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Soil Depth and Tillage Effects on Glyphosate Degradation

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journal contribution
posted on 10.06.2009, 00:00 by Robert M. Zablotowicz, Cesare Accinelli, L. Jason Krutz, Krishna N. Reddy
The use of glyphosate-resistant crops facilitated the widespread adoption of no-tillage (NT) cropping systems. The experimental objectives were to determine glyphosate sorption, mineralization, and persistence at two depths [0−2 cm (A) and 2−10 cm (B)] in a silt loam managed under long-term conventional tillage (CT) or NT soybean. Relative to the other soils, organic carbon (OC) and fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolytic activity were at least 1.4-fold higher in NT-A. Glyphosate Kd values ranged from 78.2 to 48.1 and were not correlated with OC. Cumulative glyphosate mineralized after 35 days was highest in NT-A soil (70%), intermediate in CT-A and CT-B (63%), and least in NT-B (51%). Mineralization was positively correlated with OC and FDA activity, but negatively correlated with Kd, indicating that sorption decreased bioavailability. Independent of tillage and depth, the half-lives for 0.01 N CaCl2 and 0.1 N NaOH extractable residues (bioavailable residues and residues bound to iron and aluminum oxides, respectively) were ≤1.2 h and ≤14.2 days, respectively. These data indicate that glyphosate sorption and persistence are similar between the surface of NT and CT soils and that the adoption of NT will likely have minimal impact on the risk for nontarget effects of glyphosate on soil microflora or transport in surface runoff.

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