Manage Compost and Soil Contaminated With Broadleaf Herbicides

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Tomato leaves. Image by Jeanine Davis

Check out this new NC State Publication

Manage Compost and Soil Contaminated with Broadleaf Herbicides in Residential, School, and Community Gardens

Persistent broadleaf herbicides are a group of chemicals used to kill weeds and includes both pre-emergent herbicides, applied to the soil to interrupt the germination process, and selective post-emergent herbicides applied directly to the plant to kill broadleaf weeds while not damaging grass. Though they do not kill grass, they can be taken up by grass, consumed by horses or cows, passed through the digestive tract, expelled as manure, and still remain active after composting. Incorporating contaminated compost or grass clippings into your garden can result in damage to broadleaf plants (including many vegetables).

It was created in partnership with the Duke Superfund Research Center

 Many thanks to co-authors
Bryan Luukinen
Research Communications and Engagement Manager
Duke University Superfund Research Center
Samuel Cohen
Senior Environmental Health Program Coordinator
Duke University Superfund Research Center
Elizabeth Shapiro Garza
Director, Community Engagement Core, Duke University Superfund Research Center
Duke Nicholas School of the Environment
Catherine Kastleman
Community Engagement Operations Coordinator
Duke University Superfund Research Center
Rhonda Sherman
Extension Solid Waste Specialist (vermicomposting, composting, recycling)
Horticultural Science

The new publication complements these existing resources.

 ​Note:  This is not just an urban issue, persistent broadleaf herbicides are used to manage pastures and residual problems and are showing up in rural areas as well.