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Hamons
09-15-2003, 11:07 AM
Commercial Organic Lawn Care Program

Lets talk about the benefits of using natural organic materials as a professional lawn care company where a solo operator might be taking care of as much as 20 acres or more.

Is there benefit to using fertilizers and products high in organic matter such as provided by Sustane or blends that include milorganite, yet still controlling weeds with herbicide?

Not blanket spraying the lawn every month, but spot spraying the lawn to eradicate any weeds?

Does the use of any type of herbicide totally negate the benefits of using natural organic matter?

Knowing this --

* People will not pay high dollar prices for a lawn with weeds
* People will not pay me enough money to hand pick weeds out of their lawn
* People will not pull the weeds out of their lawn themselves.

Of course, once the lawn is rich and thick -- from using quality organic fertilizers --- weeds become less of an issue -- but until then they have to be controlled!


What are your thoughts? If herbicedes are used are we better off just using the cheap Lesco fertilizers?

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-15-2003, 12:08 PM
This is a great issue that cuts to the heart of the matter on weeds in professionally managed organic turf.

Personally I spot spray my weeds with vinegar as a foliar spray to kill them. Vinegar is a nonselective killer that does not work on everything it hits. For those plants it works on, it works so fast it will make your head spin. For the others, it seems to have no effect at all.

Whether you use organic vinegar or synthetic "Weed-b-Gone" or "Grass-b-Gone" types of products would be between you and your organic client. It is up to you to get to know vinegar and its potential to kill the weeds in question as well as all the popular weeds in your area. If you can stay organic with vinegar or a vinegar/orange oil mix, then I would. But I certainly recognize that not everything is affected by vinegar. I would approach the client this way.

This would be you talking to the client about a weed you know you can kill with vinegar: "We have a weed problem out on the south 40 of your organic area. The weed is oxalis. I know I can knock it out with one of my organic sprays but there will be a little overspray that might kill the surrounding turf. I'll be as careful as I can be to minimize the surrounding effect."

This would be you talking to the client about a weed you know you cannot kill with vinegar: "We have a weed problem out on the south 40 of your organic area. The weed is English Ivy. I know I cannot knock it out with any of my organic products but I can knock it out in a week with RoundUp or Weed-b-Gone. I would be very careful to not allow any overspray on surrounding areas, and I would follow up the spraying next week with a light dusting of finished compost and organic fertilizer to reestablish the organic soil components affected by the spray. The alternative to spraying herbicide on the English Ivy is to hand pull/dig it at an hourly rate of $50/hour, and I estimate there is 3 hours work out there." And you might add that compost is becoming a standard prescription for bioremediation of industrial chemical spills.

Did I get anywhere close to answering you? Using the spray on a broadcast basis can set you back on the organic program, but spot spraying really minimizes the effect on the soil microbes. And if you follow up with the compost and organic fertilizer (I like cornmeal and alfalfa), then you can really return to organic program immediately after the weed is gone. You'll have to PRE-determine how sensitive your client is to a slight detour off the organic program.

Green in Idaho
09-15-2003, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by Dchall_San_Antonio
.And you might add that compost is becoming a standard prescription for bioremediation of industrial chemical spills.
.

David,
Do think the average property owners cares about compost being used for bioremediation of chemical spills? They don't even know what that is!

*****************
Hamons,
Using spot spraying with selectives is a good practical approach along with organic-based fertilizers.

For one it save money by less volume of herbicides.
Secondly, it is not going to disrupt (or totally negate) the overall benefits of trying to be organic or 'low-impact' with organic fert.

There are also thing to consider too like irrigation and mowing height. Excessive irrigation can ruins the objectives of organics and no chems.

Try to go organic when possible. IF not always then step to the next level of using lowest impact method= spot applications.

dan deutekom
09-15-2003, 06:56 PM
I would like to know where is it written that a product like 24d or Roundup kills soil microbes and totally ruins an organic program. Every thing that I have seen about this is hear say or unsubstantiated. I think spraying with a highly acidic material (vinegar) may cause more damage to soil microbes then synthetic herbicides. Any reliable studies out there?

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-16-2003, 02:06 AM
I would like to know where is it written that a product like 24d or Roundup kills soil microbes and totally ruins an organic program. Everything that I have seen about this is hear say or unsubstantiatedWorse than that, I think it is all opinion. As I've said, there are as many flavors of "organic" as there are of "vegetarian." I agree that the occasional spot spraying with selectives should not negate much of anything in an organic program, but the client may be more tight-as*ed about it. I don't think anyone will argue that 2-4,D is as natural as apple cider vinegar, but the use of the product should be up to the client based on some alternatives. That's why I suggest you discuss it with them. Maybe you don't need to bring in bioremediation :rolleyes: . I'll take the hit on that one. I talk too much sometimes.

You may not agree with this next opinion, but I think what hurts the soil microbes the most is the repeated stress from continual use of synthetic fertilizers over years and years and never ever feeding them protein. I'm not saying they're wiped out; I'm saying they are stressed. Then if you spray with 2-4,D or RoundUp they get more stressed. Some will die, but it is nearly impossible to permanently wipe out microbes out in the open air. A follow-up with compost almost always replenishes the soil with fresh, unstressed microbes. If you start to feed them with a protein based fertilizer, you should recover completely.

