Organic vs Chemical

Discussion in 'Organic Gardening' started by Wolvie150, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. theManicGardener

    theManicGardener Member

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    Wolvie, if I'm understanding you (and please correct me if I'm not!), you appear to be saying that because the surfactant helps the glysophate "stick" to the surfaces on which it's sprayed, the surfractant makes it easier to apply toxic levels of glysophate. But the study I quoted didn't say that; it said that the surfactant itself was believed to be toxic. This seems to me importantly different.

    That study, by the way, is at this site, and is available as a PDF.

     
  2. theManicGardener

    theManicGardener Member

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    That did not come out quite right (it posted before I wanted it to), but oh well.
    --Kate
     
  3. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    That study, by the way, is at this site, and is available as a PDF.

    One of the problems with references is that idiots like me actually read them.
    This PDF seems to be a consolidation of some work done in the 70's and 80's and simply "parsed" by some government department .
    It's a real shame that there is so much of this reiteration of questionable material by government departments.
    My feeling is that they are well intended but only tend to blur the science and make understanding the effects more difficult.
    Truthfully, I don't know what to think about glyphosate now that everybody has taken a whack at it.
    If you extend the LD/50's in most of these studies they become enormous exagerations of real life situations.

    100mg/bee???? spare me!

    Why is that?


    Bob
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  4. theManicGardener

    theManicGardener Member

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    You're right, Bob, most of the citations in the Massachusetts study are quite dated, and the 100 mb/bee bit makes perhaps too easy a target. But the report's writers know this; their next sentence was "This level of experimental exposure is considerably in excess of exposure levels that would occur during normal field applications."

    My main point, however, was that the unnamed "inert" ingredients in pesticides can themselves be toxic.

    The other study I mentioned, from the University of Caen, is original research published in 2005. Here's an excerpt from the abstract:

    Here we show that glyphosate is toxic to human placental JEG3 cells within 18 hr with concentrations lower than those found with agricultural use, and this effect increases ... in the presence of Roundup adjuvants.Surprisingly, Roundup is always more toxic than its active ingredient. We tested the effects of glyphosate and Roundup at lower nontoxic concentrations on aromatase, the enzyme responsible for estrogen synthesis. The glyphosate-based herbicide disrupts aromatase activity and mRNA levels and interacts with the active site of the purified enzyme, but the effects of glyphosate are facilitated by the Roundup formulation in microsomes or in cell culture. We conclude that endocrine and toxic effects of Roundup, not just glyphosate, can be observed in mammals. We suggest that the presence of Roundup adjuvants enhances glyphosate bioavailability and/or bioaccumulation.
    (Emphasis added.)

    Perhaps studies on isolated human cells will seem as irrelevant to you as do those establishing LDs on rats or bees; I don't know. And of course, as jimmyq reminded all of us a week or so ago, "scientific" language can "prove" almost anything. The "dihydrogen monoxide" scare is just the best example going, not the only one. But my hope would be that sites, and conversations, like this one would help us cut through some of the hype and focus on facts.


    BTW-- I didn't mean to be dismissive or caustic in my remark about whether your initial comment about democracy was meant for this thread or not; I honestly didn't get it at first, and thought it might have leapt the cyber-tracks and ended up here by accident.
    --Kate
     
  5. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    Kate

    No harm , no foul.
    We're all here to learn,
    If we take offense at every proposition we are going to get nowhere!


    Cheers
    Bob
     
  6. greenthumb95

    greenthumb95 Active Member

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    Guenea Hens are great animals for gardens because they eat weed seeds and pests.


    Back on topic, organic gardening is generally harder, but has better tasting produce. chemical use can increase productivity, but can decrease taste quality(allgedly), and is generally easier.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2008
  7. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    I'm not too sure that could work here for me as I have coyotes and Ferrel cats around.
    You are lucky to have a spot to free range them.

    Back to topic. I certianly appreciate the flavour of some of the "GM" Apples on th market today.

    Bob
     
  8. greenthumb95

    greenthumb95 Active Member

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    I dont. I just have a few chickens. But in the poltury catalogs they have guinea hens in them also, and it said that they are great for organic weed and pest control.

