What is the chemical argument really about ?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by milifestyle, May 3, 2009.

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What is the chemical argument really about ?

  1. I don't believe chemicals cause health (or environmental) problems ?

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  2. I don't care if they cause health (or environmental) problems !

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  3. We are a free country and i can use whatever is made available for me to use !

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  4. If these chemicals were bad i couldn't buy them from the supermarket.

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  5. I don't use chemicals (in the permaculture/horticulture environment)!

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  1. Dalzieldrin

    Dalzieldrin Junior Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    "Note - "summarise". Unless you want this to turn into a micturating contest about who can post the biggest block of turgid prose all you need to do is to put in your own words where you see the research is currently at. If you must, feel free to post weblinks to support your summary, but please don't simply post a link without the preceding summary."


    I provide you with a serious, considered response and you turn this into a joke

    and i get called a troll :?
     
  2. newcroft

    newcroft Junior Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    This thread is toxic! :wink:
     
  3. Dalzieldrin

    Dalzieldrin Junior Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    :lol:

    but it has clear instructions to not spray it near waterways
     
  4. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Dalzieldrin, you're not a troll.

    This thread started out ok, but quickly got sidetracked by the perfectly valid questioning of terms and exactness of meaning. However, it is spiraling out of control.

    In an attempt to resurrect a meaningful discussion, I will give a real-life chemical example that I am facing now.

    I live on twenty acres in the middle of tens of thousands of acres of wheat fields and cattle grazing. My property is an old farm (early 1900's) that has been "let go" in recent years and now harbors what is considered by the county (in support of the monocropping wheat and cattle) to be a variety of noxious weeds. The county's remedy for this is to contract the spraying of glyophosphate and possibly other weed killers, then send the bill to me (and I've been told the bill will be very large). The wheat farmers spray their fields with airplanes, so they have no hesitation to force my "compliance" with their noxious weed rules. The whole "noxious weed board" idea is new to me, but was apparently put into place to protect the big landowners/wheat farmers.

    I do not live there full time yet and am not able to have any grazing animals till next year. Note that I am under some duress due to the county's time element (they want it done NOW).

    Options as I see them:
    a) Just idle along till they forcibly spray en masse, then pay the bill?
    b) Purchase some Roundup myself and selectively spray the "weeds"?
    c) Hurriedly purchase a tractor and mower to mow and re-mow the fields to keep the weeds down? (I'm not even sure this would placate the weed board, but it was suggested by a neighbor. I might get sprayed anyhow, even after this attempt)
    d) Or canvas the fields hand-pulling out all the noxious weeds I can identify in an attempt to prevent forced spraying???? (same potential to get sprayed anyhow as c and a HUGE time investment.)


    What would you do if it was your place? Are there options I haven't thought of? Is there anyone who would advocate the selective use of Roundup (option b) under these circumstances? Option a????

    (I'll leave you all to guess which option I'm leaning towards).

    Bill
     
  5. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Making jokes on an important subject does not give you or your profession any credibility.

    Perhaps you might like to research the effects of Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane in our waterways. You may also want to study Bio-Magnification, Bio-Concentration and Bio-accumulation while your at it.

    "...DDD is no longer registered for agricultural use in the United States, but the general population continues to be exposed to it due to its long persistence time. The primary source of exposure is oral ingestion of food..."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichlorodi ... loroethane
     
  6. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Is there an (e) option... Get yourself some goats and pigs. They will get rid of the weeds in no time.
     
