2,4-D Herbicide Deadly To Earthworms In Laboratory Tests

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Laboratory tests were conducted to compare the effects of various concentrations of glyphosate and 2,4-D on earthworms (Eisenia foetida) cultured in Argissol during 56 days of incubation. The effects on earthworm growth, survival, and reproduction rates were verified for different exposure times. Earthworms kept in glyphosate-treated soil were classified as alive in all evaluations, but showed gradual and significant reduction in mean weight (50%) at all test concentrations. For 2,4-D, 100% mortality was observed in soil treated with 500 and 1,000 mg/kg. At 14 days, 30%-40% mortality levels were observed in all other concentrations. No cocoons or juveniles were found in soil treated with either herbicide. Glyphosate and 2,4-D demonstrated severe effects on the development and reproduction of Eisenia foetida in laboratory tests in the range of test concentrations.

LINK: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20658223

Glyphosate Affects Interactions Between Earthworms And Mycorrhizal Fungi

Hyphae

Herbicides containing glyphosate are widely used in agriculture and private gardens, however, surprisingly little is known on potential side effects on non-target soil organisms. In a greenhouse experiment with white clover we investigated, to what extent a globally-used glyphosate herbicide affects interactions between essential soil organisms such as earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We found that herbicides significantly decreased root mycorrhization, soil AMF spore biomass, vesicles and propagules. Herbicide application and earthworms increased soil hyphal biomass and tended to reduce soil water infiltration after a simulated heavy rainfall. Herbicide application in interaction with AMF led to slightly heavier but less active earthworms. Leaching of glyphosate after a simulated rainfall was substantial and altered by earthworms and AMF. These sizeable changes provide impetus for more general attention to side-effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on key soil organisms and their associated ecosystem services.

LINK: http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140709/srep05634/full/srep05634.html

STUDY: http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140709/srep05634/pdf/srep05634.pdf

DIRECT DOWNLOAD: https://planetpermaculture.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/srep05634.pdf

Glyphosate Sublethal Effects On The Population Dynamics Of The Earthworm

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Pesticides’ sublethal effects are not regularly taken into account when assessing agrochemical’s toxicity. With the objective of detecting chronic, sublethal effects of the widely used herbicide glyphosate, an experiment was performed using the earthworm Eisenia fetida as model organism. Earthworm adults were randomly assigned to three glyphosate treatments: control (no glyphosate), regular dose for perennial weeds, and double dose. Six E. fetida individuals were placed in each pot. Two random pots were taken weekly from each treatment and the number of adults, individual weight, number of cocoons, and presence and number of young earthworms were recorded. A matrix analysis was performed with the data. The matrix population model built showed that while the control population had a positive growth rate, both glyphosate treatments showed negative growth rates. The results suggest that under these sublethal effects, non-target populations are at risk of local extinction, underscoring the importance of this type of studies in agrochemical environmental risk assessment.
Capsule:
Non-target organisms can be at risk of local extinction due to agrochemicals chronic sublethal effects, which are not consistently taken into account in toxicity and risk assessment studies.

LINK: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11270-014-2207-3
LOOK INSIDE (first 2 pages): http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11270-014-2207-3/lookinside/000.png & http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11270-014-2207-3/lookinside/001.png

Life In The Soil: A Perspective To Healthy Farming

“Bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, earthworms, and what lies between—a healthy ecosystem underfoot is key to the vigor of life above ground. A leader in soil microbiology and author of the USDA’s Soil Biology Primer, Dr. Elaine Ingham will detail the complex interactions within the soil that make clean water, clean air, and life for higher creatures possible. Learn to foster and sustain the proper balance of soil organisms, and hear how compost tea can stimulate plant productivity and stave off disease. Dr. Ingham is also the founder of Soil Foodweb, Inc. and the former chief scientist for the Rodale Institute.”

I found this to be an excellent and completely fascinating introduction to the soil food web, I’d highly recomend it. This comes in 5 parts and is around 3 hours long in total, I know I’ll be listening to this one more than once thats for sure, check it out and be prepared to learn a lot from this fasinating woman.

PART 2: https://vimeo.com/90902847
PART 3: https://vimeo.com/90908150
PART 4: https://vimeo.com/90913699
PART 5: https://vimeo.com/90913700

Teaching Manual On Organic Farming And Gardening

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I found this “resource for instructors” when browsing the net and thought it would be useful for all, teacher or not. The document is 700 pages long so I’ve not had a chance to review it all yet but it’s an outstanding free resource, it also proives a good structure for those to test their knowledge on organic growing. They are also pointpoint presentations and videos on the link below so be sure to check those free resources out too.

