Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Measure would ban phosphorus from lawns...And More

Jan. 9, 2009
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Measure would ban phosphorus from lawns
By Lee Bergquist of the Journal Sentinel
Fertilizer that contains phosphorus could be banned from Wisconsinlawns, golf courses and other grassy areas by next year.
Phosphorus stimulates plant growth and has long been a component inmost traditional fertilizers. It is the middle of three numbers usedto describe ingredients on fertilizer packages.
Key Democratic lawmakers will hold a news conference detailing thelegislation.
Lawmakers have tried to advance a phosphorus ban in the past, but theprospects for passage improves this year because Democrats now controlboth the Senate and the Assembly.
Rep. Spencer Black (D-Madison) and Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) are theleading co-sponsors of the legislation.
Black said Friday the legislation is part of an "ambitiousenvironmental agenda" in the new session aimed at attacking an arrayof water-quality problems.
In the case of a phosphorus ban, advocates hope that limiting its usewill reduce algae blooms on lakes and other waterways.
If approved, the bill circulating among lawmakers would go into effectone year after passage.
Farm use would not be affected.
Dane County and 31 villages and towns, including a dozen insoutheastern Wisconsin, already restrict the use of phosphorus-basedfertilizers by property owners, according to the Wisconsin Associationof Lakes.
They include the town, village and city of Oconomowoc, Village ofChenequa, Village of Nashotah and town and city of Delavan.
"(Phosphorus) is essentially plant food," said Tami Jackson, aspokeswoman for the association, spurring algae blooms, crowding outuseful plants and eating up oxygen that causes fish kills.
Dane County banned phosphorus in fertilizer in January 2005.
Sue Jones, watershed management coordinator for Dane County, said itwas premature to judge whether the ban is improving water quality.
And that's the problem, said Karl Schimmel, president of Lawns ofWisconsin Network, a trade group.
He described phosphorus bans as "feel-good legislation."
The group agrees phosphorus can harm lakes and streams but believesfertilizer gets a bad rap when other sources of phosphorus, such asmanure runoff and goose and duck feces, also contribute to theproblem.
Lawn-care companies have been offering fertilizer without phosphorusin recent years as the demand for the product and local restrictionshave grown, Schimmel said.
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the largest business lobby, hopesa compromise can be struck.
Scott Manley, director of environmental policy, said a statewide banis preferable to patchwork regulation.
But he said language in the bill puts the onus on retailers and shouldbe placed on fertilizer users.
There are limitations in the legislation.
Phosphorus-based fertilizer could be used on new lawns and grass wheresoil is deficient.
Milorganite brand fertilizer also gets a reprieve, according to thebill. Milorganite contains 2% phosphorus.
Jeff Spence, director of marketing for Milorganite at the MilwaukeeMetropolitan Sewerage District, said that phosphorus from organicsources tends to leach slower into water than synthetic fertilizer.
Jan 10, 2009
LM Direct!
Wisconsin lawmakers move closer to phosphorus ban
MADISON, WI -- Fertilizer that contains phosphorus could be bannedfrom Wisconsin lawns, golf courses and other grassy areas by nextyear.
Phosphorus stimulates plant growth and is one of the three primarynutrients, along with nitrogen and potassium, in most traditionalfertilizers used on turfgrass. It's commonly (and correctly) used instarter fertilizers, to get turfgrass seedlings off to a strong start,especially where soil phosphorus levels are low. This can only bedetermined by testing the soil.
In recent years Minnesota and several regions of Michigan have bannedphosphorus fertilizer use on turfgrass.
Wisconsin lawmakers have mulled a phosphorus ban in the past, but theprospects for passage improves this year because Democrats now controlboth the Senate and the Assembly, reports the Milwaukee JournalSentinel.
"Measure would ban phosphorus from lawns," by Lee Bergquist, MilwaukeeJournal Sentinel, Jan. 9
"Phosphorus fact & fiction," by Wayne Kussow, Ph.D., LandscapeManagement, Feb. 2003
See workshop details here: http://organiclandscape.org/en/OLA_News_30/items/33.html
View March 2009 - Workshop Flyer Here
Christine Upton - Managing Director
Organic Landscape AllianceP.O Box 89560250A Eglinton Ave EastToronto ON M4P 1K2T: 1.866.824.7685F: 1.866.824.7685www.organiclandscape.org
Success with Organic Playing Fields
(Beyond Pesticides, January 12, 2009) Propelled by state legislationprohibiting pesticides use on school grounds that has yet to go intoeffect, Branford, Connecticut is a model for others around the countryin managing town playing fields, parks and public lawns without usingpesticides. The town’s Parks and Recreation Department’s remarkablesuccess in implementing an organic land management approach hasresulted in healthier turf and lower maintenance costs. Later thismonth the town is expected to pass a resolution to ensure theircommitment to the organic turf program.
Alex Palluzzi, Jr., director of the Branford Parks and RecreationDepartment, says he once was “on the other side” but now is motivatedby the results he sees with organic and wants to get others to do thesame. The town’s organic program took off when a two-acre park wasdonated to the town and Mr. Palluzzi and his team began a pilotproject converting the field to organic. Its success proved to Mr.Palluzzi that organic land management works. Now, all twenty-four ofthe town’s fields are maintained with organic practices.
“We have not used pesticides in years,” says Mr. Palluzzi. Instead,the town relies on properly aerating the soil, overseeding, mowing theturf high, adding compost and testing the soil. One reason the organicprogram is so cost effective is because the town collects residents’leaves for its compost and mulch.
Chuck Sherwood, field maintenance subcontractor for the Parks andRecreation Department, states in an article in The Sound, “When youput down this organic matter, we simply [find] you don’t needpesticides and these other fertilizers. With synthetics you arecreating an artificial environment and when you lay down pesticidesyou are knocking out beneficial organisms too… Organics has become thebetter value.” Organic turf management results in healthier soils,which produce thicker turf, disease resistance, less soil compactionand a softer playing field. Mr. Sherwood goes on to say that, “Youhave much healthier root systems that can sustain the repeated us.”
Last spring, the town of Greenwich, Connecticut also passed a policybanning the use of pesticides on all of its athletic fields.Throughout the country there has been a growth in the pesticide-freemovement. The passage of pesticide-free public land policies are verypromising. For more information on being a part of the growing organiclawn care movement, see Beyond Pesticides Lawns & Landscapes programpage. To find a service provider that practices least- or non-toxicmethods, visit the Safety Source for Pest Management.
Posted in Alternatives/Organics, Connecticut, Lawns/Landscapes,Pesticide Regulation by: Beyond Pesticides
Mon 12 Jan 09
Soil Association urges Benn to back down on pesticides
The Soil Association believes a completely organic approach is the wayforward
The Soil Association has dismissed “nonsense” claims made by thepesticide industry that all carrot growing in the UK may cease if theproposed EU legislation on pesticides is approved. Organic farmersprove that you can grow good crops with minimal or no use ofpesticides.
The pro-pesticides lobby also suggested wheat yields may drop by 20-60per cent, pea and onion yields will be down by 40 per cent and potatoyields down by 26-60 per cent
