Transition Whatcom

Herbicidal Contamination of our Farmlands & Waters! Enough! (And Say No to GMO!)

Can We Create Solutions to Protect the health of the soils & waters of our homeland? 

Can we resist & eliminate toxic abuse from corporations selling products that do Not have strong scientific evidence showing our lands & waters will be kept pure & safe for the children?

Is it time to say Enough! ( Basta !)  No more contamination of soil & waters by corporate toxic herbicides like aminopyralid & corporate GMO seeds!     

Share your questions & knowledge on this blog-discussion.

 How can we create a united community that supports & preserves resilient family farms whether they market dairy, vegi/fruit, or animal?   Can we learn to support our scientists & know when to ask for more research before allowing application of chemicals?

   
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Scroll to bottom page to read new comments from Local Farmer Walter & Heather K

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Informative Links:

 “Healing Toxic Soils & Waters..”

http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/group/organic/forum/topics/healing-toxic-soils-waters

 

* Biochar and sequestration of toxics – By Richard Haard

http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/profiles/blogs/biochar-and-sequestration-of

 

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Newcomers to the issue of local soil & water contimination - below are links to some extensive info that was shared last summer in regards to our local dairy compost containing toxic herbicide -aminopyralid- that was sold to vegetable growers & farmers and thus reduced their ability to grow edible crops for our community.

 

Background & Resource Info:

 

In 2010 Whatcom County & Bellingham's growers of vegetables (ie. non grass family plants that herbicides are targeted to harm), have experienced unexpected damage from the herbicide Aminopyralid that was spread through dairy manure-compost applied to soils & greenhouses.

. (Location: temperate climate of Cascadia bioregion- 48-49 degree N. latitude).

 

Over the past few years, other regions & countries have also experienced this challenge with the same chemical – Amnopyralid and with some earlier herbicides.

 

The chemical Aminpyalid, has been manufactored by Dow AgroScience and also goes by many other names & slightly different chemical combinations ( Banish, Forefront, Halcyon, Pharaoh, Pro-Banish, Runway, Synero, Upfront, and more).

Although there are many good people researching this topic, the solutions are not applicable to all sites or situations.

Many of us understand that our American tax funded University Agricultural Extension Service (with a history of also being funded by chemical corporations), has provided some information on this challenge, and we look forward to learning more from their best scientist....

We understand this might take a longer time than what many of us are able to wait for while growing our food and stabilizing our regions food security.

Transition Whatcom discussions & blogs-

 

Solutions & Treatments -

 

 “Healing Toxic Soils & Waters..”

http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/group/organic/forum/topics/healing-toxic-soils-waters

 

Farmer Walter's blog discussion

http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/profiles/blogs/a-new-problem-with-commercial

 

Biochar and sequestration of toxics – By Richard Haard

http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/profiles/blogs/biochar-and-sequestration-of

 

REFERENCES & SOURCES:

Herbicides in Compost” - WSDA fact sheet regarding issue of commercial & dairy compost containing damaging effects from herbicide residues as recently been released:

http://agr.wa.gov/pestfert/pesticides/docs/317-WhatcomCountyHerbicideCompostConcerns2010.pdf



NY Dept Environmental Conservation (Division of Solid & Hazardous Materials) in 2007 “could not ensure that the labeled use of aminopyralid would not negatively impact groundwater resources”

http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/herb-growthreg/24-d-butylate/aminopyralid/aminopyr_wth_0207.pdf

 

Wikipedia-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aminopyralid

 

Website from Dow who manufacturers aminopyralid herbicide:

 

http://www.manurematters.com/na/en/gardening.htm

http://www.manurematters.com/na/en/manure_sourcing.htm

http://www.manurematters.com/na/en/equine_health.htm

 

"Keep Your Garden Safe from Killer 'Compost – Warning: Do not bring manure compost into your garden unless you're certain it doesn't contain aminopyralid residues” (- or its sister herbicidal chemicals). Mother Earth News 2011 article - http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/killer-compost-zmgz11zrog.aspx    Thanks to Angela for the link - “ The EPA says their review will be complete in 2014 - until then the herbicide can still be used as is.”

 

 

Research & Project Info:

Aminopyralid Remediation

http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/group/whatcommycologicalresponset...

 

Resources: Mycoremediation & Fungal Bioremediation

http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/group/whatcommycologicalresponset...

 

EVENTS:

Local residents attended the WSU (Washington State University) Agricultural Extension program on Weds March 2, 2011 to listen to their scientists presentations-  (afternoon for farmers, and 2 in evenings for the rest of the community).  We shared our concerns about the toxic herbicide- "aminopyralid"- that does Not have adequate research and that has already harmed the crops of many of our local family vegetable farmers.     Together we can protect our lands & waters and say 'Enough!

 Past event info onHerbicide Contamination in Dairy Organic Matter” -Presentation by WSU Agr-Extension-March 2

 http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/events/herbicide-contamination-in

 

More links to follow as time allows!

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Tags: Herbicidal, agriculture, aminopyralid, bio-dynamic, bioremediation, compost, contamination, control, corporate, ecological, More…farmers, farmland, fungal, gmo, healthy, herbicides, mycoremediation, preservation, restoration, soil, toxic, water

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Comment by Heather K on April 13, 2011 at 5:34pm

"Keep Your Garden Safe from Killer 'Compost – Warning: Do not bring manure compost into your garden unless you're certain it doesn't contain aminopyralid residues” (or its sister herbicidal chemicals).  Mother Earth News 2011 article - http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/killer-compost-zmgz11zrog.aspx    Thanks to Angela for the link - “ The EPA says their review will be complete in 2014 - until then the herbicide can still be used as is.”

