Q&A | Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, University of Minnesota

01/13/2012 09:01:00 AM
Tom Karst

When those recommendations were enacted more than 10 years ago, we didn’t know what we know now. Some of our research has (shown) that the older manure you use, the less likely you will be to find contamination. 

My point is that there is plenty of research done by other research groups that supports the idea that the organic regulations we currently have — that you can use raw manure in organic agriculture as long as there is more than 120 days between the applications of the manure and harvest. That time, in my opinion, is not sufficient. 

1:11 p.m. Karst: What time would be sufficient?

1:12 p.m. Diez-Gonzalez: That’s a good question, because (authorities) would have to look carefully to the scientific literature. The problem with this research field is that some people have reported more than 200 days, some people have reported actually less than 120 days, some people have reported different numbers. 

My recommendation is not to give you a specific number, but that the number needs to be reconsidered in light of what we have learned in the past 10 years. This should be done by a panel of experts that can review the literature and come up with their own expert opinion and come up with a new recommendation.


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