Vinegar (commercially labeled as BurnOut) is supposed to be used as a foliar spray, not a soil drench. As for reliable studies, I'm sure they're there. I'd like to see a soil pH test before and after a drench with vinegar. The soil would have to be considered organically "healthy" with a normal, well fed population of microbes. The theory is that even the vinegar at a pH of 3.0 is quickly neutralized by the buffered humic acids in the soil. The questions would be does the vinegar make any difference at all to the soil microbes? If so, how bad and for how long?

dan deutekom
09-16-2003, 05:14 AM
Most herbicides are a foliar spray and not a soil drench. Also the amount applied is very small especially when compared to organics. And wouldn't the same buffering action occur to the synthetics as the vinegar? Also it is well documented the effects of the soil ph have on the herbicide.

Grassmechanic
09-16-2003, 07:51 AM
Expanding on what Dan has said. Both vinegar and 2,4D are acetic acid compounds. The acetic acid is what is credited for the control of weeds. If the acetic acid is utilized in a benzene ring (as in 2,4D) to be more effective, one could assume that, for control of weeds, less acetic acid is needed by using 2,4D than vinegar. Wouldn't less acetic acid be more beneficial to the soil microbes? If the answer is yes, then would 2,4D be the preferred product over vinegar for weed control?

GroundKprs
09-16-2003, 09:56 AM
Thanks, dan d for asking the question for me. I'd like to see studies showing actual damages to soil microbes from synthetics. This is a main arguement used for organics, and again it seems to be not based in fact, but assumptions. 2,4-D is a plant hormone that brings on senescence (old age & consequently death). From the descriptions so far, vinegar appears to be a dessicant, similar to diquat or paraquat.

2,4-D is pretty much non-selective in its makeup, the selectivity is achieved by the dosage: a broadleaf gets a high, fatal dose while the thin grass leaf gets a slightly harmful dose; mix in high enough concentration and you can kill the lawn with 2,4-D. The stress on the lawn from 2,4-D and most other herbicides is on the desirable plants, not on the soil medium. Proper handling of herbicides mitigates the stress on the desirable plants.

As far as the synthetic fertilizers harming the soil microbes, I have seen the reverse of that in lawns. If you have a sand growing medium that turns to black topsoil at least 3" deep in 5-6 years, there has to be some good degree of microbal activity in that soil medium. Fertilizers cause aggresive growth of turfgrass, with consequent death of roots and shoots that contribute to SOM content. It is natural for turfgrasses to grow new roots and stems; any enhancement to growth will accelerate that process. And more SOM means more microbal activity.

It is most likely that this organic arguement against synthetics is based on fungicidal applications, which are rarely necessary on ornamental turf if proper cultural practices are followed.

Green in Idaho
09-16-2003, 09:57 AM
Results of 2-4-D

A human given a total of 16.3 g in 32 days therapeutically, lapsed into a stupor and showed signs of incoordination, weak reflexes, and loss of bladder control [1,5,7].

That is from this site http://ace.orst.edu/info/extoxnet/pips/24-D.htm which I think is a reproduction of the MSDS.

I think I'd prefer the results of vinegar, thanks.

****************************************

Grassmechanic, nice chemistry lesson, but I appear to have lost my labbook some years ago!
Perhaps you can elaborate on the many different types of acetic acids and which one is primary in 2-4-D, other selective herbicides, and vinegar. Then a comparison of them would be nice. :D

Green in Idaho
09-16-2003, 10:10 AM
Some good info on vinegar from WSU.:cool:

http://wsprs.wsu.edu/VinegarFactSheet.pdf

GroundKprs
09-16-2003, 10:13 AM
The above post about the effects of 2,4-D is a good example of radical anti-herbicide mentality. Go and read the whole page he gives a link to. That page gives much info about 2,4-D. But the writer above picks out the only negative sentence in the report.

Further down in the page above: "The absorption of 2,4-D is almost complete in mammals after ingestion and nearly all of the dose is excreted in the urine. The compound is readily absorbed through the skin and lungs. Men given 5 mg/kg excreted about 82% of the dose as unchanged 2,4-D. The half-life is between 10 and 20 hours in living organisms."

As far as the quote above, how many are going to purposely or accidently ingest 2,4-D for 32 days straight???? And is 32 days a true indicator of CHRONIC exposure?

Green in Idaho
09-16-2003, 10:50 AM
Groundkprs,
It's too early in the morning for me to be laughing this hard.... please help me out here.

""Radical anti-herbicide mentality""" ???

You will notice I earlier wrote spot application of selectives is a good practical solution for an LCO. ALthough spot applications of vinegar are also a good practical solution for those wanting more of the organic method. The WSU doc supports the 20% not being required to be listed as pesticide which certainly opens questions about the licensing requirement per individual state requirements. It furthers illustrates the lack of appropriate warning labels on th e20% solution.

*************
Your statement of "But the writer above picks out the only negative sentence in the report." REALLY shows a lot about your position.

Do you think that was the ONLY negative statement???

*****************
32 days straight??? Ask a chem sprayer how many days they are exposed to 2,4-D in a season. A 20 year career???? The issue not not likelyness it is "continued exposure".

I am sure smoking 5 packs a day for 32 days straight and then stopping is not likely either. But it is still proven that smoking causes lung cancer over extended exposure.

******************
And hey, perhaps Grassmechanic (resident chemist) can confirm your statement that ""2,4-D is a plant hormone"" ?????

woodycrest
09-16-2003, 10:58 AM
""Radical anti-herbicide mentality""" ???

