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Environ Technol. 2013 Jan-Feb;34(1-4):71-80.

Buffer strip effect on terbuthylazine, desethyl-terbuthylazine and S-metolachlor runoff from maize fields in Northern Italy.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Agronomia, Selvicoltura e Gestione del Territorio, Universit√† di Torino, Grugliasco (TO), Italy.


The effectiveness of a 6 m wide vegetative buffer strip for reducing runoff of S-metolachlor, terbuthylazine and desethyl-terbuthylazine was studied in 2007-2008 in Northern Italy. Two cultivated fields, with and without the buffer strip, were compared. Residues of the chemicals were investigated in runoff water collected after runoff events and their dissipation in the soil was studied. The highest concentration of the chemicals in water occurred in samples collected from the unbuffered field at the first runoff events. Losses of terbuthylazine and S-metolachlor in runoff waters were particularly high in 2007 (2.6% and 0.9% of the amount applied, respectively). Soil half-life of terbuthylazine and S-metolachlor ranged between 12.1 and 8.9 days and 16 and 7 days, respectively. The presence of desethyl-terbuthylazine was related to parent compound degradation. The buffer strip allowed an important reduction of chemical content in water (> 90%), in particular during the first runoff events.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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