Sunday, 21 December 2008

Danger in manures

Recently, we have heard from gardeners and allotment holders in the UK who have been concerned about possible herbicide residues in the manure and composts they apply to their soil. The affected gardens and allotments have been contaminated by manure originating from farms where the hormone-based herbicide aminopyralid has been sprayed on fields.

There have been some reported incidences involving possible damage to sensitive crops such as potatoes and beans. The manure possibly came from farm animals or horses fed on pasture or conserved forage from grassland previously treated with aminopyralid - an active ingredient found in the products Forefront*, Pharaoh* or Banish*. This manure has unfortunately been supplied to a small number of gardeners and allotment holders and appears to have resulted in damage to some sensitive crops.

Manure, from horses or farm livestock, is a wonderful soil conditioner and natural fertiliser, and gardeners and allotment holders should not be afraid of using it. Just be careful and enquire if any of those chemicals has been used on the grassland or feed, if so it is best avoided.

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