The Soil Association has written today to Hilary Benn, Secretary ofState, calling on him to drop his opposition to the EU pesticideproposals.
The European Parliament plenary vote will be taking place tomorrow(Tuesday) and the Soil Association suggested the proposals may beagreed substantially unaltered because they are supported by amajority of Member States and by the elected Members of the EuropeanParliament.
The new rules will ban highly toxic chemicals which are genotoxic,carcinogenic or toxic for reproduction, but a clause in thelegislation may mean some of these products could continue to be usedfor up to five years before being phased out.
A recently completed report for the Soil Association from the Centrefor Agriculture Strategy at Reading University (research was based onstatistics from Defra’s Farm Business Survey) suggests that more foodcould be produced under organic production than under the slightlyimproved pesticide regime about to be agreed by the EU.
Pesticide use could also fall by 98 per cent, which is far more thanany projected fall under the EU proposals.
If Britain followed the diet recommended by the government and theWorld Health Organisation (WHO) – centred on eating more fruit,vegetables, whole grains and fewer meat products – then yields may beadequate without the use of pesticides.
==========================Warning Industry Propaganda Below==========================
January 13, 2009
Enemies of science
The Ottawa Citizen
Leaders whose policies are not informed by the best available scienceare fools. Some are dangerous fools, such as South Africa's ThaboMbeki, whose rejection of what orthodox science had to say about AIDSled directly to 365,000 preventable deaths.
As philosopher Peter Singer writes:
"The lessons of this story are applicable wherever science is ignoredin the formulation of public policy. This does not mean that amajority of scientists is always right. The history of science clearlyshows the contrary. Scientists are human and can be mistaken. They,like other humans, can be influenced by a herd mentality, and a fearof being marginalized. The culpable failure, especially when lives areat stake, is not to disagree with scientists, but to reject science asa method of inquiry."
Unfortunately, that failure is common.
An entirely typical example arose last year, when the government ofOntario announced it would ban the use of pesticides on lawns andgardens.
The most common pesticide in home use is 2,4-D. Fortunately, 2,4-D hasbeen studied for decades so we know a great deal about it. Equallyfortunately, the agency of Health Canada that regulates pesticides wasengaged in a major review of the scientific literature. It wasreleased after Ontario proposed its ban but before the legislation waspassed. Health Canada's review, like many others before it, came to anunequivocal conclusion: 2,4-D is safe when used as directed.
So how did Premier Dalton McGuinty and the government of Ontariorespond? They didn't. They said absolutely nothing about the review.The ban was passed unchanged.
The consequences will be nothing like the tragedy in South Africa, ofcourse. But the basic folly -- ignore science unless it says what youwant it to say -- is identical.
Dan Gardner
Ottawacitizen.com/opinion/blogs© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen
Monday, January 12, 2009
Lawn & Landscape Magazine
Healthy Lawns, Healthy Business Summit Kicks Off Jan. 21
In an ongoing effort to provide lawn care operators with the resourcesthey need to run their businesses, the Bayer Lawn Care Institute isconducting its first Healthy Lawns, Healthy Business Summit of 2009 inconjunction with the Massachusetts Associations of Lawn CareProfessionals (MALCP). The event will take place on Jan. 21 at theSturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge, Mass.
The summit will offer business owners and decision makers a tailoredbusiness track while technicians and other employees can attend thetechnical track.
The business track will begin with a session led by Andy Drohen ofAgrium Advance Technologies titled “What Happened to Fertilizer Costsin 2008.”
Sandra Reynolds, executive vice president of the Associated Industriesof Massachusetts, will follow with a discussion on treble damage wageand hour policies. She also will discuss new data breach regulationsthat affect all employers.
The event’s keynote address will be delivered by Jim Paluch, founderand president of JP Horizons. Paluch will share his concept of“Working Smarter with Lean Tools.” This hands-on discussion willprovide participants with many practical tips to maximize theirresources and make their businesses stronger and more efficient.
Following a Bayer-sponsored luncheon, Karen Connelly of MALCP willmoderate the Lawn Care Institute panel discussion featuring all of thespeakers from the morning presentations.
To register for the event, e-mail malcp@yahoo.com.
Ten Years Ago...Flashback
Pesticides - Local Bans/RestrictionsPosition Paper on Local Bans on Pesticide Use
Many cities across the country are debating ordinances to ban the useof chemical pesticides on city/public property. This includes schools,parks, city office buildings and government-owned recreationfacilities such as golf courses.
Local bans on pesticide use are a trend that gained momentum after thecity of San Francisco, Calif., adopted such an ordinance in 1996.Despite its shortcomings, the San Francisco ordinance has been used asa model by anti-pesticide activists to try to enact similar laws inother locations.The Adverse Economic Impact of Pesticide Bans: Golf Courses
If a city adopts an ordinance banning pesticide use, golf coursesuperintendents at publicly-owned golf courses will not be able to usechemical pesticides to maintain the golf course. The municipality willbe faced with the cumbersome task of dealing with harmful pests inways that are usually much more expensive and much less effective thanusing Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This puts the golf course at agreat disadvantage—when the quality of the course deteriorates golferswill not play at the course and the city will lose valuable revenue.
Bans on pesticide use by local governments can also be precursors toefforts to totally ban the use of all pesticides in the community—including applications by private citizens to their homes and lawns,applications to commercial property, privately owned golf courses,sports fields and other recreational facilities.Why Bans Are Unnecessary
Pesticides are designed to maintain the health and safety of humans aswell as plants and animals. Golf course superintendents monitor theirproperty to identify pests, then use IPM to evaluate all possiblecontrol options and select the proper pest management methods.
Properly used pesticides applied in accordance to label directionspose no risk to human health. Golf course superintendents are trainedin the safe and proper use of pesticides and must pass a state-administered examination to be a licensed pesticide applicator.Healthy turf allows communities to enjoy many benefits, includingcrucial "greenspaces" and sanctuaries for birds and other wildlife,recreational opportunities, and municipal revenue generated by outdoorrecreational facilities.
What You Can Do
If your city is considering a ban on the use of pesticides, here'swhat you can do:
Contact local lawmakers and talk with them about the proposed ban.Invite them to tour the golf course with you.
• On the tour, explain and demonstrate the environmental practicesyou use to ensure that pesticides are used safely and effectively.
• Explain Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and how it is used on thegolf course.
Contact the GCSAA department of information and public policy at (800)472-7878, ext. 3610, or e-mail Carrie Riordan, director of informationand public policy, for help in putting together a grassroots lobbyingplan to address the ordinance.
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St. John's Daily Spray Advisory

