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Commercial Organic Lawn Care Program

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Hamons, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    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....

  2. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    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.


    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.

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

    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.
    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.
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    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.
  4. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697


    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
  5. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    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
  6. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    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)?
  7. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    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:
  8. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    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.
  9. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Okay. Here we have Grassmechanic's original question to peruse.
    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.
  10. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    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.

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