Integral Study of Atrazine Behaviour in Field Lysimeters in Argentinean Humid Pampas Soils

Susana Hang1*, Adrián Andriulo2, Carolina Sasal2, Mirtha M. Nassetta3, Silvina Portela2, and Ana I. Cañas3
Atrazine behavior during crop maize (Zea mays L.) production in soils of Argentine humid pampas was investigated. Lysimeters (3.3 x 3.3 x 1.4 m) with a Typic Argiudoll (Pergamino) and others with a Typic Hapludoll (Junín) were monitored for drainage water content and atrazine concentrations in soil and water. Soil profiles were sampled in four depths in three dates, and water drainage pooled in four periods. Most of atrazine loss in drainage occurred within 30 d of atrazine application being 0.13% and 0.03% of the total atrazine applied for Pergamino and Junín, respectively. Under laboratory conditions half-life average in both profiles was 16 d. Atrazine extractable residues (AER) in lysimeters showed differences in quantity and distribution between both profiles. Extractable residues were 25.7 (Pergamino) and 69.4 g ha-1 (Junín). At the 30th day of application, AER represented 25% of total AER in Junín and 88% in Pergamino in the first 30 cm. Occurrence of preferential flow through the Bt horizon (Pergamino) may explain differences detected. High proportion of AER in Junín profile suggests low atrazine affinity and should be followed through time in order to evaluate actual stability of these residues and if they constitute a potential risk for aquifers.
Keywords: atrazine extractable residues, preferential flow, half-life, contamination risk.
1Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias, CC 509 5000, Córdoba, Argentina.*Corresponding author (shang@agro.unc.edu.ar).2Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria INTA, B2700WAA, Pergamino, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 3Ceprocor, ACC-SE 5164, Córdoba, Argentina.