My Past Articles

More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 413 words
Karen Griffin - Judie Squires says someone needs to patrol the companies that spray residential areas for pesticides because she's observed nine violations of the Environmental Protection Act in her Paradise neighborhood alone

Spray woes: Province falling down on monitoring pesticides
The Telegram (St. John's) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 253 words
Judie Squires - environment to become poisoned? A temporary ban on all residential pesticides has to be put into place, to protect us, our wildlife and our environment as a whole. Judie Squires Paradise

Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (St. John's) - 08-28-2004 - 613 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic the province will ban cosmetic use

Woman doesn't expect cosmetic pesticide ban any time soon
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - 08-30-2004 - 712 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic that the province will ban the

Province lagging behind in pesticide control
The Telegram (St. John's) - 09-04-2005 - 496 words
Squires, Judie - it to do is to prohibit the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides altogether in order to protect our citizens and the environment. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

The two sides to pesticide use
The Telegram (St. John's) - 07-16-2006 - 781 words
Judie Squires - health of your families. When Canada's most respected health authorities tell us pesticides threaten our health, we should all be listening. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's

Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 353 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - of trees. The live spores can be inhaled by humans and animals exposed to BT. Judie Squires, secretary of the Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, says despite claims that

Delayed pesticide laws 'disappointing'
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 833 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - at the end of this year. These products will only be sold to certified dealers. Judie Squires, secretary of the newly formed Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, isn't

Above Articles available through Trancontinental Newsnet

Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (St. John's) - 03-14-2009 - 419 words
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...

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