  7. Dalzieldrin

    Dalzieldrin Junior Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?


    yeah, newcroft! pick up your game! :lol:
     
  8. Dalzieldrin

    Dalzieldrin Junior Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Thanks for stepping in, Bill.


    since i've been harping on about 'the big picture' I guess i have to, respectfully, reject the premise of your scenario - what i mean is that from the permaculture perspective the clear issue here is the county and what they deem to be a weed. we fix that problem and the question of whether or not to spray glypho starts to dissolve into a non-issue.

    but, i fully appreciate that there's something of a gulf between that bigger picture perspective (and I'm keen to hear whether i've got that aspect of permaculture right) and immediate concerns 'on the ground'. so, that being the case, I'll have to reject the premise rejecting!

    a) fraught with disaster - can see no good coming of it etcetcetc
    b) at the risk of validating some misconceptions - i think this is a practical option. If you can work within the limitations of the substance, it will do what you want done within a reasonable timeframe. the massive caveat is that you need to treat the substance with the respect it deserves (i don't mean to sound patronising, just trying to minimise misunderstandings).
    c) short-term solution? ie. you're only keeping the weeds down, not eliminating them
    d) this would be my preferred option, but there's a time-constraint...and the risk that you'll get air-sprayed anyway...so is it really a serious contender?

    sorry, i've no idea which option you'd choose

    so, yes, given the parameters, I would go with (b), but much preferring the luxury of (d)
     
  9. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    I have to agree with you Dieldron. I promise it won't happen again :D

    Looking at the big picture then, would it not be more environmentally sustainable to implement a weed management plan that eliminated the need for quick fix chemicals in the beginning. Using animals like pigs and goats to eat down and root-up weeds is a viable alternative to chemicals.

    Again, looking at the big picture, weeds grow, chemicals are bought and sprayed, seeds germinate and the process begins again... More chemicals are bought and sprayed, seeds germinate, birds and wind bring in more seeds... not only is this a continuing burden financially its also time consuming.

    The same applies in smaller locations where - Chickens, rabbits etc can replace the larger Goats and Pigs.

    Am I correct in saying Permaculture relies on the independent community or system to be supportive within itself ?

    Responsibility for the Bigger picture remains within the individual permaculture system doesn't it ?
     
  10. Dalzieldrin

    Dalzieldrin Junior Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?


    9andalf's scenario...which has disappeared??...had a definite time-constraint. were it not for that limitation, other options would be much more suitable
     
  11. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Bills post is in the quote from my reply.

    Given the time constraints, yes. Perhaps a slash and mow would be the best option while getting the livestock together.

    Would the next Big Picture outlook be preventing spray drift from neighbouring properties ?
     
  12. Dalzieldrin

    Dalzieldrin Junior Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    i'm more puzzled about why he deleted his post
     
  13. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Sometimes when a post has been quoted theres no need to have miles of thread and multiple copies of the same thing. I try to quote posts or part of them to avoid confusion as to who i'm replying to.

    I'm guessing it was probably removed to reduce the thread length. But i'm only guessing.
     
  14. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Dr Sarah Lantz, Chemical Free Kids - Page 63

    "...Despite our increased knowledge of the toxicity of environmental chemicals, testing for toxicity is rarely done. In a study by the US based Environmental Working Group, 89% of 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have not been fully evaluated for safety. In the past 30 years, only 9 of 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have been banned or restricted.

    Why have these chemicals never been fully tested ?

    The argument is that in small doses these chemicals will do no harm to the body, and there is no data proving harm. As Dr Varipatis argues to the contrary:

    • 'We are taught that if it takes 200 units of a poison to kill us, and 50 to make us sick, then 10 units are relatively harmless. And one unit of each of 200 different chemical toxins are absolutely harmless! However, what we are seeing is that the small doses of many chemicals ultimately are much more poisonous than the large doses of a single chemical. Once someones system is overloaded and damaged, then the chemical doses required to cause severe illness become infintismal' (reference point 64 in book)

    Some chemicals can be harmful to the body, even at extremely low levels. For example, only 5 parts per Billion of PCB's (polychlorinated biphenyls - a class of synthetic chemical used used in transformers and other electrical equipment) in maternal blood foetal development can cause adverse brain development, attention and IQ deficits. Five parts per billion is equilivant to one drop in 118 bathtubs..."

    I'm currently doing a lot of research based around this book. Its a reat read.

    No i don't get any financial kick backs for recommending it.
     
  15. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Sorry about that. I must have inadvertently deleted the entire post trying to edit in emphasis that grazing animals (including pigs and goats) aren't possible right now as I would have to leave them alone for 4 days per week (I blame it all on fat fingers! :D ) I was able to restore the original post from Eric's quote (thanks Eric).

