Pesticide and Nitrate Movement Under Conservation and Conventional Tilled Plots

by Tammo Steenhuis, Cornell Univ, United States,
Robert Paulsen, Cornell Univ, United States,
Tom Richard, Cornell Univ, United States,
Ward Staubitz, Cornell Univ, United States,
Marc Andreini, Cornell Univ, United States,
Jan Surface, Cornell Univ, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Planning Now for Irrigation and Drainage in the 21st Century


Carbofuran, alachlor, atrazine, nitrate and bromide (a tracer) were applied to plots with conventional and conservation tillage. During the early part of the growing season the conservation tilled plots had a higher tile discharge than those under conventional tillage due to dead sod cover that suppressed evapotranspiration. Low concentrations of atrazine and carbofuran were found below the rootzone in the conservation tilled plots starting one month after application. In the conventional tillage it was not until late fall that some atrazine was detected below the rootzone. Dye studies indicated that in the plowed layer of the conventional tilled plots water and solutes were in intimate contact with the soil matrix promoting adsorption of the pesticides. The bromide tracer was not adsorbed and the bromide distribution with depth was similar for both tillage practices.

Subject Headings: Pesticides | Nitrates | Vegetation | Water conservation | Seasonal variations | Tiles | Soil water | Soil analysis

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