Aminopyralid – Killer cow muck; Killer compost II
Charlie Heasman; 24th Sept 2020
I first wrote about this problem in June last year: Feel free to click on the link to either remind yourself or read it for the first time: https://sustainableskerries.com/2019/06/07/aminopyralid-killer-cow-muck-killer-compost/
While the post didn’t exactly break the internet it did reach a lot further than anything else I’ve ever written. This was gratifying because I really wanted to get the word out about this nasty, insidious chemical.
In fact the post still regularly gets hits from all over the place, mostly Ireland and the UK, and occasionally someone takes the trouble to answer. This is one such reply; I’ll leave it to speak for itself.
I cant believe this! Im using my own well rotted horse manure from piles that range from 4yrs old to 18months old and am having these issues with my crops.
I try to avoid sprayed forage for the horses, but farmers lie and tell you what they think you want to hear.
AP is obviously used by large and small forage producers alike as ive imported great quality haylage from the uk into ireland and also used irish forage. I thought these past years i’m a crap gardener as my crops dont seem to be doing well! Truly, i thought it was me! The only good cropping ive had are initial years before getting horses and using horse manure!
Potatoes always fail, so i gave up growing them – in fact i grow because i enjoy it knowing the yield will be minimal!…all this time due to AP.
Twisting leaves grace my beds year in year out – even yellowing of cucumbers that were doing well in compost, then planted into a soil and manure bed, start to twist, go yellow….i have the most odd shaped cucumbers growing, especially this year.
Im so disheartened tbh. For yrs of failure of crops and now i know why. Id rather it be my ineptitude than an insiduous poison in my soil and my manure as i spend thousands per yr in forage for 2 horses to get the best quality feed….and hours mucking out etc to produce the best rotted manure for my farm!! im so deflated as i *thought* my organic practices were organic!! Damn….makes me wanna give up farming altogether tbh, especially if those in industry know AP is highly toxic as compost and withdrew it, only to allow it to be used again.
Wow….i just realised a manure pile i have been using for a specific crop has been rotting for 7 years and that crops new leaf emergence produced twisted leaves, some folded up in half shut together.
So there’s proof that AP remains inert for years and is not affected by hot composting processes.
Try finding true organic feed for animals – the hay is loaded with dock and ragwort, catsear and numerous other Seriously toxic weeds for horses. Even buttercup is toxic to horses in haylage, but not in hay. So farmers feel forced to spray due to these very harmful weeds to livestock.
The old fashioned way was to go out in the fields and dig them up by hand. Try doing that with 100 acres! I dont blame the farmers, theyre not to know the consequences of these chemicals, until the have to rely on crops themselves and fail like i have for yrs!
Ive had ragwort and Catsear infect my land from hay with it in, the seeds germinating on my farm despite me trying to rot it down out the way. I spend a lot of time cutting and digging up noxious weeds ever since due to this, and i only have just under 10 acres.
Buttercup and ragwort toxin cant even be baled as the toxin leaches and infects the whole bale of forage. I almost lost one horse to wet buttercup toxicity in haylage.
Ive run out of answers/option….what are the solutions? Are there any ‘safe’ broadleaf compostable sprays that dont damage crops when manure is used?
Sorry to rant but after yrs of crop failures…and finding out about AP, how unpreventable it is to me to source forage free of it as a horse and crop owner….wits end has been reached!! Daaaammmnn!!