Cow Pots instead of Peat

Discussion in 'Seed Starting / Propagation' started by Dirtmechanic, Feb 3, 2023.

  1. Dirtmechanic

    Dirtmechanic Young Pine

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    Years ago I watched a documentary on this farmer who was determined to make biodegradable plant pots out of cow manure. It was a heckuva investment and a surprisingly complex and long term effort, as they composted the manure in large vats for smell etc and worked out the mechanical realities of producing dry pot materials. An article recently came through my news feed and I thought the website might be of interest. Looks like they are expanding to Australia and have gotten the business well underway.
    https://cowpots.com/
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2023
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  3. Droopy

    Droopy Slug Slaughterer Plants Contributor

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    That's good news! I'd gladly trade all plastic pots for biodegradable ones. Last year I sowed sunflowers indoors in cardboard pots and just planted the whole thing out when weather co-operated. They were completely dissolved in autumn, and I was quite pleased. This seems even better.
     
  4. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    That's a good idea about the cardboard Droopy. I'm hoping to do some newspaper pots this year, but I did not think of cardboard.

    DH - I've seen these for sale for a few years now. I've contemplated them, where I live they are a little pricey. What stopped me was the smallest chance of any herbicide contamination in the making of the cow pot with what the cows ate...that made the poop....that made the pot.

    You would think that would have to be carefully considered in their making of the pot.....but I'm a bit gun shy of that sort of thing.
     
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  5. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Young Pine

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    Mel From what I have read about cow pots , all the collected cow pies are all treated with heat and all contaminants are killed everything is sterilized.
     



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  6. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    I'm afraid the temperature to break down herbicide is more than twice the temperature used to sterilze compost. Unless the cow pot folks do this...there is a risk. Hopefully they do! It's a great idea.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2023
  7. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Young Pine

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    The cow pot .
     
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  8. Daniel W

    Daniel W Young Pine

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    I love the idea but I'm squeamish about the herbicide issue.
     
  9. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Young Pine

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    Not sure how only cow pies will have herbecides…herbicides would kill the cow …??? ‘it’s like I collect the horse poo directly from the horses. No herbicides there. Been using it as compost for years.
     
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  10. Daniel W

    Daniel W Young Pine

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    Heres something to read about that. Manures are a major source of herbicide contamination for garden plants. Maybe not your horses, but that's not where steer manure comes from.

    https://extension.oregonstate.edu/c...-carryover-hay-manure-compost-grass-clippings
     
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  11. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Young Pine

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  12. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. Young Pine

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    I'm afraid "restricted use" means that Joe Public can't buy it, but a cattle or hay rancher for example, with the right training and certification can purchase and can use it (with certain "restrictions"). Grazeon is a big one for hay and cattle ranchers. It kills all broad leaf and just leaves the hay crop. It is called Grazeon because once it is dried after spraying, it is considered safe for cattle and horses to return to the grazing land. Former herbicides required a certain number of days after the cattle injested it before they could legally be put to market.

    Grazon contains Aminopyralid, Triclopyr and Picloram. It is the main contributor to manure contamination in Canada right now and is widely used across North America.

    The honour system states that hay ranchers are to tell all that purchase their hay, that they use Grazeon. The honours system doesn't always work because some are in denial about the huge impact of accidental or cross contamination. Also, people share or resell hay. It is also sometimes lost on those that use it only for bedding, not realizing that it can be contaminated. It is best for people to ask, but even that doesn't gaurentee no contamination.

    There aren't many organic hay ranchers out there in Western Canada because they need to grow a good crop to get the most money for it. In my area and further north, there is only one cut a year - so one chance at a crop. Before Grazeon there was another product being used to spray for plants such as Burdock. It was far worse with a longer half life in the soil. So theoretically, someone could be calling their hay organic because they haven't sprayed for a few years, or a previous owner did but they do not. It is still in the soil and in the hay years later, although irrigation and leaching helps it break down.

    Atleast now there are some restrictions, and more awareness growing about hay and manure contamination. If the cattle or horses eat it, they poop it out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2023
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  13. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest Young Pine

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  14. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    @melody Mc, I read your post about herbicides possibly in the manure for these cowpots. Some of it was a bit difficult because I am not a farmer. I have a small place, and animals, including a horse. I buy her hay, because that is what I can get.

    Down here in Missouri, Roundup is the predominant herbicide on farmlands. I NEVER buy it deliberately, but most farmers use it. I think it is nasty stuff, and it is definitely a neurotoxin. I had a cat die from massive seizures a day or two after a neighbor sprayed his hay field. I saw him buy a lot of Roundup a few days before and spray his field. My cat died in my arms. I looked it up after my cat died. I have lost other pets to rat poison, and it is not the same. As far as I am concerned, it is worse than DDT. I do know this farmer makes the large round bales of hay, and I buy the smaller square bales.

    Is it in my horse's hay? I don't know. The feed store "thinks" it is okay, and probably some of the hay is. SOME of the hay I buy has weeds in it, and that is fine with me. Her pasture has lots of weeds, so her manure does not seem to have Roundup in it. But without frequent testing, I have no way of knowing for sure. It is beyond my means.

    There are class action lawsuits pending against the makers of Roundup and its ilk for causing cancers and Parkinson's disease down here. I hope the lawsuits win. (Who knows what that Roundup is doing to the aquifers here that people depend on for water?)

    I did do a research paper once in university for my ornithology class about about the effects of pollutions such as oil spills and various agricultural chemicals were having on bird populations world wide. I had an A on it, and should have added to it for publication as my professor recommended.

    I guess the chemicals used in Canada are different chemicals or go by different trade names?
     
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