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Non organic mulch hay / straw

 
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Hey everyone!

I’ve been having a very hard time finding organic straw to use as mulch and animal bedding. So difficult to find in the area I’m in, I drove 2.5 hours each way a few months ago to pick up half a ton of organic barley straw. Finding organic hay to feed the animals is impossible. So, I’m hoping for some help deciding what is safe for the garden, and what is not.  The manure ultimately ends up in the garden, and I don’t know what pesticides are safely broken down. I’ve tried finding some solid research but everyone has their own opinions, it’s hard to find a reliable answer.
Anyone able to help me decide what is safe and what I should avoid?
 
gardener
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Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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When I'm sourcing materials I ask farmers straight up what sort of chemicals they use.  If they say roundup/glyphosate or Aminopyralid (both nasty herbicides) for instance, I don't take or buy it.  In this video, Charles Dowding mentions aminopyralid at around 3:16:
 Most herbicides are persistent.  Pesticides, all of them, unless they are doing very moderate organic type applications, are also out.  I only get horse manure when I see worms in the piles (means that the anti-worm chemicals have been neutralized).  Finding straw can be a real challenge for me too.  Most have roundup.  This is too persistent of a compound for my likes.   Good luck.
 
pollinator
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Location: Worcestershire, England
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I don't know much about animal bedding so feel free to disregard this idea but could leaves be an alternative? Obviously not something sharp like holly or toxic but deciduous leaves perhaps linden, beech or oak that are mostly brown by now so the animals dont eat them. Regardless they make a good mulch, after a dodgy bag of compost (like Charles Dowding highlights) I am wary to bring many external inputs into my garden.
 
Ashton Soete
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I use as many leaves as I can! Actually picking up more in the morning too I think others have caught on, I’m having a difficult time loading up on leaves compared to previous years. There are still a ton of leaves that haven’t dropped yet so I’m hoping “business” picks up in the next few weeks.
 
master pollinator
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Pure organic straw is going to be challenging to get, and more expensive as well.

One possibility: find farmers who are supplying craft breweries and craft bakeries. Brewers and bakers don't want grains where glyphosate has been used for dessication prior to harvest, because it interferes with the action of the yeast.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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One possibility: find farmers who are supplying craft breweries and craft bakeries.

and while you are at it, go to the bakers and brewers and ask for their organic wastes for supplemental feed  !!
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Unless specified organic, the straw may still have tiny residues from other herbicides used during the growing cycle. But the dessication with glyphosate leaves a much higher residue because there isn't enough breakdown time. I can't guarantee it, but I believe even commercial brewers won't buy barley harvested this way, and farmers who supply them have stopped doing it. Money talks.
 
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Location: Netherlands (moderate maritime climate)
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When you use non organic straw or mulch there is a chance that it has been contaminated by 'persistent herbicides'. These are neither broken down by animal digestion nor by subsequent hot composting and can stay in the soil for many years.

An horror story telling what these chemicals can do: http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/compost-will-destroy-garden/
Resources from the US Composting Council about this subject (including a Persistent Herbicides FAQ): https://www.compostingcouncil.org/page/PersistentHerbicides
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