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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Quantifying and Monitoring Nutrient Cycling, Carbon Dynamics and Soil Productivity at Field, Watershed and Regional Scales

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Title: Comparison of herbicide runoff and volatilization fluxes over multiple years

item Gish, Timothy
item Hatfield, J -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 30, 2011
Publication Date: October 16, 2011
Citation: Gish, T.J., Prueger, J.H., Daughtry, C.S., Kustas, W.P., Mckee, L.G., Russ, A.L., Hatfield, J.L. 2011. Comparison of herbicide runoff and volatilization fluxes over multiple years [abstract]. ASA,CSA,SSSA International Meeting. 2011 CDROM.

Technical Abstract: Surface runoff and volatilization are two processes critical to herbicide off-site transport. To determine critical field scale processes influence off-site herbicide transport, runoff and turbulent vapor fluxes were simultaneously monitored on the same site for eight years. Site location, herbicide formulations, and agricultural management remained unchanged throughout the duration of the study. Metolachlor [2-chloro-N-(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl)-N-(2-methoxy-1-methylethyl) acetamide] and atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N’-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] were co-applied as a surface broadcast spray. Herbicide runoff was monitored from a month before application through harvest. A flux gradient technique was used to compute volatilization fluxes for the first 5 days after application using herbicide concentration profiles and turbulent fluxes of heat and water vapor as determined from eddy covariance measurements. Results demonstrate that volatilization losses for these two herbicides were significantly greater than runoff losses (P< 0.007) even though both have relatively low vapor pressures. The largest annual runoff loss for metolachlor never exceeded 2.5% while atrazine runoff never exceeded 3% of that applied. On the other hand, herbicide cumulative volatilization losses after 5 days ranged from about 5 to 63% of that applied for metolachlor and about 2 to 12% of that applied for atrazine. Additionally, daytime herbicide volatilization losses were significantly greater than nighttime vapor losses (P<0.05). This research confirms that vapor losses for some commonly used herbicides frequently exceeds runoff losses and that herbicide vapor losses on the same site and with the same management practice can vary significantly year to year depending upon local environmental conditions.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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