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Journal of environmental quality

Fluometuron and pendimethalin runoff from strip and conventionally tilled cotton in the southern atlantic coastal plain.


PMID 15537934

Abstract

In the Atlantic Coastal Plain region of southern Georgia (USA), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) acreage increased threefold in the past decade. To more effectively protect water quality in the region, best management practices are needed that reduce pesticide runoff from fields in cotton production. This study compared runoff of two herbicides, fluometuron [N,N-dimethyl-N'-[3-(trifluoromethyl)-phenyl]-urea] and pendimethalin [N-(1-ethylpropyl)-3,4-dimethyl-2,6-dinitro-benzenamine], from plots in strip-tillage (ST) and conventional-tillage (CT) management near Tifton, GA. Rainfall simulations were conducted one day after preemergence herbicide applications to 0.0006-ha plots and runoff from 0.15-ha plots due to natural rainfall following preemergence pendimethalin and fluometuron and postemergence fluometuron use was monitored. Pendimethalin runoff was greater under CT than ST due to strong pendimethalin soil sorption and higher erosion and runoff under CT. The highest losses, 1.3% of applied in CT and 0.22% of applied in ST, were observed during rainfall simulations conducted 1 DAT. Fluometuron runoff from natural rainfall was substantially lower from ST than from CT plots but the trend was reversed in rainfall simulations. In all studies, fluometuron runoff was also relatively low (<1% of applied), and on plots under natural rainfall, desmethylfluometuron (DMF) represented about 50% of total fluometuron runoff. Fluometuron's relatively low runoff rate appeared linked to its rapid leaching, and high DMF detection rates in runoff support DMF inclusion in fluometuron risk assessments. Results showed that ST has the potential to reduce runoff of both herbicides, but fluometuron leaching may be a ground water quality concern.

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