    My favorite apple is "Honeycrisp", and my local farmstand grows these organically. They are soooo good. (:
     
  9. Wolvie150

    Wolvie150 Active Member

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    Kate ~~

    I haven't had time yet to read those studies, it seems there has been some review already of the scientific/summarizing validity already...??? (I've had funerals to attend, child health probs...) anyway....

    To simply answer, yes, surfactants help hold. While it is possible that the surfactant is the most toxic, (I have read recent studies from various universities and professional societies) I know you can increase the percentage concentration to as high as 75% round-up. [Of course, this is going to "bleed" from your application area, harming a bit of the plants around (euronymus elimination, specifically), and have not noticed much beyond the 'bleed-out'. (However, I wasn't performing any tests of changes in the micro-environment.)]. If the surfactant was a toxic, then at a level of 125x-200x the normal concentration, there should have been some other signs, such as much quicker die-off of surrounding and effected plants (they seemed to be on the same decline rate as a normal concentration); small insects or animals (residue even though past the 1/2 hour delay would remain); stains to surrounding hardscaping (ever over-spray store bought pesticides for anything?); etc.
    Even though this wasn't a true scientific study, the empirical data and relationship to "standard spray data" would lead me to a hypothesis that it is not as harmful as others say.

    P.S. let me get a bit of sub-freezing fall clean-up work done here (brr-whine-sniff), and I will get to reading the reports and see if I notice anything beyond what has been mentioned.
     
  10. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    I'm trying to follow this thread with some interest so it would be quite helpful if we could determine what substance is being refered to as the "surfactant" as the term is used to describe a physical property rather than a specific type of chemical.

    As we all know "soaps" are all referred to as surfactants.

    Sorry to be so pragmatic but it may help determine a good answer to this conundrum.


    Bob
     
  11. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Study or no study, no matter what results such a study finds, I for one, will continue to use Round-Up. It is an OUTSTANDING herbicide, with a safety factor well within a range that I can very easily live with. Everything in life is a trade off, and Round-UP is better than manual labor with a hoe. However, each to his/her own. - Millet
     
  12. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    You would make a good neighbour Millet. <g>


    Bob
     
  13. theManicGardener

    theManicGardener Member

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    Bob, about chickens, you said this;

    Some folks have a moveable wire pen on wheels that can simply be dragged to a new spot each day or two, with the chickens hopping along inside (clucking madly, I presume.) It's not quite the same as free ranging, obviously, and doesn't work too well in a garden, where dragging a pen could more or less do in the plants, but it's great on lawn and pasture.
    --Kate
     
  14. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    I saw that somewhere. ??

    Seems like a good idea for small flocks.

    I have to work during the day so it may be a bit of a stretch for the birdies. <g>

    Not a bad thing for folks with lots of time on their hands though.
    Do chicken droppings have any pathogens a person should be aware of?

    I'm hearing horror stories about E. Coli and meat and dairy farms.

    Bob
     
  15. theManicGardener

    theManicGardener Member

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    Small flocks--yes. Bit of a stretch--because they won't have a house? It could be attached, I think. A quick google search turned up a couple of interesting sites. Robert Plamondon's Poultry Pages gives a couple of models, and says that movable coops cut down on pathogens such as roundworm and coccidiosis, a parasite that apparently affects animals but not humans. (So yes, there are pathogens.) This site also says that these coops work better for fryers than for hens--again, because there's no house for laying, I assume.

    Norton Creek Press publishes several books on raising poultry, including, get this, The Classic Guide to Open-Front Chicken Coops for Healthier Poultry by an M.D. named Prince T. Woods. I saw mention of at least one chapter's being available on-line.

    Open-front houses seem to be Woods' big thing, so the birds are still protected from inclement weather, and some of the ones pictured on the other site had a partial roof. Anyway, it seems worth checking into.