Got me crackin up too...thats a bit extreme isnt it??

woodycrest
09-16-2003, 11:04 AM
let me turn that around....

RAdical anti-organic mentality....

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-16-2003, 03:33 PM
Okay, folks. If none of the next three posts to this thread contributes directly to the originator's question about implementing commercial lawn care with selected use of synthetic herbicides, I'm going to pull rank and end the discussion on this thread.

I don't have a problem with the discussion, although on this forum it doesn't really contribute to the overall theme. All I'm saying is if you want to discuss this topic, please open an new thread so everyone who wants to follow it can find it easier.

dan deutekom
09-16-2003, 06:53 PM
My understanding is that 24d acts hormonally also. But I am not a chemist. Reading the fact sheet also shows how safe 24d is. It is not fair or informative to pick out one negative line from a full study and quote it saying that is the reason we shouldn't use it. This fact sheet also states "The half-life in soil is less than 7 days [21]. Soil microbes are primarily responsible for its disappearance " Kind of blows holes in the theory that using 24d destroys the microbes in the soil when in fact the soil microbes degrade the 24d.

The WSU vinegar fact sheet states "7% vinegar solutions showed results similar to the ARS study at 5%, namely lack of reliable weed control" It also stated that all EPA registered acetic acid solutions over 11% can cause skin burns on contact and permanent corneal damage. They also have a 48 hour re-entry period requirement. Here is a link to the MSDS for Burnout. Dosn't give nearly as much information as the 24d link. www.biconet.com/lawn/infosheets/burnOutMSDS.pdf This lack of good scientific info is what makes me skeptical.

One thing about these discussions it gets me researching stuff:D

Hamons
09-16-2003, 09:08 PM
This discussion really is the keystone of this debate for me.

Does professional and responsible use of pesticides compleytely destroy the benefits of using natural organic materials in the lawn?

This is different than discussing wheterh we should not use herbicides because they cause cancer ot because they hurt my skin or any of the other perfectly good reasons they are bad -- but what are there effects specifically on the microorganisms in the soil?

dan deutekom
09-16-2003, 10:01 PM
Hamons

This is also a major point for me. There just dosn't seem to be any direct documented evidence to support or disprove whether these chemicals destroy the benefits of organic methods. I personally don't believe so and if you are a true proponent of Integrated Pest management/Plant health care then you would use both organic and synthetic methods. We have all used manure and synthetic fertilizer in the same garden. Both have benefits for the soil and plants.

Dan

SWD
09-17-2003, 06:57 AM
As I have stated in earlier postings, I believe there is a place for organic use and for synthetics. The particular dynamics of your maintenance situation typically dictates how much or either you will use.
I have read quite a bit about soil research and repopulation of sterilized soils. I haven't come across any empirical studies showing detrimental effects of synthetics upon microbial populations. If anyone finds research articles of this type, I would be interested in reading them.

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-17-2003, 06:18 PM
Does professional and responsible use of pesticides completely destroy the benefits of using natural organic materials in the lawn? I've been warned already to watch for the use of the word pesticides vice herbicides and insecticides. I'm going to comment on both.

As far as the spot use of inorganic herbicides on select weeds in turf, mulch, or bare soil, I'm going to relax my organic standards. There are some weeds that do not respond to any organic treatment including mechanical pulling. Nutsedge comes to mind. Although you might kill some grass and soil microbes with overspray, the soil microbes by and large can recover very quickly with a dose of compost and organic fertilizer. If you are using a broadleaf herbicide within 100 feet of a tree, I'm going to beg off on that relaxation. If you are using a product with picloram or clopyralid on turf even without trees I will not relax. This is out of a matter of principle - those two products persist for years after compost digesting and can make compost with those ingredients poisonous to any broadleafed plants they get used on.

I don't think this question was directed at insects, but I don't want to be misunderstood before I say anything about the topic. As far as using insecticides on any damaging insect, I won't relax my organic standards. There are way too many beneficial insects that we cannot see that will be harmed by the spray. These beneficial insects give 100% control when they are left alone. The problem with killing "a few" beneficials is that the bad guys have a faster reproductive cycle and can return before the beneficials eggs hatch. For example, newborn aphids can be born 100% female and 100% pregnant ready to lay fertile eggs of which 100% will be female and pregnant and they can do that every 7-10 days. Ladybugs and the tiny wasps that destroy aphids take much longer to go through a life cycle if they get killed by overspray. Sometimes the organic solution might be birds, wasps, ladybugs, beneficial nematodes, or several other beneficial insect predators.

But once again, this forum is not about me. This forum is about your clients and what they want. If they state that they want organic program, make sure you know what they mean. Do they want an organic program all the way up until they see the first weed or grasshopper? Or are they willing to live with that weed or grasshopper while the organic program works against it. In the short, medium, and long terms, I think you'll find fewer bad insects on organic progam properties.

Does this help or confuse?

timturf
09-17-2003, 07:15 PM
Would the moderator please define organic!!!!!!!!!!!

I think this needs to be defined for this thread and this forum

Organic means many things to different people


tim

yardmonkey
09-17-2003, 08:34 PM
If it means many things to many people, then there are many definitions.

If it means many things to many people and there are many people participating here, then there will always be many different uses for the term here.

