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Compost Focus

Compost Focus

Aminopyralid - along with its fellow picolinic acid family weedkillers Clopyralid and Triclopyr - is a popular chemical herbicide used to control broad-leaved weeds on grasslands and pasture. Aminopyralid was first authorised for use in the UK in 2006 and while it is extremely good at controlling these weeds, it has a darker side that many gardeners will be all-too-familiar with.


It is extremely persistent and consequently its residues can remain in grass on treated land and indeed in feed (hay or silage) for horses and cattle, passing through the animals unscathed and emerging in resulting manure. It can also survive composting and there have been instances of it wreaking havoc in allotments and gardens across the UK.


According to the HSE, susceptible crops include peas, beans and other legumes, carrots and parsnips, potatoes and tomatoes, and lettuce and similar crops. So just about everything! Actually, not quite. Produce not affected by aminopyralid includes corn, wheat, and brassicas.


Symptoms of affected growth include poor seed germination and indeed death of young plants; twisted, cupped, and elongated leaves; misshapen fruit and vastly reduced yields.


According to a North Carolina State University circular, Aminopyralid, Clopyralid and Triclopyr “can remain active in hay, grass clippings, piles of manure, and compost for an unusually long time. These herbicides eventually break down through exposure to sunlight, soil microbes, heat, and, but some field reports indicate that complete deactivation and breakdown can take several years. Hay has been reported to have residual herbicide activity after three years’ storage in dry, dark barns. Degradation is particularly slow in piles of manure and compost.”


The Safe Soil UK Compost Focus screen checks for the presence of Aminopyralid, Clopyralid and Triclopyr in soil, compost or manure to help UK growers ensure their crops are safe from these extremely effective herbicides. 


PLEASE NOTE: The limit of detection (LOD) in our testing for these products is 0.53 mg/kg (ppm), meaning that trace amounts of the substances below that level could be present but avoid detection in the testing.


This screen is often paired with other popular herbicide screens, including:

Herbicide Residue Test including dicamba, propanol and mecoprop - £250

Glyphosate and AMPA Screen - £425


As well as fertility packages, including:

State Of Your Soil that measures pH, texture, organic matter as well as K, P and Mg levels - £125

Advanced Gardening Suite - pH, texture, organic matter as well as K, P, B, Mg, Mn, Mo and Nitrogen levels - £200


    We will send you a testing kit that includes a labeled soil sample bag and instructions on how to take a sample from your growing space. When you're done, place the bag back in the box that will have a pre-paid postage address label already affixed, seal it and pop the package into a Royal Mail post box or drop it off at a local post office.

    Click here to find your nearest post box location. 

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