How Grass Buffers Keep Agricultural Herbicides at BayApril 26, 2010
Grass buffer strips are commonly used in crop production to reduce herbicide runoff. These practices are encouraged through incentives, regulations or laws, and are effective at lowering herbicide concentration in runoff. However, subsurface filtration (under the buffer strips) is not as well documented, and neither are the effects of trees integrated into buffer strips with grasses.
Understanding these effects is crucial as agriculture producers continue to adopt these strategies.
Researchers studied the impact of grass and grass/tree buffer strips on three herbicides commonly used in agriculture. The scientists studied the transport of the herbicides in both surface runoff and subsurface infiltration during two growing seasons.
Vegetative barriers reduce herbicide concentrations in runoff, but movement of herbicides through subsurface filtration actually increased. Total export of herbicides was reduced through the use of grass and grass/tree barriers. The research was conducted by Emmanuelle Caron, Pierre Lafrance, Jean-Christian Auclair of the University of Quebec, and Marc Duchemin of the Institute of Research and Development in Agri-Environment.
The results are reported in the March/April 2010 edition of the Journal of Environmental Quality, published by the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Soil Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.
The results for the first year showed a 35% reduction in herbicide concentration in grass and grass/tree buffer strips than with no buffer. Herbicide concentrations in subsurface filtration increased 800-1200-% with buffer strips, although total overall concentration was reduced 40-60%. In 2005, total herbicide concentration exported through the buffer strips was 75-95% less than without the buffers. The findings indicate that grass barriers decrease surface water runoff while increasing subsurface infiltration, resulting in an overall loss of herbicides before reaching bodies of water.
Integrating trees into the barriers did not result in any significant differences. This was possible due to the fact that the trees were only two years old at the beginning of the study, and their root systems were not yet developed enough to demonstrate any impact. Further research is needed to determine the effects of long-established trees in buffer strips. Local meteorological conditions also play an important role in the efficiency of buffer strips, and the two years of the study experienced a wide range of variability that future long term research should address.
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA)
Related Herbicides Current Events and Herbicides News Articles
Ecologists advise an increase in prescribed grassland burning to maintain ecosystem
Kansas State University researchers have found a three-year absence of fire is the tipping point for the tallgrass prairie ecosystem and advise an increase in burning.
Mechanism for herbicide resistance in Palmer amaranth identified
Corn and soybean farmers might as well be soldiers locked in an ever-escalating war against the weeds that threaten their crops. New weapons -- herbicides -- only work for so long before the enemy retaliates by developing resistance and refusing to die.
UD researchers examine ways to break down, track synthetic compound in herbicides
To examine the fate and persistence of glyphosate, one of the most common commercial herbicides used for agricultural and urban applications, and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), a major byproduct of glyphosate, in soils and other environments, researchers at the University of Delaware have used isotopic signatures as a method of source tracking.
Engineered gene drives and the future
Engineered gene drives, which have the potential to spread desirable genes throughout wild populations or to suppress harmful species, have received a lot of recent attention because of their potential to control organisms, such as mosquitoes that carry diseases such as Zika virus, malaria and dengue fever.
Dicamba drift affects non-target plants and pollinators
Dicamba herbicide drift onto plants growing adjacent to farm fields causes significant delays in flowering, as well as reduced flowering, of those plants, and results in decreased visitation by honey bees, according to researchers at Penn State and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.
Researchers identify genes connecting endocrine disruption to genital malformations
University of Florida Health researchers have identified genes that are disrupted by abnormal hormone signaling at crucial points during development, a finding that may lead to a better understanding of how the most common male genital birth defects arise in humans.
Safeguarding the greater good
Gene drives are genetic elements - found naturally in the genomes of most of the world's organisms - that increase the chance of the gene they carry being passed on to all offspring, and thus, they can quickly spread through populations.
Nanometric sensor designed to detect herbicides can help diagnose multiple sclerosis
The early diagnosis of certain types of cancer, as well as nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica, may soon be facilitated by the use of a nanometric sensor capable of identifying biomarkers of these pathological conditions.
Study uses farm data to aid in slowing evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds
The widespread evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds is costing farmers, especially through decreases in productivity and profitability. Although researchers and industry personnel have made recommendations to slow this evolution, an understanding of the patterns and causes of the resistance has been limited.
Oregon researchers detail new insights on arsenic cycling
University of Oregon geologist Qusheng Jin initially labeled his theory "A Wild Hypothesis." Now his study of arsenic cycling in a southern Willamette Valley aquifer is splashing with potential significance for arsenic-compromised aquifers around the world.
More Herbicides Current Events and Herbicides News Articles