Each of us can define what it means to us, and use any info in that context. There has been a lot of talk here about synthetic chemicals. Not usually considered "organic", but the discussion has been very useful and interesting. Plus many people may define their own organic lawn care program as including some chemicals when necessary. Some may define it as no chemicals ever. In either case, it seems like anything discussed here should be of interest. It would not serve any purpose to limit the discussions or prohibit certain topics. And it may be impractical to include disclaimers and definitions with every post and thread.

Just my opinions......

timturf
09-17-2003, 10:10 PM
If we are discussing organics, we need to define them, so everybody is on the same page!!!

tim

timturf
09-17-2003, 10:10 PM
If we are discussing organics, we need to define them, so everybody is on the same page!!!

tim

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-18-2003, 02:03 AM
If someone will define vegetarian, I'll define organic :D One of my uncles was a vegetarian. He ate cheese, eggs, milk, and used leather products. Other vegetarians will not eat any of those but will eat chicken and fish. Others will not eat any of the above but will eat foods tested on animals. Others will not eat any food tested on animals or use any product that an animal had a hand in bringing to market. Get the drift here?

Here's my take on organic as it applies to gardening. If the product was once living, and is "relatively unprocessed," then it is organic and safe to use on a lawn. An example of good ones are ground seeds, beans, and nuts. An example of bad ones are pyrethrum extracted from chrysanthemums and nicotine extracted from tobacco. These might be safe for the microbes, but not for people, in my OPINION. You and your customers may have a different opinion. Ground bones, animal organs, and dried blood are also organic fertilizers, but I prefer to stay away from them because I don't know how to use them without getting that funky smell. Personal preference. I think of vinegar and alcohol as being borderline organics. They are both distilled from organic sources, but the distillation process is a LOT like chemical processing. The government allows them. I wouldn't use alcohol because it definitely kills microbes.

Inorganic chemicals, synthetics if you prefer, include ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate, potassium sulfate, ammonium phosphate, urea, methyleneurea, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, 2-(2-Methyl-4-chlorophenoxy) propionic acid, Calcium acid methanearsonate, monoammonium phosphate, ferrous sulfate, manganese oxide, manganese sulfate, Permethrin, Bifenthrin, Diazinon, Sevin, carbaryl, Thiophanate-methyl, picloram, clopyralid, and many, many more including synonyms for the above. There are some chemicals which are allowed to be used in organic programs. I'm not sure why. Magnesium sulfate comes to mind.

Now, trying to reattach this discussion with the original post, maybe I've already said some of this, in my opinion you can use selective herbicides on spot applications and not do any serious damage on acreage. Broadcast applications will do more damage to soil microbes over the entire area, but recovery is relatively easy using compost with an organic fertilizer. Using herbicide does not mean you may as well use Lesco's synthetics. If you're looking for an excuse to not use organic fertilizers, this is not it.

If you want an easy way to see how organic fertilizers work, take a handful of your wife's corn meal and sprinkle it on an area about the size of a dinner plate in an unfertilized field somewhere. Do the same with a handful of Lesco and mark the two spots. Come back every two days for a month and see what happens. I'm not trying to say that the corn meal will out perform the chemical, but you will find it does a credible job simply by feeding the microbes. Then go back in two months and again in three to see how the spots are doing. You don't have to fall in love with the stuff, but you should at least acknowledge that it does work so you can sound convincing when selling to the client.

One more point from the original message about using "cheap" Lesco fertilizers. If you are comparing Lesco's prices against commercial branded organic fertilizers, you have an excellent point that the organics are more expensive. But when you compare Lesco's prices against buying alfalfa pellets or corn meal in bulk, the race is almost neck and neck. Then if you get the results I think you will with the organic war on weeds and insect pests, the cost starts to favor the organic program because the organic program will have fewer problems. I think the pros on this list who are already using organic fertilizers will confirm this finding. And if you do have problems, the organic solutions are less expensive than the chemical ones and do not lead to other problems requiring repeat applications or different products used in a serial fashion.

"Other problems?" For example, when you spray an insecticide to kill aphids, you will necessarily kill any ladybugs, ladybug larvae, trichogramma wasps, and/or any other natural predators on the plants along with the aphids. It turns out the aphids have a more efficient reproduction system and can return in 7-10 days with another generation of offspring but the ladybugs cannot. If left completely alone on organic fertilizers and no insecticides, the natural insect controls will give you 100% control. But this is only an insect issue, not a weed issue.

GroundKprs
09-18-2003, 02:15 AM
tim, it has been pretty much decided that "organic lawn care" can only be defined by each person at this point, to suit his own ideas. What Dave is saying is that we must draw out a potential organic client to determine what his perception of "organics" is. Does client absolutely prohibit any synthetics? If so, is he ready to have some blemishes in lawn that cannot be controlled organically?

I had a good client for 10 years, but he succumbed to the synthetics/pesticide fears, even though I explained what I was using. Did nothing for him for 2 years, but this spring he called because he was hammered by grubs last year, and I treated with Merit for this years' crop. Again late July he called, was having an event in 2-3 weeks and lawn was really bad. (Property is on the river, and with all the rain this year, in one section of lawn there was hardly a leaf not infected with DS or RT.) I've got some old jugs of Daconil and Fungo, so I could knock out the problems, and gave lawn a shot of fert, and lawn was great for his event.

With the info from Dave here, I just suggested to him that he could manage his lawn organically, and he was gung-ho about the idea. But when I offered to bring him the printed info so he could start now, he said I had to do it! Dang, I guess I'm organic now, Dave! But not until next year if I find I can operate legally and solve the logistics of application.

