“I totally concur! I became the first certified organic hay supplier in Georgia in 2015. A lot of people said “why bother”. I wasn’t sure myself but I knew I had really clean hay, I wanted to encourage small herd ruminants to get certified, I wanted to support Georgia Organics 100 Organic Farms campaign and it just felt like the right thing to do. It took me a year or so of schlepping around these heavy hay bales as I searched for customers. I kept hearing stories of peoples gardens getting wiped out – poor seed germination, stunted plants, etc. The common thread was they got horse manure from a neighbor down the way. Hmmmm. Slowly I started to put it together as stories such as these began to surface. I only produce 200 square bales a year on my 7 acres and could sell 5 times the amount of hay if I had it. I hope others will pursue organic certification as there is a large demand. Thanks for posting this article!”
But, that’s not all. Over at my reprinting of the article at The Grow Network, I received this comment yesterday:
“I am a market farmer who lost 1200 potted tomato and pepper seedlings one year due to using worm castings (in my soil mix) that had clopyralid contamination (as I found out later from the local Extension Horticulturist). The person who made the worm castings had used a new source of barley straw for the worms. The clopyralid went through the digestive tract of the worms and was still intact. Apparently, clopyralid (and similar herbicides) can be active for years. I now test my worm castings before using by planting tomato seeds with it. If they grow normally after 3-4 weeks I know there is no contamination. I have since talked with many people who have had terrible herbicide problems from using straw as mulch for their home gardens. The local farmers often do not read the label fully or understand the problems, and sometimes aren’t even aware that their straw has been sprayed with clopyralid.”
People don’t get it. This stuff is wicked. And Joel Karsten attacks those who mention the potential for problems.
Look – I’ve even filmed the issue:
And I’m not alone. Karen Land has shared her story here.
Watch your back.