbicides in manure and compost. With so many folks using composts and manures to improve soil, there have been increasing cases of contaminated amendments.  Unfortunately certain herbicides can pass through the digestive tract of grazing animals and into their manure.  Some straw products can contain herbicide residues used to manage weeds growing in the crop. 

Read more about the problem, recommendations and how to conduct a bioassay – a test for determining if that manure you’re going to buy from a local farmer is such a good idea!  Read the report here: Herbicide Carryover Injury