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-18-2003, 02:56 AM
Well how about that?!? I guess all good things must come to an end, Jim. :D

woodycrest
09-18-2003, 06:45 AM
GroundKprs,

THe logistics is the easy part...glad to hear it!!

Dave

Green in Idaho
09-18-2003, 09:24 AM
For properties that are ON a river or in an obvious drainage system organic and low-impact processes make extreme sense!

In my town ALL of the street gutteres eventually drain into our local river. I love to fish. But I do not eat the fish from downstream of town basicly. If I want a fishy dinner I go upstream of town for obvious reason.

So if you are interested in marketing a new organic program to potential customers, those in riparian areas are easy customers when they stop to think to about it. They like being on a river, and they will want to protect it if possible.

GroundKprs
09-18-2003, 10:07 PM
Good grief, is organics just a cult? Lots of babble, no fact!

Logistics is easy, but no one has given a clue to how to spread cornmeal or any other pure organic product. And how about the legalities. Is all organics just under the table work?

The runoff of lawn chemicals has long been a bone picked by anti-whoevers. Been tested and studied many times, both vertical leaching and lateral runoff. If you are maintaining a healthy lawn, there is very little runoff of any kind. But the uninformed still rag about runoff.

The half life of clopyralid in soil is 40 days. That is longer than most turf pesticides, but hardly indicates that it persists for years. The recent clopyralid scare was because it was found in supposedly finished compost. The question was not asked why some fool bagged his grass right after a lawn spraying, nor was it asked if the compost facility was processing properly. Nor was it asked if some radical activist poured clopyralid into the compost, LOL. Clopyralid was a Dow product, and the patent was just about to run out, so the maker did not wish to argue. (Dow is ultra conservative: as soon as the radicals banded together years ago to find a problem with 2,4-D, Dow dropped 2,4-D from all their product line.) Clopyralid use will not be allowed on residential turf in the future. A much more harmful common herbicide is worth worrying about: dicamba is root absorbed by woody ornamentals, but you have a hard time finding any manufacturer that does not use dicamba in some major product lines.

And I apologize for the error above about 2,4-D being an aging hormone. Was trying to remember from class in the 80s. It is technically a plant hormone (auxin) mimic. OMG, auxin has an "x" in it, and so does dioxin, so auxin must be some horrible chemical?

Is Dave the only one to give any sensible info in this forum, and everyone else is just here to rage about their feelings about chemicals and spout misinformation?

woodycrest
09-18-2003, 11:14 PM
I simply fill a five gallon bucket with rolled(cracked) corn, it holds about 25 lbs or so, and i walk around and toss it by hand. It really doesnt take very long at all.

AS far as the legalities are concerned , i have done numerous searchs and the only info i can find is concerning organic farming/agriculture.

But, i did find this little tidbit in The Canadian Fertilizers Act today...
''(3) The following fertilizers and supplements are exempt from registration:

(a) fertilizers and supplements set out in Schedule II;

(b) farm fertilizers that do not contain pesticides and that satisfy section 10;

(c) supplements sold only for correction of soil acidity or alkalinity;

(d) supplements referred to in subsections 10.2(3) and (5);

(e) peat, peat moss, sphagnum moss, tree bark and other fibrous organic matter that is represented for use only in improving the physical conditions of the soil;

(f) customer-formula fertilizers;

(g) specialty fertilizers, other than those referred to in paragraph (b) of the definition "specialty fertilizers", that do not contain pesticides;

Note part e...

''(e) peat, peat moss, sphagnum moss, tree bark and other fibrous organic matter that is represented for use only in improving the physical conditions of the soil;

It does not mention corn specifically, but the corn when used on a lawn for the purpose of this discussion is used for ''improving the physical conditions of the soil...''

So it appears it is exempt from registration, thus legal. Does everyone else read that the same way??

heres the link i used....

http://laws.justice.gc.ca./en/F-10/C.R.C.-c.666/110003.html#rid-110052

Green in Idaho
09-18-2003, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by GroundKprs
The half life of clopyralid in soil is 40 days.

And I apologize for the error above about 2,4-D being an aging hormone. Was trying to remember from class in the 80s. It is technically a plant hormone (auxin) mimic. ... spout misinformation?

Who is spouting misinformation???? So far, I only see you doing that GroundsKpr.

**********************
From http://infoventures.com/e-hlth/pestcide/choyrali.html:

Persistence and Agents of Degradation: Clopyralid may be persistent in soils under anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions and in soils with a low microorganism content. The half-life in soil can range from 15 to 287 days.

Potential For Leaching Into Ground-Water: Because clopyralid is highly soluble in water, does not adsorb to soil particles, and is not readily decomposed in some soils, it may leach into ground-water. Ground-water may be contaminated if clopyralid is applied to areas where soils are very permeable and the water table is shallow. There is a potential for clopyralid to contaminate ground-water if it is applied to soils containing sinkholes or severely fractured surfaces.


In the MSDS for Stinger it says:
clopyralid half-life is based on the aerobic level of the soil. Aerobic soils is 71 days.

It also uses "soil half-life>12 years". Although it is not clear, assumably that is in anaerobic soils- that would be at deeper depths where there is less microbe activity, right? Deeper like ground water deeper, right?

