Custodians of the soil
Commonly used by farmers to control weeds, and Landcare groups to kill grass and weeds before tree planting, many don’t have any qualms about using glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup® – but not the Storti’s and thousands of other organic farmers.
Stephen and Lee Storti are in their second year of converting to organic; it takes three years to achieve full organic certification.
Lee says, “I’ve been planting trees for years and we were asked in 2009 by Landcare to spot spray grass so it wouldn’t compete with the trees. We refused to do it so they wouldn’t support us to plant them. We did them ourselves.
“We planted 10,000 trees and the success rate was terrific despite not killing the grass beforehand. When you spot spray, the chemicals go into rivers. I’m not a real Landcarer who goes to a lot of meetings but I’m definitely a tree taker.”
Lee says, “Sometimes I can smell glyphosate when l am out and about in the district. We’re just using it too freely. It’s killing all the biology. There’s an amazing factory under the soil and if you kill off stuff underneath you’re interrupting the process.”