Submitted to: American Chemical Society SE/SW Regional Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 30, 2006
Publication Date: November 1, 2006
Citation: Potter, T.L., Bosch, D.D. 2006. Hydrologic And Water Quality Responses to Conservation-tillage In A Cotton-peanut Rotation in the Southern Atlantic Coastal Plain [abstract]. American Chemical Society SE/SW Regional Meeting. Technical Abstract: The gently sloping uplands of the Atlantic Coastal Plain extending from Maryland to east Texas are intensively cropped. In the southern portion of the region centered in south-Central Georgia the two predominant row crops are cotton and peanut. Sustainable production of these crops requires that growers minimize negative environmental impacts and reduce costs through water conservation. To this end, conservation practices such as strip-tillage, offer significant benefits. Improved control of certain peanut diseases has been reported and reductions in erosion, runoff, and agrichemical losses are commonly observed. To some degree these benefits may be offset by increased agrichemical leaching and groundwater contamination since conservation-tillage typically increases infiltration. Herbicides are a particular concern since most conservation-tillage systems depend on high use rates for cover crop management and weed control. However, whether increased use increases groundwater quality risk is uncertain. To answer this and other questions related to hydrologic and water quality responses to conservation-tillage during cotton and peanut production in the region, we began a long-term field study in 1999. In this presentation we focus on measurements of lateral subsurface flow and transport of fluometuron and its principal degradate as a function of tillage. This herbicide is widely used by cotton growers, primarily in preemergence applications. It has also been demonstrated to have significant leaching potential. Over the first four years of the study we observed about two-times more subsurface flow and associated herbicide transport with the strip-tillage treatment. Implications will be discussed in the context of the South Georgia landscape.