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Beware of herbicide residues in compost

publication date: Dec 1, 2001
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By Art Biggert

I have been farming using organic methods for 10 years. Compost has always been the right arm of my soil fertility program. Cover cropping is the other arm. I usually add 7 tons of finished compost per acre as either a soil conditioner or as mulch for weed control. These soil fertility management tools have worked to improve my soils over a decade of careful monitoring. I have documented my soil improvements with a comprehensive soil analysis every two years. But this year, my compost caused damage to my bean and tomato crops. The parent material of the compost I had problems with was horse manure and straw from stable sweepings.

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