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Posted Fri Sep 30 2011: from Organic Gardening, via HuffingtonPost:
Are Herbicide Residues In Compost Damaging Plants?
Since 1999, gardeners have experienced serious problems with herbicides that do not readily break down in compost. Residential lawn trimmings, hay and straw, municipal green waste, and cow and horse manure are all common compost ingredients that have become vectors for delivering unwanted chemicals, causing plant damage in home gardens. The offending active ingredients--the part of an herbicide that actually kills weeds--include clopyralid, aninopyralid, and the newest, aminocyclopyrachlor. This last is now attracting attention as the active ingredient in DuPont's brand-named Imprelis.... Agroecologists and weed scientists are concerned about the potential misuse of these herbicides because of their relatively long persistence in the environment and potential for injury to nontargeted plants, says Ryan, adding that the companies that make and market them emphasize the products' safety to livestock but aren't doing enough in noting posttreatment problems among plants.... Ohio State University researchers found that when grass was treated with aminocyclopyrachlor and composted, it degraded by about 60 percent over 200 days, with plenty of the active ingredient remaining to do damage to susceptible crop plants--including beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes.... This past summer, additional problems were discovered as tree damage and death--mostly to shallow-rooted trees such as spruces and white pines--linked to Imprelis use were reported in more than 11 states from the Midwest to the East Coast. Still, DuPont and the Scotts MiracleGro Company are collaborating to develop and market to homeowners a new combination lawn fertilizer/herbicide containing aminocyclopyrachlor. Additional testing is being conducted, "so that we can provide the clearest guidance possible to consumers regarding the composting of grass clippings," says Lance Latham, spokesman for Scotts.
[Read more stories about: herbicide runoff, toxic buildup, short-term thinking]

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'Doc Michael says:
I don't think we need an Energizer herbicide.

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