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2012 - More reports of contamination
In 2012 I was still coming across reports on various forums from gardeners who suspect that they are suffering from the affects of using contaminated manure. Examples of threads discussing the problem this year are here, here and here. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to obtain more information from many of these reports but some victims have contacted me to discuss their experiences. If you have suffered this year 2012 please email me with information so I can add you to this list.
Colin from Cheslyn Hay Allotments in Staffordshire contacted to report that his site suspected that they were suffering the effects of having applied contaminated manure. Colin wrote: We believe we have contaminated manure and are currently looking to have a batch tested. Potatoes and tomatoes are currently suffering. The potatoes look very similar to those shown on your website. We have a small pile of contaminated manure on site and I am hoping Dow will agree to move it.
Colin later reported: Talking with the plot holder who has been lifting and eating the potatoes, he is very pleased with his crop. He also said there were three others that he was aware of the have had a similar ‘recovery’.The tomatoes that were affected at his home are also now fruiting well. However, he showed me some peas which had been started in the manure and these have hardly moved. They are under netting so haven’t been attacked by the pigeons. Is this ‘recovery’ typical?
We found that potatoes did recover and produce a good crop (possibly down to the application of manure), however this didn’t mean that the plants were free of the herbicide contamination. Consequently the potato haulms shouldn’t be composted. You will also find that any volunteer growth resulting from any potato tubers that are overlooked during harvesting will be likely to display the symptoms of contamination. I suppose it will depend on the level of contamination but we found that fruit which did develop on ‘recovering’ tomato plant was deformed. We didn’t note any recovery of pea and bean plants - these remain stunted and deformed.
Photo below sent by Colin.
Neil lives on edge of Cotswolds and emailed to say: We had contaminated manure 2 -4 years ago. I have one patch which I have grown broad beans in which was manured 3 years ago and the beans are still showing signs of residual curling. AP is supposed to break down with bacteria in the soil, but somehow in our soil this does not seem to happen.
My allotment neighbour last year used compost made from plants grown on contaminated manure. Since they were mostly cabbages they did not show much sign of problems. However the beans grown on the compost were very badly affected. He put the whole compost bin down the row of runner beans.
We had also had some problems with horse manure. The horses were bedded on home grown hay. The only possible source of contamination is bought in feed stuffs.
We have one girl with one contaminated runner bean plant in a row, and I know that no manure has been applied for more than two years.
My next door plot neighbour sourced some horse manure. The source was adamant she used no weedkiller so he was gutted when I showed him the results of bean growing tests. The beans were fine for a couple of weeks and then showed the tell tale leaf curling, after a month they were totally different from the controls.
John from Sandwell first reported that his allotment site was suffering the effects of using contaminated manure back in 2008. He recently sent photos of how crops in a greenhouse on his site are still showing symptoms of herbicide poisoning
The photos were taken in a greenhouse on a plot used by school children. John says “We haven't been able to use it fully since it was manured in '08. We intend to dig it out deep this winter and replace the soil completely”.
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