Friday, October 24

Thinking of obtaining manure?

It was around this time last year that many of us at Green Lane inadvertently bought loads of contaminated manure which caused our crops to become distorted and often fail to produce anything worthwhile. We wre not alone as gardeners across the country contacted us to tell us that they also had problems after applying manure. Click here to read more

As a result many of us will be avoiding manure this year. If you are considering obtaining a supply you should be aware that although the herbicide that is suspected of causing the widespread problems last year has been temporarily withdrawn from sale, contaminated manure will still be in the system and could be for a while. Fields will already have been treated this year before the withdrawal and also the persistence of the chemical means that its affects can linger for a couple of years after use, especially in stacked manure piles.

If you want to obtain manure you should seek assurances from the suppliers that no herbicide containing aminopyralid has been used by them or by any of their suppliers of silage or bedding. If a contract sprayer has been used your supplier needs to know which herbicide was used to control any broad leaved weeds growing in fields that animals browsed or from which grass was harvested to make silage or hay for bedding. The most common herbicide that contains aminopyralid is 'Forefront" although there are other products too.

In order to give these assurances your supplier needs to know what chemicals have been used in the supply chain not just make assumptions. If your supplier tells you that the manure that is on offer has been stacked for a long enough period to ensure all chemicals have dissipated it is likely that they are unaware of the persistence of aminopyralid.
If after speaking to your supplier you are in any doubt them don't accept manure.

For more information click here

It's not too late to contact us if you think you have been affected by this problem. I am especially interested in any cases in the Yorkshire/Humberside region.


  1. DEFRA consultstion on compost...PLEASE go and read my latest blog MAY WELL affect you if it is passed!

  2. Compostwoman's blog is

  3. Will you be using manure? If so where have you gotten it from? I'm from Barnsley which isn't too far from Wakefield so could probably travel to the same supplier

  4. Hello Emma,
    It's a very short answer really - no. The explanation is longer!
    The problem is it is just so difficult to be sure that the stuff hasn't been treated with something likely to cause a problem. The person that supplies the manure could - as was in our case - be totally unaware of what had been used on the silage that he bought in to feed his animals.
    You need to check.
    What was used on any pastureland.
    What was used on any grass material in the silage
    What was used on any grass converted into bedding hay.
    This could potentially mean that lots of people would have to give correct answers to the correct questions.
    Due to our problems I have researched this quite a bit.
    Some would say that I could have become over cautious but a professional gardener also told me that there is some concern about the possibility that a cocktail of safe chemicals may not remain safe. So if different suppliers use different chemicals which then all end up in the same manure heap do they remain safe to consume?
    Lots of other chemicals could also potentially enter the manure chain not just herbicides.
    Before anyone accuses me of being anti-chemical - I am not - we would be in a sorry state without many of them. Also I don't blame chemical companies who after all are just doing their jobs - producing effective solutions to particular problems. But I want to know what I am using, that chemicals being used by others are being used correctly and that all potentially damaging effects have been fully explored.
    Until we reach that stage no manure I'm afraid!
    The problem is a bit easier to deal with respect to manure as we can avoid using it but with the suspicions that compost and commercial products (even those labelled organic) are affected the problem becomes more difficult.


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