Location: Soil and Water Management Research
Title: Management technologies can reduce the environmental risk of pesticides in agricultural production Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2007
Publication Date: August 5, 2007
Citation: Rice, P.J., Hapeman, C.J., McConnell, L.L., Sadeghi, A.M. 2007. Management technologies can reduce the environmental risk of pesticides in agricultural production [abstract]. 2007 Technical Meeting of the W-1045 Cooperative Regional Research Group: Agrochemical Impacts on Human and Environmental Health: Mechanisms and Mitigation. Gainsville, FL, June 3-5, 2007. 2007 CD ROM. Technical Abstract: Pesticide use in agriculture, the potential risk posed by pesticides when they are transported beyond the intended target, and their effects on human and environmental health have been of public concern for many years. We utilized 5 years of field data, quantifying pesticide transport with runoff from 3 vegetable management practices, to calculate risk quotients (RQs) and hazard ratings (HR) for chlorothalonil, endosulfan and esfenvalerate in edge-of-field runoff and 2 receiving surface waters. Runoff from tomatoes grown on raised beds covered with polyethylene mulch with bare-soil furrows was found to present the greatest risk to ecosystem health and to sensitive organisms while the use of vegetative mulch (Vicia villosa) minimizes these risks. Endosulfan was found to present the greatest potential risk followed by esfenvalerate. With one exception, replacing bare soil furrows with vegetated furrows or substituting polyethylene mulch with vegetative mulch reduced chlorothalonil, endosulfan, and esfenvalerate concentrations in a pond to levels below the LC50 of all organisms evaluated. The present study demonstrates implementation of management technologies can reduce environmental risk. This research will benefit both agricultural producers and the environment as understanding processes that control the environmental fate of pesticides, their exposure and risk to non-target species, and identifying management practices that reduce the off-site transport of pesticides will increase pesticide efficacy at sites of application while reducing pesticide concentrations in surrounding surface waters; thereby minimizing exposure and adverse effects to non-target aquatic organisms.