Contaminated Compost Showing Up in Missouri

Compost contaminated with herbicide is showing up in Missouri.

“The culprit can be one of any three herbicides which have been approved for use on pastures and forage crops,” said David Trinklein, University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialist.

Newer versions of herbicides with active ingredients such as clopyralid, picloram and aminopyralid can pass through the digestive systems of foraging animals and arrive, unchanged, in the manure. If that manure is composted, farmers could unwittingly introduce these plant-killing compounds into their soil, Trinklein said.

Read the entire article at Missouri Beginning Farming

4 responses to “Contaminated Compost Showing Up in Missouri

  1. Good tip about the green bean test. I’ve felt concerned about shop-bought (organic?!) compost I put in pots etc. for convenience that didn’t seem to produce healthy nasturiums … could be that they’re rather like beans in being sensitive. Going to continue to make my own. It is another scary twist in the tale.

    • It is truly frightening, Sara. So many garden plants are susceptible to these chemicals and whole gardens could potentially be destroyed or contaminated for years to come. And I’m with you – I always make up my own compost and potting soils. Whenever I need an amendment, I try to obtain it from someone local so that I at least have the opportunity to check it out thoroughly. It’s just gotten too hard to trust a system that is entrenched in farming with chemicals.

  2. Seems as if “better living through chemistry” is a terrible idea in 99% of the time. This sounds disgusting. Incredible too because people will unknowingly have these things in their environment without knowing. I’m also worried now with all this run-off from the rain. We know what some of the local farmers put onto their fields. Hard to completely protect ourselves from it unless we live up high on a hill (but too….wells would get contaminated via this karst typography. Just an unending battle to keep these chemicals far away from us. This is important info. Thanks Jill Jerre

    • Thanks for your comments, Jerre. It is an important issue. As you pointed out, the porous nature of our karst topography makes our ground water susceptible to pollution from surface contaminants – including those from home gardens, where much of this compost will be used. It’s also terribly unfair to sell or distribute a polluted product such as this. Those who obtain it are trying to improve their soil, but instead, the compost could destroy their gardens for years to come. Such a shame.

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