Effects of physicochemical soil properties of five agricultural soils on herbicide soil adsorption and leaching

Claudio Alister, Manuel Araya, Marcelo Kogan


Once pesticides reach the soil, there are several factors that affect their soil behavior. To identify the principal soil and herbicide properties that control their adsorption and leaching, a study of five Chilean agricultural and forest soils was performed. Simazine, diuron, terbuthylazine and MCPA were applied to the top of 45-cm tall by 12-cm diameter disturbed soil columns, filled with either an Andisol, Ultisol, Entisol or one of two Inceptisol soils. After herbicide applications, each lysimeter received 24 mm of simulated rain every 24 hours for five days. Once water percolation stopped, the lysimeters were divided into five sections and herbicide concentrations were quantified using High Pressure Liquid Chromatography. Relationships between soil physicochemical properties, herbicide sorption (adsorption and desorption) and herbicide leaching were determined. All herbicides exhibited the least depth reached from the Andisol soil (10 cm) and the highest from the Ultisol soil (45 cm). The principal soil property that affected herbicide adsorption was the soil organic carbon content, specifically the fulvic acid-humins fraction. Soil leaching was related to the inverse of soil adsorption (1/Kd), cation exchange capacity, humic substances content and herbicide pKa. These results suggest that it is possible to develop simple quantitative models to predict the soil-leaching properties of pesticides


Diuron, fulvic acids, humic substances, MCPA, triazines

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