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