So in a sterile soil profile it takes longer to break down. Sterile soil profiles,,,, now where would I find that??:alien:

Reference: http://www.dowagro.com/webapps/lit/litorder.asp?filepath=label/pdfs/noreg/010-00149.pdf&pdf=true

***************
As for Dow dropping all 2,4-D from their product lines. GroundsKprs, have you heard of Frontline? It is by Dow and it is 2,4-D.
Although it is certainly marketed more to the agriculture ind. instead of turf.

Here's the product link (if the moderator permits the link of a product since Dow is not a sponsor) http://www.dowagro.ca/ca/prod/frontline-2.htm

Here's a list as of 2/20/02 o fother Dow products with 2,4-D as the primary.
http://www.tricity.wsu.edu/~mantone/StateRUPLists/ingredientsfeb2002.htm#D

*********************

As for the compost issue:

Traces of clopyralid, manufactured by Dow AgroSciences and toxic to vegetables such as potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and beans, have been found in compost made from recycled grass, straw and manure in California, Washington state, Pennsylvania and New Zealand.
From
http://www.compostingcouncil.org/article.cfm?id=35

It is hardly an incident of ONE foolish greenskeeper throwing the clippings into the compost pile.

***************
Half-life?
Let's see the time it take for a material to decrease to HALF of the original value. So in x days there is 10 lbs instead of 20lbs. And in another x days there is 5 instead of 10... and so on... right?

So even with your '40 days' in 120 days there are still particles in the soil. And given that clopyralid is VERY soluable in water, in a turf with porous soils and a low water tables,,,, well, I don't want my kids drinking from that well water every day.

But hey the GOODs news is the first source cites:

"HAZARD: Based on the results of animal studies, clopyralid is not classified as a carcinogen, teratogen, mutagen, or reproductive inhibitor. ...

Reported effects: No reports of chronic poisoning in humans have been found." Close quotes.

No one had died from it, so I guess everyone can drink up!

****************************
GroundsKper, as I look back through your last post again, I am searching for accurate information instead of someone spouting misinformation.... ???? Searching,,,, searching,.....

Do you really need a clue on how to spread cornmeal?

Searching... ooh there it is.
1)Dicamba,
2) no residentials for chor. and
3) You made an error on your first post and are correcting it.

Thanks for the info esp about Dicamba. Now given the accuracy of your previous information I'll have to go verify the dicamba infor. :)

I don't mean to be directing it all on you GroundsKper, I like the discussions, but instead of pointless comments like "spouting misinformation" perhaps you can identify those things that YOU think are misinformation.

You obviously have an interest in it and have a great background of experience that can be valued by all. Don't worry we'll go slow for you... :D

Also, please don't get me wrong. I have 2,4-D in my garage right now, and I occasionally use it! I also use Roundup. But I accept there is a time and an appropriate use for everything. When possible I prefer low impact. And I do not trust 'safety studies' that were done in 12 months on rats that try to determine the long-term effects on people (most importantly my kids), and the environment. If a negative impact occured on the rat, I am sure it will happen to humans too, but just because the rat, duck, or critter didn't have an effect in a short period doesn't mean it won't happen in 10 or 20 years of exposure.

GroundKprs
09-19-2003, 01:03 AM
Any SA can spend a day searching the web for answers to satisfy his own ideas. And find then, I must admit. But just because it's posted on a web page doesn't make it true. There are web pages saying DDT is not harmful.

The only turf and ornamental herbicide by Dow on your big list was Turflon D - and Dow has not marketed that (in this country) for at least 8 years.

And rather than wallow the web looking for info or disinfo on pesticides, I use The National Pesticide Information Center (<a href="http://ace.orst.edu/info/npic">NPIC</a>). The half lives of most pesticides are at http://ace.orst.edu/info/npic/ppdmove.htm .

Now for once, instead of just arguing, perhaps you could answer a simple question: please tell me just how I would apply cornmeal (or any of Dave's pure organics) to 43 commercial and residential properties, area totaling roughly 5.2 acres. At least woody is sincere in giving an answer, but my old beat up wrists won't be able to work a bucket for that much corn.

Grassmechanic
09-19-2003, 07:53 AM
[

Grassmechanic, nice chemistry lesson, but I appear to have lost my labbook some years ago!
Perhaps you can elaborate on the many different types of acetic acids and which one is primary in 2-4-D, other selective herbicides, and vinegar. Then a comparison of them would be nice. :D I only know of one acetic acid - C2H4O2. It is the same in all above mentioned products, although it is combined with different molecular chains to make those different products. I've also noted a tone of sarcasm in your posts, so instead of trying to explain to things that don't make sense, I'll leave you to search for them yourself. Now, back to my original question: If there is less acetic acid in 2,4D than vinegar, why is vinegar regarded as better for the soil? I ask questions hoping to get sound, scientific answers, but so far, I have not recieved any. This is the main complaint with organics - there have been relatively few scientific studies done on them. I keep an open mind on the "chemical vs organic" battles that loom, and I certainly won't side with extremists on either side that cannot back up their info. with sound, scientific studies. Case in point - I have seen preliminary and ongoing studies at MSU regarding CGM and it's benefits in combating fungus infections through the utilization of trichoderma. Now, 10 years ago, I would have thought that this was an interesting concept, but until thoroughly studied, I would not have given it creedence. So, let's keep the extremism out of this subject and give sound, scientific info. Convince me, I'm all ears. And by the way, yes, 2,4D does act hormonally in plants:D

Green in Idaho
09-19-2003, 10:08 AM
More reasons for alternatives:

Bans not enforceable
Recognizing the threat posed by runoff, counties and cities are beginning to ban phosphorus fertilizer use, says Paula West of Brainerd, executive director of the Minnesota Lakes Association.

