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BMP’s for Atrazine and Ametryn. Curtis Rainbolt University of Florida. Why be concerned?. Important herbicides for weed control in FL sugarcane and sod production Commonly found in low concentrations in surface water sampling

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BMP’s for Atrazine and Ametryn


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    1. BMP’s for Atrazine and Ametryn Curtis Rainbolt University of Florida

    2. Why be concerned? • Important herbicides for weed control in FL sugarcane and sod production • Commonly found in low concentrations in surface water sampling • Usage of atrazine has been limited in other areas due to high levels in water

    3. Atrazine (Aatrex, others) • Widely used in FL sugarcane production • Both preemergence and postemergence applications • Up to 10 lb/A of atrazine applied per growing season for sugarcane • Up to 6 lb/A of atrazine applied per growing season for sod on muck (3lb/A on sand) • Applied to a large percentage of sugarcane acreage in Florida

    4. Ametryn (Evik) • Commonly used in FL sugarcane production • Postemergence application • Up to 1.5 lb per application (2 applications) • Usually used at much lower rates • Not as heavily used as atrazine

    5. Atrazine Chemical Characteristics • Water solubility not particularly high (33 mg/L) • Binding to soil organic matter not extremely strong (Koc=128 ml/g) • Atrazine is less bound, but less water soluble than ametryn • Average field half-life of 60 days

    6. Ametryn Chemical Characteristics • Water solubility higher than atrazine (194 mg/L) • Binding to soil organic matter strong relative to atrazine (Koc=362 ml/g) • In field half-life of 60 days • Ametryn is more bound, but more water soluble

    7. Detection in water sampling Sampling at stations throughout EAA • 18+ years data available • Atrazine and ametryn both commonly detected at stations in EAA • Levels are generally very low • But they are often found!!!

    8. How do they get in the water? • Spray drift from field • Spills during mixing • Back-siphoning into water body when filling spray tanks • Water soluble portion moves with runoff water • Portion bound to organic matter moves with sediment erosion

    9. How can we minimize atrazine and ametryn in water? • Minimize physical spray drift into bodies of water • Use care when mixing and loading herbicides • Spills near water bodies can result in large amounts of concentrated product entering water

    10. Setback Requirements • Always follow label requirement regarding setbacks (Found on all atrazine labels) • DO NOT mix/load within 50 ft of any well, sinkhole, stream, river, or lake • DO NOT apply within 66 ft of where field runoff enters a stream or river • DO NOT apply within 200 ft of any lake or reservoir

    11. Anti-Back-Siphoning • Make sure all equipment used to supply water is equipped with devices to prevent back-siphoning from the spray/mix tank if the motor shuts off

    12. How can we minimize atrazine and ametryn in water? • Do not apply to saturated soils • More runoff of both water soluble herbicide, and soil particles with herbicide attached • Holding water • Allows the herbicide to be absorbed by soil particles and settle out, or degrade

    13. Nutrient BMP’s Impact Herbicide Movement • Practices that minimize sediment transport • Herbicides often bound to sediment • Vegetative buffers on field edges • Can reduce movement of herbicides attached to soil particles

    14. Take Home Message • Atrazine and ametryn are important • Good stewardship can minimize the amount found in surface waters • Use common sense • Follow label directions • Phosphorus BMP’s also help reduce occurrence

    15. UF/IFAS Pesticide Info Latest EREC weather conditions