Submitted to: Pan-Pacific Conference on Pesticide Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/6/2008
Publication Date: 6/1/2010
Citation: Rice, P.J., Hapeman, C.J., Mcconnell, L.L., Sadeghi, A.M. 2010. Assessing the importance of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risk of pesticides [abstract]. Pan-Pacific Conference on Pesticide Science. Abstract No. 47.
Technical Abstract: The use of pesticides in agriculture, their potential to be transported beyond the intended target, and their possible risk to human and environmental health has been of public concern for many years. We utilized 5 years of field data from 3 vegetable production systems to evaluate the ability of agricultural management practices to reduce the ecological risks of pesticides. Assessments were conducted using measured pesticide concentrations in runoff at the edge-of-field and estimated environmental concentrations in an adjacent creek and a theoretical pond receiving the runoff. 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 median lethal concentrations of all organisms evaluated and below the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines to protect aquatic life. These results demonstrate implementation of management technologies can reduce ecological risk of pesticides in agricultural production systems.