At least 15 metro-area cities have banned residential applications and half a dozen counties already have shoreline bans — among them, Douglas County, which prohibits phosphorus within 50 feet of public waters. In addition, the Minnesota Legislature this year took up several proposals to limit or ban the use of phosphorus lawn fertilizers.

Such bans are hard to enforce, West acknowledges. And compliance is hindered by a lack of alternatives. West, also a consultant for Ace Hardware stores, says phosphate-free fertilizers are hard to find.

“None of the major manufacturers makes a phosphate-free fertilizer, and most major retailers don’t carry them in their warehouses. This is the first year Ace Hardware has carried a zero-phosphorus product.”

********************
This is from the other post about a fert developed by a teen.
From here: http://www.auri.org/news/ainjul01/09page.htm

Green in Idaho
09-19-2003, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by Grassmechanic
[
Perhaps you can elaborate on the many different types of acetic acids and which one is primary in 2-4-D, other selective herbicides, and vinegar. Then a comparison of them would be nice. :D I only know of one acetic acid - C2H4O2. It is the same in all above mentioned products, although it is combined with different molecular chains to make those different products. I've also noted a tone of sarcasm in your posts, so instead of trying to explain to things that don't make sense, I'll leave you to search for them yourself.

Actually no sarcasm intended (on this point anyway). Sorry for the miscommunication on my part.

What I mean is I continually see acetic acid used in many ways such as these:
7-Methoxycoumarin-4-acetic acid
Indole-3-acetic acid
Monochloro acetic acid
Tricholor acetic acid
Acetic acid benzylester
Acetic acid phenylmethyl ester

Not that any of the above are turf related products, but that acetic acid is simply a base molecule to make many things as you wrote. Much like a brick is the base to make many things too. But to say a house, a firepit, and a kiln are all the same thing because they are made of the same type of brick seems to be a stretch.

***************
The acetic acid question is comparable to saying citric acid is the base that is then combined with many other molecular chains to make products?

And then the vinegar acetic acic vs 2,4-D acetic acid is much like asking which is better for my body, Diet Coke or orange juice? They both have citric acid. But which is the preferred product? To look at that, I would want to know how the acid molecule is issued in each product, right?
*****************

And so to be clear are you are stating that the acetic acid in vinegar is the same as the acetic acid in Weed-B-Gone (2,4-D) and it THEN combined with OThER molecular chains to make different compounds? Therefore it seesm the acid compound is different in each product.

So do we want to talk about the overall compound/product (vinegar & Weed-B-Gone) or do we want to talk about the building block (acetic acid and citric acid)?

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-19-2003, 12:24 PM
Heh, heh. I can see you guys have a long running mutual sort of a thing going on here. :eek: I'm stunned :D

Regarding spreading, I know woodycrest ain't no spring chicken and he's throwing gallons of rolled corn on acres of golf courses by hand.

But I'd like to know which of the brands of whirly spreaders will work? Corn meal comes in so many different grinds from half kernels to flour, so the settings and even the brands will make a big difference. And it tends to stick to itself so if you don't get enough agitation, it will stay clumped and the flat rotating beater at the bottom of the hopper won't touch it. Maybe the rotating beater needs to be a different shape? Like maybe a S shape or even a double S shape to keep the flow going. Some folks have talked about mixing other organic products with different consistancies in with it to keep the flow going. Problem is the products they're talking about are only used every 5 years or so.

One advantage to some of the expensive commercial branded organic fertilizer is they've gone to the trouble of pelletizing the product so it will flow through a spreader without sticking. I use a drop spreader and the only product I have that flows through it is corn GLUTEN meal.

By the way, as an aside, I write corn GLUTEN meal with the GLUTEN in all uppercase simply to emphasize the difference. It also helps me remember what I'm talking about, because after a couple of years I find I need the trigger to remind me.

Anyway, back to spreaders. I rented a spreader one time. It was a commercial whirly. I did it simply to see if it would spread the various products I had. At the time I had an alfalfa pellet that was huge and it almost flowed through. My current sack is more like gerbil food than horse food. I think it would go through the spreader very well, but unfortunately I was the last person to rent that sorry piece of equipment. One wheel fell off while I had it from the excessive rust in the sheet metal. The rental yard never asked a question - they just carried the rotting carcass to the dumpster.

I know there are small farm implements made for slinging anything including sopping wet manure. Surely someone will have a great idea for applying corn and alfalfa. Tell you what, I'm going to change channels and ask the question on one of the organic farm forums I monitor and see what they say. I'd tell you where to go look yourself but that would be against the rules, wouldn't it :eek:

Grassmechanic
09-19-2003, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by Green in Idaho
And so to be clear are you are stating that the acetic acid in vinegar is the same as the acetic acid in Weed-B-Gone (2,4-D) and it THEN combined with OThER molecular chains to make different compounds? Therefore it seesm the acid compound is different in each product.

So do we want to talk about the overall compound/product (vinegar & Weed-B-Gone) or do we want to talk about the building block (acetic acid and citric acid)? Yes, the acetic in both 2,4D and vinegar is what is credited for the control of weeds. Again, refer to my original question, which has yet to be answered.

