Submitted to: Crop Protection Council British Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 13, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Agricultural Best Management Practices can reduce runoff of herbicides to surface water, reducing chances of exceeding drinking water standards and avoiding the need for water treatment by utilities. Conservation tillage systems reduce herbicide runoff, as surface crop residue reduces erosion, slows runoff, and increases infiltration. When all historical data (1970-1990) are summarized, no-till systems reduced herbicide runoff by an average of 70% when compared to the moldboard plough. Studies we have conducted have confirmed these results, with herbicide runoff sometimes totally eliminated by no-till due to complete water infiltration. Vegetative buffer strips reduce herbicide runoff by trapping sediment and increasing water infiltration. Historical data show that buffers can reduce herbicide runoff by up to 90%. Our studies have shown that the efficiency of herbicide removal by buffers varies depending on antecedent moisture, runoff volume, and herbicide concentrations. Considering all available data, buffers removed 48% of herbicides contained in runoff, ranging from 9 to 91% removal.