Horse Manure


This topic contains 36 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Steve Long 4 years, 11 months ago.

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    Blimey. That is bad stuff. I didn’t know this herbicide existed and its lingering consequences.
    I have just sent my mate a text message asking about the big pile of cow muck he brought me a week or so ago.
    If there is any doubt I shall barrow it down and spread it around our christmas trees. I shall check its effect on christmas trees first.



    I shall plant up the 5 beds I have made up with the same plants to test the compost. Two of the five 3m x 7m beds have had several tonnes of old horse manure on them.
    The other three have had cow manure and straw bedding from our own cow. Unfortunately I got the straw from various places and also fed the cow on haylage and hay from various places too.

    Thankfully this year we have made our own hay and hope to make some haylage too.
    We made the hay from between the rows of our blueberries, orchard and nut areas. I am trying to mix agriculture and gardening in the same land area.



    Wellies you will be fine.
    The aminopyralid is used only when growing grass for horse hay.
    Not for silage to feed cows. I never heard of contaminated cow manure.



    I am not sure though. The haylage I have fed our cow on could have also been made for horses. I think the farmers may spray with the intention of making finest hay for horses, then the weather doesn’t turn out as they hoped so they make haylage or silage from it of varying quality.

    Do they spray straw with it?



    Ah bother.
    However the proportion of horse hay which receives this spray is perhaps 1-5%, or less, so it’s always unlikely.
    Sow a few beans/peas in it before spreading, you will soon know.
    Straw is fine, it’s not used on cereals.



    That is one good thing.
    I was getting a bit concerned as I am picking up 7 small bales of straw today.
    These are left over from a straw bale house build and were made for straw bale building. They are baled very tightly and heavy for building. It did make me wonder that if a farmer knew these bales were destined for building homes and not feed or bedding, then the crop could be sprayed with something that wouldn’t be a problem if the bales are just used for building and not other uses.
    I have just sent a local farmer an email with a few questions about aminopyralid herbicides and using his straw. He is a good guy and also wants me to rebuild the big gearbox in his wind turbine saving him a fortune so I think he will look into it well.



    Many thanks all for your detailed responses and advice, much appreciated.
    Charles – I’m relieved to hear that I might be able to keep some or all of the manure. Its interesting because several plants did bounce back, so hopefully it wasn’t too severe and is dispersing. I’ll start a Bioassay tomorrow in a few beds with broad bean and pea seeds, good idea. I’m sorry to hear of Sarah Ravens woes, but glad that she is pursuing the fight. I’ll certainly do what I can, report to HSE / Chemical Regulation Division (CRD) and of course dear old Dow.
    Plantsmark – like you I surely wouldn’t have been alert to AP but for Charles in the first place. I suspect that many growers on my allotment and elsewhere have been blissfully unaware of the problems AP has caused them, assuming it was just some disease or something they had done wrong. I think one of the main problems in dealing with this poison is tracing it back to the culprit. The farm / stables where I bought it from may well have bought their hay from a middleman, who in turn buys in from several sources. I’d like to still use animal manure because of the abundance of microbes and organisms in it, but will certainly try and test a source first in future, and look at green manure.
    Wellies – Fingers crossed that you will be unaffected. Cow manure sounds an interesting option, I’ll try and locate some myself. It will be interesting to see what your farmer colleague says on the subject.

    And finally ‘ lexicon of misunderstandings’ – love that phrase Charles!



    Hi Charles and all

    Would it be wise to mix horse manure with any other compost to hand as this would surely lessen any ill effects?




    Hi Charles / all,

    My friend got back to me today.
    He uses a herbicide called Squire which has an active ingredient amidosulfuron. So far I haven’t found any particularly bad problems with that one on the internet.
    The other is called Dock Start or Dock Star (it was a bad phone line).
    It is Doxstar……
    An emulsifiable concentrate containing 150 g ae/litre (14.68% w/w) fluroxypyr (present as
    216 g/litre of fluroxypyr-meptyl) and 150 g ae/litre (14.68% w/w) triclopyr (present as
    209 g/litre triclopyr butoyl).

    Whatever that means



    Having a read through the data sheets fluroxypyr sounds terrible for equatic life. It is a neurotoxicant and possibly causes kidney problems.
    Fluroxypyr-meptyl seems just as bad for your kidneys and also reproductive systems and development.
    Its CAS (whatever that is) name is..
    1-methylheptyl ((4-amino-3,5-dichloro-6-fluoro-2-pyridinyl)oxy) which, taking bits of words out gives aminopyr…. which is a bit worrying.
    I wasn’t much good at chemistry.



    Hi folks,
    I’ve not been touched by this issue personally, but it has made me change my practices.
    Horse manure is an important resource to me as I live in London and it is the only manure I can find inside the M25.
    Though this will not suit everyone, the method I have adopted is as follows….
    step 1. Ignore all manure offered by the main roadside. It is usually fresh as there is a quick turnover and usually is 50p per bag.
    step 2. Drive around and find stables which are on roads not frequently traversed by the public. The stables here are keener to get rid of manure and thus do not charge.
    step 3. Find the stables where you bag and collect your own. Here I select from the back of the pile where some grass or other weeds has started growing.

    So far I have not been troubled by Aminopyralid symptoms.
    Best regards to you all….



    I finally contacted the farm that had supplied me the horse manure, and described my experiences and test results.
    They were shocked to hear it, although said they had never heard of Aminopyralid, said they’d never had that in 20 years etc. I asked if they bought in their hay or grew it themselves. They said they grew it all themselves but never used any chemicals at all, didn’t trust in them as they always feared these would affect the horses health. They said that the straw for bedding was bought in, suggested that maybe the contamination was there (nb they also use wood shavings). I said I thought that AP use was forbidden on straw or any cereal crops so it was unlikely to be that. Its possible that this information is incorrect, but I am inclined to believe them. I’m wondering whether I could try an additional bioassay ( I think I read this somewhere, maybe on this forum?) by taking some of the straw, and separately some of the hay, soaking it in water for a while and watering the beans
    with the resultant solutions to see if the problem is there?



    Paul the aminopyralid does not wash out so you need actual product for bioassay.
    That is all a bit surprising and strange. As far as I know, there is no need for ap on cereal crops.



    Hi Everyone,
    It’s my first allotment, and I was planning to strim and then fill the 6″ raised beds in my new, very overgrown allotment with manure as there seems to be a plentiful free supply for the allotmenteers to help themselves to. I was thinking of approx. 4″ deep of manure on top of the good but weed/couch infested soil, then weed suppressant membrane on top. Then leave for 6 months – 1 year to sort itself. However, I’m now really worried about Aminopyralid. I will do a test as advised on the forum. However, if the test for Aminopyralid proves negative, is it OK to fill my beds with pure manure? Compost/soil can only be delivered to outside the allotment gates, and getting it spread before it goes walkabout would be really difficult.
    Hoping you can help and many thanks,



    Dens, I am creating a new veg patch on a former paddock. Last summer I covered part of it with pure manure, pickings off the field (we have horses on site so I know the history of it) and planted it this year. Crops have been magnificent, and in some areas the manure, which I guess became compost over the winter, has all but disappeared. Have covered another area this year for cropping next year. Even with our own supply, getting enough compost to prepare it all and keep the beds refreshed is still the limiting factor.

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