Comment by Heather K on March 6, 2011 at 5:14pm

Good News - Herbicide 'aminopyralid' will Not be used on Whatcom farmlands in 2011, reports scientists from WSU-Ag-Extension, at recent presentation. Caution still needed when obtaining any whatcom compost this year, 2011, as traces of the herbicide may still be present in fields & commercial organic matters for another year.   Mantra of the government scientists is to “Do a bioassay”.

My Earthcare mantra is “Know your source!”.   Since chickweed is sensitive to herbicide, if you see the edible soil-guardian chickweed growing in disturbed farmers soil, that is a good indication that aminopyralid herbicide has Not been recently used.  (Or if you don't see chickweed, it may also mean their good with mechanical weeding & crop timing)
When a weed-scientist was asked what methods the growers & dairy farmers planned to use to manage chickweed in their fields, I was told they can still use 2,4-d and Dicamba, etc, that has a shorter half-life. I learned that Skagit dairy farmers generally don't use aminopyralid because they don't have a challenge with chickweed, since they use more crop rotation on their lands. ( Whatcom dairy farmers unfortunately often only rotate between 2 crops - corn & ryegrass.).
Comment by Heather K on March 6, 2011 at 5:11pm
If you have questions or concerns on obtaining herbicide-free organic matter you can contact Master Gardeners, who are educated by multiple scientists, including Colleen Burrows, IPM Coordinator for WSU Whatcom County, and Dr. Tim Miller, Weed Scientist at WSU Mount Vernon Research and Extension Center. Both who are well respected scientists in their fields.

I learned a lot by attending their March presentation session for growers & for gardeners. I plan to share more information from those sessions later on this blog.  Please share what you learned too.

Comment by Heather K on February 27, 2011 at 12:14pm
contine below comment:    Let us go to the ag-extension meeting, learn from them, and share our knowledge & concerns with each other while we are together. Let us ask each other the questions:

Can We Create Solutions to Protect the health of the soils & waters of our homeland? 

Can we resist and eliminate toxic abuse from corporations selling products that do Not have strong scientific evidence showing our lands & waters will be kept pure & safe for the children?”

Can we ask for more research from our scientists before the government approves any application of chemicals?”

How can we create a united community that supports & preserves resilient family farms whether they market dairy, vegi/fruit, or animal?

Comment by Heather K on February 27, 2011 at 12:13pm

continue below comment:  So far, I don't hear the  scientists having any results to present on solutions to heal the land from the chemical contamination, other than their encouragement to do  a 'bioassay' test

Bioassay test do No break down or remove chemical contamination from our soils. Here is the link to Ag-Extension Sept 2010 response to our soils & crops being contaminatied with a toxic herbicicied - http://agr.wa.gov/pestfert/pesticides/docs/317-WhatcomCountyHerbici...

 

As Donna A experience states, years ago the government ag-extension service did not recognize any truth or value to what the 'organic' gardeners & farmers knew.   Organic growers/gardeners did not  use chemicals that created corporate profits, and there were very few funded scientific research trials. But the growers who were committed to being stewards of the earths soils, water, creatures, knew how to take right action regardless of being shuned by the gov-ag-extension & corporate workers.

I look forward to heaing the wisdom of both our local ag-extension scientists, and our local community of earth-steward growers & gardeners.

 

Comment by Heather K on February 27, 2011 at 12:12pm

Ag-Extension's presentation will be geared to their framework of government backed scientific research, as ready to present to locals.  

If we the people who care for the earth have wisdom & questions to share beyond what our local scientist present, we will need to respectfully look for an opportunity to stand up and speak after the presentation.

Hopefully there will be time allowed for questions after their formal presentation.

The 'target audience' to inspire change & awareness in - is ourselves as farmers & gardeners, as we are the ones able to take healing action on our lands.

 

The resources and information posted on  blog link below, are mostly from what locals have learned & researched. (especially the 'solution' section at- http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/group/organic/forum/topics/healin...

 

So far, I don't hear the  scientists having any results to present on solutions to heal the land from the c

Comment by Donna Auer on February 22, 2011 at 10:04am
I would have liked to see TW co-sponsor this event.  Many years ago I took the Master Gardner course from WSU extension and was gravely disappointed at the lack of good information or openness about organic gardening.   Though organic was briefly mentioned, the emphasis was on how to use chemicals, particularly the darling of the time, Roundup. It was also intimated that "organic" farming involved its own set of allowable chemicals.   My questions and statements of concern were given little credence - not only by the instructors, but by my classmates.  That experience taught me that there was much to worry about in Whatcom County.   Looking forward to the workshops March 2.  Thanks to all on this topic.
Comment by Heather K on February 15, 2011 at 7:00pm
  quote: “...WSU extension is behind the curve on this problem. I doubt they have any solutions in the pipeline. Note that it is small-scale independent researchers and farmers who are actually doing something about this.   If you want to go to this meeting to hold WSU extension accountable or to glean any possible new info they might provide, by all means do so...”- Farmer Walter H

 

Thank you both Walter & Richard for your comments & blogs! I've added your links to our solution oriented discussion at-

Healing Toxic Soils & Waters - Mycoremediation, Compost Teas, Cover Crops, Fungal Bioremediation)

http://transitionwhatcom.ning.com/group/organic/forum/topics/healing-toxic-soils-waters

 

I know that other have been doing research & trials too.

And it is important that we attempt to stop these types of chemicals from being sprayed on our lands, whether they be farmlands, or roadside pastures...it effects us all.

 

It would be helpful to know which paid government person or agency, make the decision in our state, when to say No to allowing some of these corporate-made chemicals that don't have adequate research completed.    If anyone researches this, please send me a message.!

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