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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Livestock Bio-Systems » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #364311

Research Project: Sustainable Management and Byproduct Utilization of Manure Nutrients and Environmental Contaminants from Beef and Swine Production Facilities

Location: Livestock Bio-Systems

Title: Atrazine movement in corn cultivated soil using HYDRUS-2D: A comparison between real and simulated data

item ALVES DE OLIVEIRA, LUCIANO - Luiz De Queiroz College Of Agriculture (ESALQ)
item HONORIO DE MIRANDA, JARBAS - Luiz De Queiroz College Of Agriculture (ESALQ)
item GRECCO, KATARINA - Luiz De Queiroz College Of Agriculture (ESALQ)
item TORNISIELO, VALDEMAR - The Center Of Nuclear Energy In Agriculture
item Woodbury, Bryan

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/24/2019
Publication Date: 10/15/2019
Citation: Alves De Oliveira, L., Honorio De Miranda, J., Grecco, K.L., Tornisielo, V.L., Woodbury, B.L. 2019. Atrazine movement in corn cultivated soil using HYDRUS-2D: A comparison between real and simulated data. Journal of Environmental Management. 248:109311.

Interpretive Summary: Herbicides used during the production of corn can move through soils and impair surface and groundwater quality. There are computer models that predict how these herbicides will move through the soils but there is uncertainty about will these models predict actual movement, particularly with the tropical soils of Brazil. The objectives of this study were to measure certain soil properties that are needed for the computer model to predict and compare these values with values measured in actual soil systems. The model appears to predict herbicide well; however, the model had two limitations. The model doesn’t account for the contaminant that becomes entangled in the soil organic matter and biological components of the soil system. Some of this contaminant become permanently bound to these components and some is re-released which make it available to normal leaching processes. The other limitation is the model’s ability to estimate the water that is lost due to evaporation or water that is lost through the growing plant. This water loss alters the rate which water leaches down through the soil. It was concluded estimates of these two parts of the computer model will need to be improved to accurately predict herbicide movement in tropical Brazilian soils.

Technical Abstract: Atrazine is an herbicide that is applied in corn around the world and in sugarcane in Brazil. It is known to be hazardous for animals' health, mobile in the soil, and its analysis is considered expensive and onerous. Solute movement studies are essential to provide information about dangerous molecules movement, which can avoid contamination. While field investigations demand time and financial resources, numerical models are an alternative to describe water and solute distribution in the soil profile. Thus, the objective of this work was to use HYDRUS 2-D model for simulations of atrazine movement in containers packed with tropical soil cultivated with corn and to compare simulated and observed data through statistical parameters. The research was carried out in a greenhouse during 116 days after planting. Atrazine was analyzed in the soil solution at three different depths to validate HYDRUS-2D. Simulations were carried out using hydraulic properties fitted directly to measured retention data and parameters for corn growing and atmospheric characteristics. The mixed procedure analysis indicated that there are differences in atrazine concentration among depths and along time. In general, atrazine concentration is higher at shallow depths and right after application. However, it is possible to find atrazine in deeper soil layers, which might be a concern regarding contamination. RMSE, Willmott and Pearson coefficients indicated a favorable capacity of the model to simulate atrazine concentration on corn cultivation. HYDRUS-2D is a reliable tool to obtain trends in atrazine movement under these experiment's conditions. The uptake parameters, the crop root growth and distribution parameters depend on further specific studies to better describe the relationship between the plant and atrazine and meteorological parameters need to be updated.