    It is definitely a catch 22 situation (damned if I do, damned if I don't).

    The plant diversity on the property is huge. I had a friend come by who is a "gatherer" and he commented about the wide variety of plant life and showed me many edible species. Time is the crux of this matter (and lack of access to large sums of cash). Some of the surrounding land is in the "crop reserve program", a government scheme to pay farmers to not grow crops. The land in CRP is strictly bunch grass, another sterile monocrop. Worry is that my "weeds" may spread there too.

    Anyhow, I can see that personally applying "spot" Roundup would be a less-evil approach than broad spraying in a case like this. However, I am loathe to do this and, for the record, I spend about two hours per day that I'm there pulling "weeds" by hand (pull and drop). They will have to push me very hard to apply roundup.

    I guess that when one starts out with a system that is already out-of-balance, sometimes drastic measures could be acceptable in a lesser of two evils situation. The goal is to design to re-attain a natural balance, of course.

    So, in our often out-of-balance world, are there situations that could warrant the use of chemicals as an expedient to regain a more balanced starting point for Permaculture practices? Perhaps some sort of infestation (not just of plants)? Or is the "pure" road the only acceptable answer?

    Bill
     
  16. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    In the end we still have to take responsibility for our own actions. That should happen right through the chain from Manufacturer to user.

    I agree that glyphosate isn't as bad as many other things out there.

    I stopped using Glyphosate about 9 or 10 years ago (10 years in Spetember).

    Our daughter will be 10 in July. I still wonder if it was my high exposure to glyphosate that prevented her 15th chromosome from forming correctly. Its amazing how a tiny little piece of DNA (q11- q13 on the 15th chromosome) can cause such a severe disability.

     
  17. trimnut2

    trimnut2 Junior Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Bill with the weeds.

    Assuming that you do not have significant "value" growing amongst the weeds slashing is an excellent option. Better still use a flail mower. Used properly mulching is a powerful way to improve soil fertility and achieve best results.

    A couple of points about slashing: timing is critical, dependent on the seeding and growth habits of pest species. Knowing the growth patterns of what you are seeking to control can be valuable. For example Fireweed can be completely controlled by slashing at the mid growth stage at the beginning of the growth spurt in this district.
    Tining should also be influenced by the weather patterns. Ground too wet and soil compaction becomes an issue. Mulching at certain times can completely change the pasture mix particularly if a desirable species has been spread beforehand. And related sometimes you can grow a weed out just by having a solid clover spurt which would be helped by mulching/weather knowledge.

    To any who ask: I have extensive real farming experience. To Bill: thanks for your comments and reactions on this thread.
     
  18. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Trim,

    Would slashing and drilling a dense cover crop also help prevent weed regrowth ?

    Would burning (Hot Devil weed wands are great) any flowering or green seeded plants beore slashing to help prevent any seeded regrowth ?
     
  19. trimnut2

    trimnut2 Junior Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    mlifestyle Yes all things being favorable. However you need to consider "where to" after the dense cover crop assuming you get good germination and growth in the first place. Using the existing ground cover but altering the pasture balance may be a better solution. As this is wheat counrty, if my memory serves me correctly, preservation of good species is as important as replacing the lot, which is where one would tend with a dense cover crop. If your cover crop fails you can have a bigger issue. Direct drilling or not.

    Yes burning will certainly reduce the soil seed bank. I built a 3PL multiple flame burner which adjustable flame direction. Very handy in these situations:
    As a plant goes to flower up comes the flower/seed head. Burning at this stage can be highly effective because the flame need not affect the lower, hopefully welcome plants but destroys the seed heads. Doing twenty acres by hand would test my patience. Not least because I am bound to miss one.
     
  20. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: What is the chemical argument really about ?

    Your not seeing the big picture, trim :)

    20 acres isn't that big.

    Who was it that said, "...give me enough men and the tools to do it and i can move a mountain"
     

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