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glysophate free weedkiller

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--- Quote from: Beersmith on March 25, 2021, 19:58:30 ---Anyone still using Bordeaux mixture? Now that is a rather nasty throwback to times gone by!

--- End quote ---

I couldn't disagree more - it is a very simple poison and utterly predictable in its original form of colloidal copper made from copper sulphate and slaked lime solutions mixed as needed and used immediately - though that's before they messed with it to make it more "convenient" ie. easier to sell at a higher price (but with different ingredients that can be used as a powder in water).

It has been used safely since 1840 - unlike the modern chemicals that are too complicated to ever be fully tested for the unpredictable and insidious effects that always appear - despite following the instructions, but only 40 or 50 years later.

Actually calling it a poison is moot - copper is an essential element in mammalian metabolism - the easiest copper sulphate to find is sold as a food additive for livestock.

It is a trace element but one of the most important 4 - so you'd have to be very determined to harm yourself with the mix** - it is incredibly bitter. However if you see that blue colour on your tomatoes then just polish it off on your sleeve - if you can't taste what's left it can't harm you.  If you managed to make yourself sick then you really deserved that Darwin award.
**Reminds me of the cartoon of an arm emerging from a meat grinder, still holding the handle - labelled as "the world's most determined suicide".

Humans' broad diet generally provides enough (about 1 or 2mg a day on average), but livestock (on a monotonous diet) need supplements.

Massive use can harm earthworms, but that's why they should invert the normal practice - if they ban it, the ban should be for farmers NOT hobbyists. While they are at it they could ban the ready made powder for novices to dilute, not the use of the real thing.

On a personal note - I don't understand why people spray their potatoes for blight - you simply need to dig them up as soon as they are hit, use the crop as earlies and buy maincrop ones as you need them - leaving lots of space for properly tasty stuff that is too expensive (or often impossible) to buy from the shops.


PS.  all the Dithiocarbamates and anything else with a name containing "thi" (mancozeb=dithane and vice versa) are dodgy and overdue for banning - but what you really notice is that they all make your tomatoes taste of rotting cabbage!

Vinlander, always good to read your contributions. They are well argued and logical which I admire.

I entirely agree with your comments about the use of many modern agricultural chemicals. Many are not only extremely harmful in themselves but often contain traces of even more damaging substances.  Remember the use of agent orange in the Vietnam war, that was not only nasty in itself but also carried traces of dioxin? Devastating effects that lasted for years. The number of global deaths caused by paraquat and diquat both accidentally and by suicide over the years is huge.

You correctly point out that copper is an essential part of human nutrition but in common with many other things that we need to stay healthy excess intake is definitely harmful. You could have added that it is also essential in the soil as plants with copper deficiency will not thrive, but again only at low levels and too much will make soil toxic.

Your comments about livestock doesn't tell the whole story. Some livestock like pigs tolerate copper extremely well and piglets seem to really thrive with a little bit of supplementary copper in their diet. Not so for sheep, and ruminants generally as they as they do not tolerate copper at all well, and a copper rich diet is deadly for many breeds of sheep.  Sheep farmers are strongly advised to never feed sheep on pasture, silage or root crops that have been grown on land treated with pig manure. Some breeds of dog are also very sensitive.

I also disagree with the idea that simple chemicals may be short term poisons but tend not carry long term health threats. Counter examples that spring to mind are low levels of arsenic in drinking water over time produces effects like kidney damage and cancers, as does Radon gas (an element not even a compound).

I will happily concede that acute poisoning is unlikely with correct usage but Bordeaux mix is known to cause  harm to worms at sublethal concentrations and it is also a molluscide (which may be an added benefit) but is very harmful to fish even at quite low concentrations.

So overall you make a very convincing case that Bordeaux mixture used with care and in limited amounts is pretty  safe, and certainly not as bad as many modern agricultural chemicals, I am simply not convinced that Bordeaux mix is quite as benign as you suggest.

Good discussion though!


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