“This manual is revolutionary, because of how dominant the chemical- and resource-intensive paradigmfor growing plants has become. As the world population grows and our climate changes, agricultural and food systems are ever more stressed and will be so for years to come. Diversified farming systems employing the techniques described in this manual absolutely can feed the world, as many studies continue to prove. If the future of food and agriculture is at all sustainable and just, it is far more likely to employ the methods in this manual than so-called conventional agricultural techniques. But perhaps most important for you, our readers, this manual is useful because it works. The practices described here can be employed in a variety of climates, soils, and educational settings. The information on soil science provides a solid grounding for the practices described, and the units on social and environmental issues offer a broader context for those interested in sustainable agriculture.”

LINK: http://casfs.ucsc.edu/about/publications/Teaching-Organic-Farming/index.html
EBOOK: http://casfs.ucsc.edu/about/publications/Teaching-Organic-Farming/PDF-downloads/TOFG-all.pdf
DIRECT DOWNLOAD: https://planetpermaculture.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/teaching_organic_farming_pdf.pdf

A Pesticide Banned, or Not, Underscores Trans-Atlantic Trade Sensitivities

atrazine

Syngenta, a Swiss chemicals company, produces one of America’s most popular herbicides. It is called atrazine, and 73.7 million pounds of the chemical compound were applied in the United States in 2013. It was used on more than half of all corn crops, two-thirds of sorghum and up to 90 percent of sugar cane.

But Syngenta cannot sell atrazine to farms in its own backyard. The weed killer is banned as a pesticide in the European Union as well as in Switzerland over concerns that it is a groundwater contaminant. Syngenta, however, did not get the memo.

Even though the European Union banned atrazine over a decade ago, the company has long insisted that the pesticide was not banned. On one corporate website, Syngenta points to “anti-atrazine activists” who “claim that ‘atrazine’ is banned in the European Union. This is patently false.”

Another Syngenta-backed site, “Saving the Oasis,” also blames “anti-atrazine activists.” And another such site, AGSense, says, “We’ve known it all along, and now you know it too: Atrazine is not banned in the European Union.”

The company has repeated its assertion to reporters.

“It is not banned,” Ann Bryan, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an email, though she acknowledged that “countries in the E.U. currently do not use atrazine.”

Companies are perhaps understandably sensitive about revealing too much about the gulf that exists between American and European regulation of pesticides and other chemicals.

Generally speaking, the European approach incorporates the so-called precautionary principle and requires companies to establish that new chemicals are safe before they are put on the market. The American approach puts the onus on regulators to show some evidence of danger before taking action against new chemicals.

Scores of chemicals that are banned or tightly restricted in the European Union are allowed in the United States. One recent analysis by the Center for International Environmental Law, a Washington-based advocacy group, found 82 instances of pesticides allowed in the United States but barred or restricted in Europe.

This disparity can make selling products on one side of the Atlantic that are banned on the other uncomfortable, though few companies have tried a semantic maneuver quite like Syngenta’s.

The use of atrazine as a herbicide/pesticide is banned in the E.U.,” Mikko Vaananen, a spokesman for the European Chemicals Agency, said in an email, adding that it was still allowed as an intermediate substance used in industry to create new chemicals. European Union government documents, from formal filings to informal newsletters, also use the term “banned.”

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Setting Up Your Own Edible Rooftop Garden Book

rooftopgardenguide

“Our step-by-step guide is the ideal resource to assist you in the creation of your own rooftop garden, and to ensure its continued horticultural and social success! The guide is written for groups, individuals and establishments that would like to create an urban edible rooftop garden for educational, social, therapeutic or environmental reasons by may not have access to the necessary space to do so in soil. Our objective is to facilitate the process of creation of these edible natural urban oases so that more and more people will learn about rooftop gardening to discover its benefits.”

LINK: http://www.rooftopgardens.alternatives.ca/resources/guides
PDF BOOK: http://www.rooftopgardens.alternatives.ca/sites/rooftopgardens.alternatives.ca/files/ready_to_grow.pdf.pdf
DIRECT DOWNLOAD: https://planetpermaculture.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/ready_to_grow_rooftop_gardens_pdf.pdf