    I don't have chickens nor know a thing about them. Wish I had space... Good luck with yours, Bob.
    --Kate
     
  16. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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  17. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Not convinced. Round Up is a fantastic herbicide. I have many more things in life to worry about than Round Up. My chances of cell damage, from being hit by an automobile, or eating cheeseburgers, must be thousands of times more realistic. How many tens of thousands of studies, tell us that just about everything made causes cancer? Well this is just another study that I'll take with a grain of salt. - Millet (1,302-)
     
  18. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Millet what about the accumulation. For example here we have "Dieldrin" still in the soil from when they used to grow potato. Now it can not be used for grazing meat animals. DDT comes to mind as well.

    I think it would be better if people were a little more careful with it's use. We have some neighbours who used to constantly spray our earth gutter banks (country road) instead of whipper snipping if they must have it clean. It is now barren and dead and nothing has sprouted for ever. It is a storm water channel that goes straight down to the creek.

    Scientific American is a well respected publication so I am going to listen and really try to be minimal in it's use. Blackberry stems come to my mind as a possible use but not wild spraying of leaves.

    Liz
     
  19. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Liz, one thing we can agree on is that Scientific American (SA) is a respected publication. I am a subscriber to SA, (many people call it Evolution America because of all their articles on the subject), I read most all of the articles. However, I must not be alone on liking Round up, as it is one of the most popular herbicides sold today. In my area, which is a wheat farming area, Round Up is used by the many 1000's of gallons each year in no-till farming. I guess each to their own. I don't see the use of Round Up going down any time soon. Take care. - Millet (1,301-)
     
  20. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    I thought I had read that Monsanto had been reformulating the surfactants that they have been using to assist the spread of glyphosate on the plant structure.
    Are you sure this article is not referring to the older type of "Round up" ?
     
  21. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Liz, Thanks for posting the article, found the comments at the site interesting also. Believe a local botanical garden stopped using it 6 or more years ago around the rhododendrons as it was thought to be having detrimental effects on the mycorrhizal fungi and subsequent rhododendron growth.
     
  22. canadiyank

    canadiyank Active Member

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    This past week I had someone recommend round-upping my vegetable garden, since I am pregnant and haven't been able to keep up with the weeding like I normally do and the stupid bind-weed is up to my knees. You know, I can understand people using Round-Up, and that's fine, but there's crazy pregnant women like me who think, hmmm, when I can put cardboard and mulch down and smother that evil weed into oblivion, why not do that instead of dousing my *vegetable garden* with herbicide while exposing my unborn child to additional chemicals?

    For the record, I do put the season-long Round-Up on my gravel driveway, but the thought of applying it to my actively-growing vegetable garden makes no sense when cardboard and grass-clipping does the job and decomposes nicely.
     
  23. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I recently read an article about attempting bind-weed control by smothering it under carpet. The idea was to cover the weed, depriving it of sunlight. According to the article, it could take up to 20 years before total 100 percent control could be achieved. The roots of bind-weed frequently reach 30 feet deep into the soil. Bind-weed is the most difficult weed to control. I know of only one chemical that kills it, and that is Tordon 22K, which is a restricted use pesticide, and can only be purchased by a person with a restricted use permit. Never, dig or chop out bind-weed, doing so only increased the amount of bind weed. - Millet (1,300-)
     
  24. canadiyank

    canadiyank Active Member

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    Yep! But smothering and/or pulling produces fine results for my plot. It's just a cross I have to bear, dealing with it seasonally. LOL. Fortunately only one of my 7 plots is infested with it (happens to be my biggest one, though!). It's a big reason I'm considering raised beds and trucking in soil for them when we build next year...
     
  25. bob 2

    bob 2 Active Member

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    Mycorrhizae
    Our first research paper showed that applying commercially available mycorrhizae to maples and magnolias didn't do much at all, at least not much that could be considered good. I like this quote from the paper "Commercial [mycorrhizal] inoculants are generally marketed based on the assumptions that they will increase root and shoot growth after transplant. In the present experiment, inoculation tended to decrease the former and had no effect on the latter." The decrease in root growth wasn't a big deal, but it certainly didn't help.
    http://www.sustainable-gardening.com/research/June2009.html

    Bob
     

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