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-19-2003, 01:13 PM
Okay. Here we have Grassmechanic's original question to peruse. Originally posted by Grassmechanic
Expanding on what Dan has said. Both vinegar and 2,4D are acetic acid compounds. The acetic acid is what is credited for the control of weeds. If the acetic acid is utilized in a benzene ring (as in 2,4D) to be more effective, one could assume that, for control of weeds, less acetic acid is needed by using 2,4D than vinegar. Wouldn't less acetic acid be more beneficial to the soil microbes? If the answer is yes, then would 2,4D be the preferred product over vinegar for weed control? Here's my answer with respect to this forum.
On an organic program it doesn't matter which is best. What matters is which one is organic.

Again, if you can explain it to your client in a way that allows you to use a non-organic product, that is up to you. I readily agree that 2,4-D works wonders. And I believe any (or IF any) damage occurs to the soil microbes with either 2,4-D or vinegar, it can be repaired quickly with compost and organic fertilizer.

Hamons
09-19-2003, 01:28 PM
I disgree totally that it doesn't matter what is the beast.

That is exactly what I working on finding out and I do not care at all wheter it is "organic." I care if it is going to grow the best looking, most sustainable turf for my customers. I believe that using organic material as part of my program will help accomplish this. I am not going to get causgt up in the hoopla over whether it is organic or not -- the question is ... is it the best way to grow the best lawn.

Green in Idaho
09-19-2003, 02:08 PM
"Both vinegar and 2,4D are acetic acid compounds."

And my .01 one cent is that while they may both be acetic acid compounds it is what the 2,4-D comes along with that prevents one from saying they are "the same".

While the bricks are similiar, the end product is different. Therefore the question misrepresenting the two products.

Further the question involves an assumption that less acid is needed by using 2,4-D instead of vinegar. It sounds reasonable but it is still an "assumption".

And the question involves a qualitative word "preferred". Preferred for what? Is it preferred by people adverse to chemicals? No.

As Hamons wrote What is the best? "Best" according to what? "Preferred" according to what? If less acetic acid is you only criterion, then let's go there.

If it is agreed less acid is better. Then the question is "is 2,4-d preferred for weed control?". I would say YES. 2,4-d is preferred for weed control it is probably more dependable and reliable than an equal amount acetic acid in a vinegar solution.

AND IF weed control is the ONLY thing you are seeking you got a winner!


HOWEVER, organic methods seek weed control while NOT compromising the overall environment.

What is the "best" treatment. The answer depends on what the customer defines best. Best for my dog's health, best for the soil, best for my pocketbook, best for the color of green grass, best for my well water supply, best for the horse eating the grass, or best for my LCO to look good to the neighbors.

????

Let's reword it to "Is 2,4-D the preferred product over vinegar for the overall benefit of the environment?"

No.

While you might want a scientific study to confirm that, I would like to read a scientific study that says "2,4-D is preferred and less harmful to the environment than vinegar". I'm sure those will be right next to the "web pages saying DDT is not harmful".:cool:

*****************

It can be generalized that if you have an intruder in your house it would be better if the intruder was short and small, so you might be more likely to kick his as, right. IF you assume a smaller person is easier to overpower, wouldn't a short burglar be better than a big one. IF the answer is yes, then Gary Coleman would be less of a threat than Arnold S..

Right?


Unless of course Gary Coleman is packing a .357. :p

dan deutekom
09-19-2003, 05:51 PM
Thankyou Hamons. I use every tool available to make the best lawn possible. It dosn't matter to me whether it be organic or synthetic. I won't go all organic just because it is the "in thing". I won't use nothing but synthetics because I am a "stubborn anti environmental bad guy". I will use the best solution for the situation. So far havn't seen the answer.

Hamons
09-19-2003, 09:47 PM
Sounds like we are on the same wavelength. Simply trying to provide the highest quality turf possible for our customers!

I generally agree with all the above posts on blanket insectide and fungicide treatment -- but haven't found the answer yet on herbicides.

ChickensDoo
09-19-2003, 11:05 PM
I am involved with a growing organic-BASED lawn care service. We are not 100% 'organic' in everything we apply, but have seen the research and have witnessed the results on the lawns we maintain.

Our annual turf program is based on pounds of organic matter applied per thousand, not nitrogen. The healthy soils we build allow us to use less nitrogen and provide healthier, thicker, and greener lawns than our competitors who use strictly synthetics.

We use manure based fertilizers, mostly poultry. Some are blended with synthetics to speed up greening, mainly so the customers see some immediate response until the organics started kicking in.

We spot apply commercially available herbicides as needed. Also apply pre-emergent applications in the spring. We strive to use products that have the lowest rates of active ingredient to minimize enviro-impact. Makes us sleep better at night.

People call us because they want nice lawns and minimal environmental impact. We provide great lawns over time as the organic matter levels increase in the soil. Less than 5% of our client base remains "100% Organic".

Fungicide treatments have become unneccessary on our lawns. In some areas, we still do grub preventive treatments, with the product of choice being Mach 2.

Bottom line to all this is what Hamons said. Organic matter plays a major part in providing customers with healthy, attractive lawns. When organics are incorporated into a practical IPM program, they don't really cost that much more - they save you money and headaches.....

Green in Idaho
09-19-2003, 11:11 PM
ChickenDoo,
Is that poultry product from your own chickens or do you buy it from a poultry farm?