Gardeners Warned of Imprelis-Tainted Compost

Garden plants could be at risk thanks to compost that was treated with the now-banned herbicide, <"">Imprelis. According to the Bangor Daily News, there have been reports that grass clippings containing Imprelis were composted at municipal composting facilities. Compost made from manure could also pose a risk if the livestock that produced it were fed hay from Imprelis-treated fields.

Imprelis was banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in August, after data provided by DuPont confirmed that certain coniferous trees, including Norway spruce, white pine and balsam fir, were susceptible to being damaged or killed by the application of Imprelis. The herbicide, which was only approved by the EPA last October, was supposed be an environmentally safe solution for controlling broadleaf weeds.

According to the Bangor Daily News, the damage caused by Imprelis could be spread beyond the golf courses and lawns were it was sprayed because of composting. It’s the second time we’ve reported on a composting warning associated with Imprelis. In August, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture warned grass clippings from lawns treated with Imprelis herbicide may still contain enough of the product to damage some plants.

“We want to make sure people understand that there may be a related impact if using grass clippings from yards where this product was used,” Pesticide and Fertilizer Division Director Greg Buzicky said at the time. “Homeowners should not spread Imprelis-treated grass clippings near trees, other ornamental plants or gardens. If clippings are not left on the lawn, they can be disposed of in the trash, but only where allowed by local yard waste regulations. Clippings should not be added to garden compost or collected for composting facilities.”

Unfortunately, Imprelis is not the only herbicide hazard that could be lurking in compost. According to the Bangor Daily News, aminocyclopyrachlor, the active ingredient in Imprelis, is also found several other herbicides, including DuPont’s Perspective, Plainview, Streamline and Viewpoint products. For this reason, the Bangor Daily News recommends that gardeners stick with people they know when stockpiling straw, grass clippings or manure for the compost pile. The article also urged gardeners to ask their suppliers if they know for certain that their straw and composted manure are from Imprelis-free fields and pastures.

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