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PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:20 am 
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Location: Flower Mound,TEXAS
We were given horse manure to use in our compost pile. The manure was contaminated with some sort of weed killer that also affected most of our vegetable plants in the spring/summer. How long will it take for the effects of this weed killer to dissapate? Anyone know?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:55 pm 
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Within 6-12 months, any type of biodegradable matter will safely break down in a good active aerobic compost pile.

My compost piles are so hot, that they break down the organic matter in 2-3 months, no matter where I get the manure.

My raised beds are proof that all the right beneficial aerobic microbes and other healthy soil organisms are balanced and thriving in my no-till system.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:09 pm 
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Hey Cap'n. We hardly ever talk anymore!!

There are two broadleaf herbicides used in grass pastures here that are persistent through animal digestion and persist in the compost for years. 6-12 months is not enough time for those two. They are picloram (PICK low ram) and clopyramid (klow pyramid). Clopyramid was supposedly taken off the market several years ago. Picloram is still very popular. You can get it at any feed store.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:11 am 
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Location: Guadalupe County
We had a horse, fed on local and commercially purchased hay, let the manure sit in the open stall for about a year, then moved it to an outside pile for about two years. Nothing is growing on it - not a weed, not a mushroom, and there are no grubs, no worms in it. Even the dreaded grasses are trying to grow over it, not setting roots. We intend to spread it onto a paddock area that will have chickens free ranging over it - does this sound like a good idea? When we used it in raised beds, seeds sprouted, died. We had planted turnips, parsnips, carrots, etc.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:54 pm 
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Picloram and clopyralid are both broad leaf herbicides. Grass should grow fine where the contaminated compost goes. But don't apply within 60 feet of any tree canopies.

If the chickens are free ranging, they may choose to go elsewhere. Write back and let us know how they do.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:57 am 
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if compost is not "fully composted" and "fully cured" it can be toxic to plants. the issue is that the microorganisms in the compost are so 'busy' with the compost that they do not well feed the plants. also, you can have concentrations of substances that are toxic to plants. however, barring the presence of "long lived" chemicals, if the compost is piled up enough to hold the heat and is not too wet, then the pile should get quite hot and the resulting compost should then be left to "cure". the 'field test' for "fully cured" compost is to turn the pile and it does not "re-heat". then let is just sit for at least 30 days to cure and the resulting compost should be able to be applied to the soil and immediately planted with only positive outcomes. the compost should improve soil tilth, improve microbiological activity, and provide "slow release" minerals and other nutrients to the plants via the microorganisms in the soil. horse manure is almost an "idea" blend of Carbon and Nitrogen and usually also has an excellent structure to allow for good air and moisture in the pile.


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